The Harold K.L. Castle Foundation And Kamehameha Schools Grant $2.1 Million To Windward Community College (January 11, 2017)

By January 11, 2017News Releases


Wednesday, January 11, 2017



Funds will help Windward Oahu high school students earn college credits

HONOLULU – A partnership between the Harold K.L. Castle Foundation and Kamehameha Schools has granted $2.1 million to Windward Community College to expand its successful Early College High School (ECHS) program to help more Windward Oahu students earn college credits while still in high school. The five-year grant provides approximately 1,309 additional college credits with a priority going towards first-generation college attendees and low-income high school students. Both the Harold K.L. Castle Foundation and Kamehameha Schools are committed to increasing access to higher education opportunities to inspire today’s students and ensure the success of future generations.

“Like Kamehameha Schools, we believe that far more high school students can attain a college degree and then secure a living-wage job for their families when given the chance,” said Terry George, President and CEO of the Harold K.L. Castle Foundation. “We are committing our resources to this task for a generation. Earning college credits while still in high school improves the life trajectory of the student, their family and the entire community. We are particularly excited that this grant will also enable more than 100 students to graduate on time from high school with both a high school and associate’s degree.” 

The ECHS program offers college-level courses at Windward Oahu high schools taught by Windward Community College faculty utilizing the same outcomes, texts, assignments and assessments as traditional college campus offerings. In addition to providing college credits, ECHS participation provides students with a greater chance of success when transitioning to college and lowers the cost of higher education because there is no cost to the student for credits earned in high school. 

The grant funding will also help to increase both the number of Windward Oahu public high school students who complete a college certificate or degree concurrently with the completion of their high school diploma, and increase the rate at which students enroll and complete a two- or four-year degree. Hawaii P20 data has shown that the percentage of college enrollment by students participating in the program is considerably higher than those not participating (81 percent vs. 53 percent). Recruitment and outreach for the ECHS program will focus on the underserved, middle-achieving (D to C) students.

 “Partnering with the state’s largest educational institutions and the Castle Foundation allows all of us to leverage our resources to impact the educational well-being of this whole region,” said Dr. Jamee Mahealani Miller, Kamehameha Schools regional director for Koolau and Waialua, Oahu. “This collective effort to prepare Koolau’s future leaders, is a powerful example of what can happen when we collaborate to achieve shared visions and similar goals.”

Grant funds are being administered by Windward Community College in conjunction with the Hawaii Department of Education’s Windward District and will support hiring a coordinator based at Windward Community College and allow for supportive counseling, peer mentors and high school success coaches to promote success and college-going behaviors in Windward Oahu public high school students. Additionally, the grant will provide funding for student textbooks and supplies, and travel costs and professional development for staff. 

For additional information about the Early College High School program, please contact the Windward Community College Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs at (808) 235-7443.


The Harold K.L. Castle Foundation – The largest private foundation headquartered in Hawaii, is committed to closing the achievement and preparation gaps in public education so that all Hawaii children have access to high-quality pre-K through 12 education that prepares them for success in college, career and citizenship. Its grants also focus on restoring nearshore marine ecosystems and strengthening Windward Oahu communities. For more information, visit

Kamehameha Schools – Founded in 1887 by the legacy of Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop, the Kamehameha Schools (KS) is a private, educational, charitable Native Hawaiian trust committed to improving the capability and wellbeing of our people through education. Income generated from its endowment portfolio of Hawaii commercial real estate and other diverse investments funds more than 96 percent of KS’ educational mission. Kamehameha Schools embarked in 2015 on a bold, exciting voyage that envisions, in one generation, a thriving Lahui in which learners achieve postsecondary educational success, enabling good life and career choices. Grounded in Christian and Hawaiian values, learners will be leaders who contribute to their communities both locally and globally. At the heart of this new journey are those who share this vision to ensure that all Native Hawaiians have the opportunity to succeed. Strong community collaborations, donor participation and key state, national and international partnerships are vital to creating the means to propel learners onto knowledge and career paths of their choice. For more information, visit 

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