In 2010, Senator Norman Sakamoto introduced a resolution in the Hawaiʻi State Legislature to explore the possibilities of establishing a Department of Education (DOE) Vocational/Technical Education Learning Center at Honolulu Community College. SCR 103, Requesting a Report on the Feasibility of Creating a Vocational/Technical Education Learning Center at Honolulu Community College was passed by the State Senate in Spring 2010. The resolution basically requested that the Department of Education and Honolulu Community College convene a task force to discuss and report on the feasibility of creating a Department of Education Vocational/Technical Education Learning Center at Honolulu Community College.
The initial meetings in May 2010 included Senator Sakamoto and his staff (Dr. Allen Awaya, Dr. Carol Pang, and Joanne Swearingen), State Deputy Superintendent Ronn Nozoe, Honolulu Community College Chancellor Mike Rota, and Honolulu Community College staff (Michael Barros). The Learning Center Task Force was subsequently convened with Ann Mahi, Roosevelt High School principal, as chairperson, and principals from three additional participating high schools: Catherine Payne from Farrington, Penelope Tom from Kaimuki, Ron Okamura from McKinley, and Honolulu Community College representative Michael Barros. After a couple of meetings on how a Learning Center at Honolulu CC would function, the Learning Center concept evolved into "Jump Start", a program that would allow eligible high school juniors to apply for and register as full-time students in career and technical education programs at the community colleges in their high school senior year and earn high school credit for the college courses they complete. As the idea started to gel, Kapi'olani CC was invited to participate in the meetings and a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was developed for the four high schools and two Community Colleges in November 2010.
Senator Jill Tokuda, current Senate Education Committee Chairperson, supports Jump Start and is a member of the Jump Start Task Force. Her office staff and office volunteers provide administrative support to the Task Force.
First Year Jump Start Pilot Report
The first Jump Start MOA for Year One of the pilot was signed on March 16, 2011 by Department of Education Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi, Honolulu Community College Chancellor Michael Rota (retired), and Kapi'olani Community College Chancellor Leon Richards. Resident tuition for 12 credits for participating students was covered by their high schools; the Hawai'i P-20 Partnerships for Education provided support for a two-week summer college orientation/preparation program and $500/semester stipends for books for each student participant.
In Academic/School Year 2011-2012, the four participating high schools were each allowed up to six participants. Qualifying students must have completed all courses required for high school graduation with the possible exception of one English, one social studies and elective credits. These high school graduation requirements had to be completed at the community college or through the DOE's on-line offerings. Jump Start students enrolled full-time in college courses that met the requirements for a two-year career and technical education degree as well their high school diploma.
Second Year Jump Start Pilot Preliminary Report
An MOA for Year Two of the Jump Start program was signed on December 5, 2011. As in the previous year, the high schools are covering the full-time resident tuition costs and basic fees for the participating Jump Start students and the Hawai'i P-20 Partnerships for Education provided support for the two-week summer college orientation/preparation program and $500/semester stipends for books.
Third Year Jump Start Projections and Expansions
For the third year of the pilot project, an MOA was signed on October 3, 2012 that expanded the original MOA to include Leeward Community College and six (6) additional O'ahu public high schools: Campbell, Kapolei, Nanakuli, Pearl City, Wai'anae, and Waipahu. Also, on the same date a separate MOA was signed for Kaua'i Community College and the three public high schools on Kaua'i: Kapa'a, Kaua'i, Waimea.
Training for the Leeward and Kaua'i community colleges and high schools took place in fall 2012. This third year will potentially involve a maximum participant counts of 60 on O'ahu and 18 on Kaua'i, for a total of 78 students.
Allen Awaya, Ed.D.
Carol Pang, Ph.D.
Leon Richards, Ph.D.
Senator Norman Sakamoto
Senator Jill Tokuda