Lahainaluna Early College Pathway


Early College Options

Degree Seeking & Non-Degree Seeking

Being able to offer Early College courses at Lahainaluna has been a dream of ours since we heard about the program started at Waipahu High School 4 years ago. In 2018 we partnered with UH Maui College and was able to offer our first 2 college courses at Lahainaluna.

In March 2021 we visited Waipahu High School to learn about their highly successful and award winning early college program and became a partner school in their Early College 3.0 Program. Through this program our students will be able to take FREE Early College courses from UH West Oahu and Leeward Community College alongside students from Waipahu High School and 5 other high schools from Oahu and the Big Island.

Lahainaluna also met with UH Maui College to help create their first Associate's Degree Program for Early College students. We are proud to be the first school on Maui to be able to offer this FREE Early College Program. 

Non-Degree Seeking Pathway

Available now for the Class of 2023, 2024 & 2025

Currently available for the Class of 2023, 2024 & 2025.

  • Students can choose from 4 pairs of college courses

  • College tuition, online fees and textbooks are FREE for all Lahainaluna students


Degree Seeking Pathway

For the Class of 2026 & Beyond

Three Associate's Degree Programs:

  1. Liberal Arts

  2. Pre-STEM (in the planning stage)

  3. Pre-Education (in the planning stage)

  • 20 college courses (60 total credits)

  • Courses may be taken from:

  1. UH Maui College

  2. Leeward Community College

  3. UH West Oahu

  • Majority of classes will be virtual


What Parents Need to Know About Early College

Degree Seeking & Non-Degree Seeking



College courses may be scheduled during the last period of the school day, after school or asynchronously. Students will be allowed to leave campus after lunch to login to their online college course from home. Students who cannot leave campus due to other commitments, will be able to login to their online college course in a designated classroom.

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College Format

Some college courses may be asynchronous. Which means the professor will post the syllabus for students with a list of assignments and deadlines and students will be left to complete the coursework themselves with no set time to login to a virtual class. Professors may also provide lecture videos or other videos for the students. Those professors may have "office hours" once or twice a week where all students can meet virtually with their professor if they have questions or need help. It is a real possibility that students may never meet or see their professor for the entire duration of the class.

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Time Commitment

Students should set aside two hours per day, everyday, to work on their college course. If they have more than one college course, that time should be doubled.

- Students must be self-motivated especially with asynchronous courses.

- Realistically there may not be time for athletics, clubs or part-time jobs if multiple college courses are taken.

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College ~vs~ High School

Please remember that when students  take Early College (dual credit) courses they are college students.
- Colleges will NOT contact parents if the student is struggling in class.
- Colleges will NOT release students grades to anyone but the student.
- Students must observe both college and high school online etiquette  and rules.
- The earliest college course will start at 1pm. Students can leave school to login at home. Early Release forms must be signed before students will be allowed to leave campus.

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Important Registration Information

  • Students must register for their Early College course(s) every year in December during our normal school registration.

  • Students must also complete the Early College Application, UH Maui College Early Admit Form, Lahainaluna Consent Form and Health Form every year.

  • Counselor & Teachers must approve all early college registrations.

  • Students under the age of 16 must be interviewed by a UH Maui College advisor.

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Point of Contact at Lahainaluna

Kristy Arakawa

College & Career Coordinator

Early College Coordinator

Ilima Greig-Hong


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Frequently Asked Questions


What are the first steps to take college classes?

Students must register for college classes the same way they register for all their high school classes. They must select the college classes on their registration form in early December.

Once students register, Miss Kristy will send the students the early college permissions forms and ask the student's counselor and teacher for a recommendation.

What are the benefits of taking an early college coures?

1. If colleges accept the college credits it may shorten the amount of semesters it will take to receive an Associates or Bachelors degree. Therefore, reducing the cost of college overall.

2. These courses give students a taste of what college courses are really like. Especially the expectation and rigor of college courses.

3. Students can experience a college class comfortably with their classmates and friends while being supported by high school counselors and teachers.

4. Even if their chosen college/university does not accept the college credits from the early college courses, the experience they gained is very valuable when evaluating students for college admission. These students will already know how college courses are taught, the expectations of professors and the rigor of college classes.

Is there a downside to taking an early college course?

1. Students need to understand the time commitment necessary to be successful in dual credit classes. Students should spend at least 2 hours of studying per college course. There may not be enough time for athletics, activities or part-time jobs while taking college courses.

2. Understand that deadlines are fixed and non-negotiable.

3. If students don't do well in the course the grade will be posted on their high school and college transcripts. The failed course could cause the student to be on college academic probation before even starting college.

4. There is no such thing as Response To Intervention in college. Struggling students will not be able to receive supplemental and individualized instruction, interventions or tracking by high school personnel.

Who can take early college courses?

- Any student can take early college classes.

- Younger students need to understand that this is a real college course, taught by real college professors. If they are responsible enough and academically prepared, they can certainly apply.

      - Their counselor and teacher(s) will be contacted for approval

      - UH Maui College will conduct  their own assessment interview if the student is under 16 years old.

If I took an early college course last year am I automatically enrolled in an early college course this year?

No, students must register (during high school registration in December) for their college courses every year. They must also submit paperwork and permission forms every year.

     - Students do not need to re-apply for UHMC but they must complete their Early Admit form every year.


What is EdReady

EdReady is a placement exam colleges use to determine how prepared a student is to take college English or college Math.

Do I need to take the EdReady Placement exam every year?

It depends on what course you took and plan to take. You only take the exam for the course you are taking the upcoming year. Unless you plan to take both an English qualifying course AND a math course during the same school year.

EdReady English exam is for English 100, Psychology 100 and Hawaiian Studies 107. If you only take these courses, you only need to qualify the first time and do not need to retake it the following year.

EdReady Math exam is for Math 103.

How much does the college courses cost?

These courses are FREE for Lahainaluna students.

Do students need to pay for any fees or textbooks?

No, Lahainaluna will pay for any fees or textbooks. Please contact Miss Kristy immediately if you receive an email about paying for fees or textbooks.

If I am a member of the Class of 2025, why can't I be in the Early College Degree Seeking Program?

Unfortunately there were a few factors, first there wasn't enough time to create the program with UH Maui College after meeting with Waipahu High School on March 30, 2021. The end of the school year is busy for both high schools and colleges so we had to set aside the early college planning until after graduation. Second, UH Maui College could not schedule and find professors to teach those two freshmen courses in such a short amount of time. Third, Lahainaluna did not have enough time to advertise to the incoming freshmen and their parents. Our registrar was already dealing with trying to create a schedule with 8 periods, asking her to redo everything to add another dual credit course only for freshmen was unrealistic. Finally there is the tuition for two more early college courses, which cost $6,000 each. Lahainaluna does not have $12,000 extra to purchase two more college courses this year, especially since public schools are facing budget cuts from the state. The decision was made that the first class to start our degree seeking program will be the Class of 2026.