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Free classes, summer advising and scholarships to UH

By Staff | Apr 16, 2021

The University of Hawaii Community Colleges and Hawaii P-20 Partnerships for Education, together with community partners, will once again offer the Next Steps to Your Future program to support Hawaii’s Class of 2021 public high school seniors.

Next Steps to Your Future will engage and guide graduating seniors in transitioning to their post-high school plans while connecting them to postsecondary education and training opportunities. Eligible students will also have an opportunity to take free summer career exploration classes from UH Community Colleges.

“As the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic continues to challenge Hawaii’s high school seniors in their final year, we are committed to providing the support they need to achieve their potential on their paths to better futures for themselves and our islands,” said UH President David Lassner.

Every student who opts in will be connected to an experienced UH Hawaii Advising Cadre member who will provide free personalized support and information to guide them in their next steps, whether they plan to enroll in college, enter the military or workforce, or are still undecided. Support will consist of specialized text messages, access to relevant resources and one-on-one support from a dedicated advisor for eight weeks in summer 2021.

Eligible students will also be sponsored to participate in free UH Community Colleges summer career exploration courses. These courses will help students explore their career options, plan future steps and develop skills to be successful in college so they can focus on their goals.

Next Steps Class of 2021 participants will also be eligible for a Next Steps Scholarship to attend a UH campus in fall 2021.

“Our graduating seniors have spent the majority of their final year learning from home,” said Stephen Schatz, executive director for Hawaii P-20. “We will provide these students with one-on-one personalized advising and counseling support over the summer, so they can successfully and seamlessly transition to their post high school plans.”

“We are excited to once again offer free summer Career Exploration classes to help our recent high school graduates develop plans and take the next steps toward their goals,” said UH Vice President for Community Colleges Erika Lacro. “These classes are an opportunity for students to develop plans for their future, become familiar with our community colleges across the state and get a head start on college classes in the fall.”

The Next Steps to Your Future program launched in summer 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic with a vision to provide Class of 2020 graduates with the advising and support to plan for their futures.

More than 2,100 students participated in the Next Steps program.

The program has delivered promising results in increasing college enrollment rates for the Class of 2020. Graduates who participated in the Next Steps program (texting, classes or both) had a 77.5 percent college enrollment rate vs. 44.3 for graduates who didn’t participate in the program. In addition, economically disadvantaged graduates who were part of the Next Steps program also enrolled in college at a higher rate than those who did not participate in the program — 69.5 percent compared to 32.5 percent.

To sign up for free summer advising, go to nextsteps.hawaii.edu or text “nextsteps” to (808) 437-2719 by May 30.

To sign up for free UHCC career exploration classes, go to nextsteps.hawaii.edu.