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 (HonCC). 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 requested that the DOE and HonCC convene a task force to discuss and report on the feasibility of creating a DOE Vocational/Technical Education Learning Center at HonCC.
The initial meetings in May 2010 included Senator Sakamoto and his staff, State Deputy Superintendent Ronn Nozoe, HonCC Chancellor Mike Rota and HonCC staff. 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 High School, Penelope Tom from Kaimukī High School, and Ron Okamura from McKinley High School. After several discussions on the functionality of a Learning Center at HonCC, the idea evolved into Jump Start, a program that would allow high school seniors to register as full-time students in career and technical education programs at a community college. Soon thereafter, Kapiʻolani Community College (KapCC) was invited to participate in the meetings.
A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was developed for the four high schools and two Community Colleges in November 2010. The first Jump Start Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) was signed on March 16, 2011 for the 2011-2012 Academic Year, and a subsequent MOA for the 2012-2013 Academic Year was signed on December 5, 2011.
The MOA for the third year of Jump Start, for the 2013-2014 academic school year, added Leeward Community College (LeeCC) and six additional high schools to include Campbell, Kapolei, Nānākuli, Pearl City, Waiʻanae and Waipahu. In addition, a separate MOA was signed to begin a Jump Start program on Kauaʻi to include Kauaʻi Community College (KauCC) and the three Kauaʻi high schools, Kapaʻa, Kauaʻi, and Waimea.
In May 2013, a multi-year MOA was signed. The multi-year MOA included an important provision to "institutionalize and expand the Jump Start program statewide."
Senator Jill Tokuda, current Senate Education Committee Chair, 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. In addition, the Hawaiʻi P-20 Partnership for Education (P-20) provides support (2011-2015 academic school years) for the two-week summer college preparation program and $500/semester stipends for students' books.
Allen Awaya, Ed.D.
Carol Pang, Ph.D.
Leon Richards, Ph.D.
Senator Norman Sakamoto
Senator Jill Tokuda