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Lahainaluna Early College Pathway

Early College Intro: Welcome

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 in 2015. 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 2024 & beyond

Currently available for sophomores, juniors and seniors.

  • Students can choose from 6 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

Liberal Arts Associate's Degree:​

  • 20 college courses (60 total credits)

  • Courses may be taken from:

  1. UH Maui College

  2. Leeward Community College

  3. UH West Oahu

  • Modes of instruction

    • In person​

    • Virtual (Zoom)

    • Hybrid (one day in person and one day virtual)

    • Asynchronous 

Early College Intro: Courses

What Parents Need to Know About Early College

Degree Seeking & Non-Degree Seeking

Teacher Helping a Student

What's the difference between Early College courses & high school courses?

High school honors and advanced placement (AP) courses are high school courses taught by high school teachers.

- Most AP courses are weighted on a 5 point scale.

- Students may receive college credit if they receive a qualifying score on their AP exams in May.

        - Every college has their own qualifying score.

        - Students should check the college websites to see what score they need.

Early college courses are college courses taught by college professors. These courses have the same pace and rigor as the courses taught at UH Maui College. These courses will be assigned a period in the students high school schedule.

- Most early college core courses are weighted on a 5 point scale.

- Students will receive college credit when they pass the college course with a C or above.

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College courses will be scheduled during the school day.  Every course will be assigned a period in the student's schedule. Beginning school year 2024-2025 courses like English 100/200 may be assigned to a high school English class. History 151/152 may be housed in a high school history class. Math 103/140X may be housed in a high school math class. The college professor will still be teaching the course but the high school teacher will be there to help students if they have any questions.

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College Format

All college courses will meet twice a week, either Wednesday and Friday or Tuesday and Thursday. No college courses will meet on Mondays because the period is too short. There are 3 methods of instruction for the college courses.

The first methods is asynchronous. Which means the professor will post the syllabus for students with a list of assignments and deadlines on the UHMC Laulima website and students will be left to complete the coursework themselves. Asynchronous courses have no set day or time to login for the students to meet. BUT students must login everyday for attendance. The professors can see if a student logs in to their Laulima and for how long. Professors may provide lecture notes, articles, texts to read and videos. Those professors may have "office hours" once or twice a week where 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 course.

The second method is Hybrid courses. These courses are taught both virtually and in person. These courses meet twice a week, one day the professor will meet virtually through Zoom or Google Meets and the next meeting day the professor will teach in person.

The last method is Virtual or synchronous courses.  Meaning the professor with lecture or teach 100% online through Zoom or Google Meets.

*All Lahainaluna High School students will be assigned a laptop or chromebook to use throughout their high school career.

**Chromebooks/laptops are required everyday.

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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. This includes but is not limited to the very strict rules about cheating, plagiarism and submitting work that used Artificial Intelligence (AI) that was not properly cited in their work. Students could face disciplinary action, immediate failure of the course or expulsion from the college. 

- Early college courses will be scheduled during the school day and will  follow the high school bell schedule. 

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Important Registration Information

  • Students must register for their Early College course(s) every year in January during our normal high school registration. Students must specifically pick their college course. They are allowed to change their mind and select another course later. This is to help identify students who are planning to take early college courses. Once this list has been generated, students will be contacted about next steps.

  • Students must also complete the Lahainaluna Early College  Application, UH Maui College Dual Credit Application & Lahainaluna Consent 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

Early College Coordinator

Ginny Yasutake

College & Career Center Advisor

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Early College Intro: Tests & Assignments
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Frequently Asked Questions

Early College Intro: Class Benefits

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 early 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 even before 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, but they will be tracked and counseled by Miss Kristy Arakawa. 

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 ALL fees and 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.

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