LAHAINA — Lahainaluna High School embarks on a new journey beginning with the Class of 2026.
LHS will be the first high school on Maui to offer an early college degree-seeking program. Students will be able to earn their high school diploma and college associate’s degree when they graduate from Lahainaluna High School.
Inspired by and a member of the Waipahu High School Early College 3.0 Consortium, Lahainaluna will be the first high school on Maui to offer an early college degree-seeking program in conjunction with the University of Hawaii Maui College.
Students in this program will also be able to take classes at Leeward Community College and UH West Oahu with other Waipahu Early College 3.0 Consortium students.
Kristy Arakawa, the new Early College Coordinator at Lahainaluna, said, “This is an incredible opportunity for Lahaina students, and it was Principal Jeri Dean’s vision that set things in motion.
“Although it had been a dream for the past four years, it was not until the Senior Dean took a small group of Lahainaluna educators to Waipahu High School in March of this year to see the innovative programs like their curriculum Early College, Career & Technical Education Academies and Senior Certification Programs A move that propelled Lahainaluna from a school steeped in tradition to one leading the charge to ensure Lahaina students explore teaching higher (receiving a college).
The non-degree undergraduate research program will also be available. Students who join this program will not earn enough credits to earn an associate degree, but they may still have some college credits under their belt when they graduate from high school.
They may be able to shorten the time they spend in college, which significantly reduces loan debt.
According to Arakawa, “The most amazing part of the new Early College programs is that ALL college classes students will take are FREE for Lahainaluna High School students. State grants and community donations will also help pay for textbooks and online fees.
These Early College courses will be taught by college professors, not high school teachers. Classes will have the same pace and rigor as a normal college course on a university campus.
Time management and self-discipline are very important traits that all students must learn to master.
Students are required to complete their college courses; if they play sports or have a part-time job, they may not be able to take these Early College courses.
Early College students will be treated as normal students and are governed by college and high school rules of conduct, regardless of age.
The college will not be able to communicate with parents or send progress reports when students are having difficulty, just like a normal student.
Some college courses may be taught on the Lahainaluna campus, but the majority will be taught virtually after the normal high school day.
A preliminary list of Lahaina Intermediate has been collected for students interested in the Early College Degree Seeking Program; email Miss Kristy or Ms Ilima if you would like to be added to this list.
Early College application and enrollment will begin when students register for their classes at Lahainaluna in December and January.