BOULDER, Colo. – The University of Hawaiʻi System becomes the third higher education system to join the Interstate Passport Network. Joining Leeward Community College and the University of Hawaiʻi West Oʻahu in the Network are eight additional institutions: Hawaiʻi Community College, Honolulu Community College, Kapiʻolani Community College, Kauaʻi Community College, Maui College, University of Hawaiʻi Hilo, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa and Windward Community College.
The Network is a national program of two- and four-year colleges and universities that streamlines the transfer process for students.
“The University of Hawaiʻi System is delighted to join the Interstate Passport network,” said UH President David Lassner. “UH faculty, staff and administrators have been early participants and implementers in shaping the initiative and, after seeing its value, all 10 of our campuses are enthused about its potential to assist transfer students and shape our thinking about general education.”
Founded in 1907, the University of Hawaiʻi System (UH) includes three universities, seven community colleges and community-based learning centers across Hawaiʻi. As the state’s public system of higher education, UH offers numerous opportunities through the community colleges to a major global research university that are as unique and diverse as the islands. UH has an overall enrollment of nearly 50,000 full- and part-time students.
Students who earn a Passport, which encompasses lower-division general education and is based on learning outcomes instead of course-by-course articulation, can transfer to a Network institution in another state and have their learning recognized and general education credits accepted. All students in Hawaiʻi who earn a Passport can now more easily transfer to any Network member institution without having to repeat or take additional coursework to satisfy general education requirements.
“With the University of Hawaiʻi System becoming an Interstate Passport member, more of our students’ coursework will be safe-guarded should they need to transfer to any of the growing number of other Network colleges and universities,” said James Goodman, Hawaiʻi Passport State Facilitator and Dean of Arts and Sciences at Leeward Community College. “Joining the Interstate Passport Network will also provide another venue for each of our 10 campuses to promote their unique programs and features across the country to students who will be assured that their general education requirements will be fully accepted upon transfer.”
Nearly four in 10 college students will transfer institutions at least once during their college careers, and almost a quarter of those will enroll in an institution in another state, according to data from the National Student Clearinghouse. Until now, transferring between schools – especially across state lines – has been made more difficult and expensive by lengthy credit evaluation processes and loss of credit already earned.
“We are excited to welcome the entire University of Hawaiʻi System and its institutions to the Interstate Passport Network,” said Anna Galas, director of academic leadership initiatives at WICHE. “UH has been a key contributor in the development of Interstate Passport processes and operations. Leeward Community College and the University of Hawaiʻi West Oʻahu have been instrumental in paving the way for the remaining institutions to join the Network. Since Interstate Passport launched in 2016, member institutions have awarded over 38,800 Passports. As the Interstate Passport Network continues to grow, we expect to see more transfer students motivated to complete their degrees.”
Even for students who don’t transfer, earning a Passport can be beneficial. Because of its specifically defined learning outcomes, the Passport can become a widely recognizable documented completion benchmark from which employers can gauge a prospect’s skill level and readiness for a job.
Interstate Passport is a program, based at the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE) that facilitates block transfer of lower-division general education attainment based on multistate faculty-developed learning outcomes among its participating institutions. After years of research and development, the Interstate Passport Network, whose members are two-year and four-year regionally accredited public and private non-profit colleges and universities, was launched in July 2016. Member institutions began awarding Passports in the 2016-2017 academic year. For more information, visit the Interstate Passport website.