Expanding Opportunities to Earn College Credit at Rural Title I High Schools in Hawaiʻi


October 2015


Hawaiian mural painting

A Case Study of Dual-Credit Programs

GEAR UP Hawai‘i is committed to improving low-income high school students’ access to college courses and, as a result, requested that Education Northwest, the external evaluator of GEAR UP Hawai‘i, conduct a case study to understand barriers and facilitators of participation in dual credit. To do so, we visited five rural, Title I high schools in Hawai‘i and conducted interviews with staff and students.

This case study is guided by three main questions:

  1. How are dual-credit programs implemented at these schools?
  2. What are barriers and facilitators of dual credit implementation and participation?
  3. What are stakeholder perspectives on dual credit?

The following sections of the study report present:

  • A description of five rural Title I high schools we visited
  • The traditional Running Start model
  • New high school-based dual-credit models
  • How dual-credit models fit within a larger system that aims to build students’ college readiness
  • Recommendations

In presenting each of the dual-credit models, we discuss barriers and facilitators of implementation and participation. At the end of the report, we provide recommendations for a broad range of stakeholders, including policymakers interested in expanding and sustaining dual-credit programs, superintendents and principals interested in implementing these programs, and students interested in participating in these programs.