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Program Provides Boost to Teens with Eyes Set on Engineering

HONOLULU — A new public school initiative will allow Hawaii students interested in engineering careers get on an early pathway to acceptance at a university engineering program.

The state Department of Education is partnering with the University of Hawaii to create a “college-focused pathway” for students to pursue direct acceptance into the College of Engineering at UH-Manoa, reported The Honolulu Star-Advertiser. The college offers undergraduate degrees in civil, computer, electrical and mechanical engineering. It typically requires students to have completed trigonometry, physics and chemistry before applying.

The program “will help high school students maintain their interest and enthusiasm in engineering by manifesting an early indication of acceptance to the college,” said Song Choi, assistant dean of UH-Manoa’s College of Engineering. Choi said increased interesting in engineering has created the need for a more direct pathway from high school to an engineering education

The new pathway developed under the department’s Career and Technical Education program creates two engineering technology courses for high school students that area designed to be consistent with the college’s entry-level course objectives.

“This partnership falls in line with our goals to provide more college-level courses for high school students that will hopefully nurture students’ interests in future professions,” said Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi in a statement. “Working with the College of Engineering will ensure that our high school engineering courses correspond to college-level standards, and help to ease the transition for our graduates into higher level courses.”

The initiative was funded through a grant from the Office of Naval Research and the Educational Leadership Program at Chaminade University.

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