UH-Manoa sees 'amazing increase' in grad rates

UH Manoa four-year graduation rates at an all-time high

MANOA, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Graduation rates at the University of Hawaii at Manoa are at all-time high, administrators reported.

In a preliminary report to the Board of Regents last week, officials said four-year graduation rates have skyrocketed at UH-Manoa, from 17.5 percent in 2011 to 32.1 percent in 2015.

UH officials are crediting a series of programs aimed at bolstering the graduation rate, including the "15 to Finish" program, which encourages students to take at least 15 credits every semester to graduate in four years.

"It's an amazing increase," said University of Hawaii President David Lassner. :I don't know that anywhere in the country has achieved growth this substantial in this short of period of time.:

Raelyn Batacan is the first in her family to graduate with a bachelor's degree, and says UH offered her significant support to finish on-time.

She's now account coordinator for a local public relations firm.

"They did a program with us where we pretty much set our goals for the year," she said. "They mentioned what we needed to accomplish, what classes we needed to take for certain majors and I think that program really helped me have more insight to my next four years."

Alyssa Kau is also among thankful for the university's efforts to help students finish on time. The 21-year-old actually graduated is three years and is currently in her second year of law school.

"I think especially the '15 to Finish' is a good program. UH has definitely been encouraging us to follow that format and meet with our advisers to go about and do so. So I'm glad that the rates are going up," Kau said.

Even freshmen, like Jeffrey Kim, say they're confident they'll finish in four years.

"I think UH is really great with keeping their students on track," he said. "Me being a freshman, I still have a lot of time ahead of me. But they know that and they want to make sure I have that time scheduled and planned out. So I have mandatory meetings with my adviser throughout the semester."

Copyright 2016 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.