This summer more than 1,100 Class of 2021 public high school graduates were provided transition support to reach their college and career goals through the Next Steps to Your Future program, a joint initiative between Hawai‘i P-20 and the University of Hawaiʻi Community Colleges. Over 975 graduates received dedicated advising services via text messaging and one-on-one appointments with counselors. More than 58,000 text messages and 475 appointments were coordinated between students and their advisors throughout the program’s eight weeks. The UH Community Colleges also offered 19 free online Next Step: Career Exploration classes to over 290 students to help them develop their career plans and goals and encourage them to enroll in the Fall semester. New to this year’s program were the addition of 18 college and career focused webinars for students with topics ranging from UH student alumni panels to resume writing and navigating your first year sessions.
To support students in attending UH this Fall, more than 689 Next Steps participants were also awarded scholarships provided by the following funders: Central Pacific Bank Foundation, Chenter Foundation, Kamehameha Schools, UH Alumni Association, and various individual donors.
Based on post-survey results for students who participated in the Next Steps Advising program, students indicated that they felt significantly more prepared at the end of the program and had completed significantly more of their post-high-school plans. 60% of survey respondents also indicated that the Next Steps program helped address financial aid and scholarship issues which was a common barrier to college identified by Next Steps participants.