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“Stopped Out” UH Maui Student Returns to Finish Degree

February 12, 2018, 9:18 AM HST · Updated February 12, 9:18 AM
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“Stopped Out” UH Maui Student Returns to Finish Degree
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Maui’s Kalaheo Macadangdang is among a group of students that are taking advantage of a new pilot program aimed at individuals who are former students of community colleges who have earned some college credits but have yet to secure their degree.

“I decided to take a break from school, which was supposed to be a semester, ended up being a year and a half,” said Macadangdang, who is a student at UH Maui College.

Macadangdang is a 2011 Baldwin High School graduate who enrolled at UH Maui College in fall 2011 and stopped taking classes in 2016.  He was just three credits short of earning his associateʻs degree in liberal arts. Now, Macadangdang is taking the three credit math course he needs and is expected to earn his degree in spring 2018, then he plans to then pursue a bachelorʻs degree in business administration at UH West Oʻahu.

Under the pilot program, nearly 1,000 “Stopped Out” students–those who had been out of school for two years or less and had already earned at least one semester’s worth of credits– were identified at the seven UH community colleges, and post cards were sent out to encourage their return.

“I was looking forward to trying to get back to school. I did not know exactly when but this was a big pusher,” he said.

According to the 2016 Hawaiʻi State Data Book, there are about 95,000 25- to 44-year-olds in Hawaiʻi who are considered “stopped out.” Of the nearly 969 students targeted in the pilot project, 150 returned and many received some sort of assistance.

“They just needed that little nudge, okay, I have this opportunity, I should take advantage of it and come back to college,” saud Kyla Wayas-Kapaku, Academic Counselor at UH Maui College.

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School administrators say it will also help the state meet its “55 by ’25” goal of getting 55% of working-age adults to obtain a certificate or two-or-four-year degree by the year 2025.

According to a Lumina Foundation report, high school graduates, over their lifetimes, miss out on $500,000 in earnings by not getting an associate’s degree and $1 million by not earning a bachelor’s degree.

  • Information from the pilot project will be included in planning for a UH systemwide initiative for returning thousands of adult students to school who started college but did not finish to return and earn their degrees.

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