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Friday, November 20, 2020
UH to Continue Online for Spring Semester
By News Release @ 4:52 PM :: 330 Views :: Higher Education, COVID-19

Spring 2021 similar to fall 2020, next fall looks promising

From UH News November 20, 2020

Instruction at the University of Hawaiʻi 10-campus system will continue to be primarily online for the spring 2021 semester due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. UH moved the 2020 fall semester almost entirely online in early August after a surge in COVID-19 cases in the State of Hawaiʻi. The spring 2020 semester went abruptly online in March at the outset of the pandemic. Students have already begun registering for the spring semester, which begins on January 11.

“I know we all yearn to return to pre-pandemic life, but at this point, we must prioritize the health and well-being of our students, faculty, staff and the communities in which we live and work,” said UH President David Lassner in a systemwide message. “We are committed to help every UH student stay on track, safely, for on-time graduation.”

In fall 2020, approximately 85% of courses taught in the UH System were online, 10% hybrid and 5% entirely in-person, although the percentages vary from campus to campus. The mode of course delivery is determined at the unit level with faculty input. On-campus instruction is used for those courses or course activities that cannot be taught effectively online, such as labs, clinical experiences, studios and shops. Appropriate physical distancing, facial coverings and sanitization protocols, per the UH COVID-19 guidelines, are strictly followed.

The guidelines also require the use of a daily health screen app before coming to campus and face coverings and safe physical distancing while on a campus. The university telework policy that was in effect for employees in the fall 2020 semester will continue in the spring semester, and UH campuses will remain closed to the public.

Lassner said he is optimistic about the fall 2021 semester, saying he hopes for a healthy mix of in-person, hybrid and online instruction.

“Based on what we know today, we hope for a significant return to our campuses for fall, but if there is one thing we have learned through this pandemic, it is that we must continue to be flexible and adapt to changes not under our control.”

President Lassner’s message

This message was shared with the students, faculty and staff of the 10-campus University of Hawaiʻi system on November 20, 2020.

Aloha UH ʻohana,

I want to thank everyone for all that you are doing to help others and yourselves through this incredibly challenging 2020. Especially with recent news of successes in COVID-19 vaccine development, I think we are all looking forward to better times ahead in 2021.

But we are not yet all vaccinated, and while Hawaiʻi has the best numbers in the country as of this writing, the pandemic is still raging across the U.S. And even in Hawaiʻi, we do not have COVID-19 under control.

Given current conditions and what we expect in the months to come, it is clear that we must plan for primarily online instruction across our ten campuses in the spring, as it has been this fall. On-campus instruction will take place for those courses and course activities that cannot be taught effectively online; most often, these in-person meetings will be for labs, clinical experiences, studios and shops. Those classes will take place with appropriate physical distancing, facial coverings and sanitization protocols. We are committed to helping every UH student stay on track, safely, for on-time graduation.

Also, the telework policy that was in effect this semester for employees will continue for the spring semester. And all UH campuses will also remain closed to the public.

I know we all yearn to return to pre-pandemic life. But at this point we must prioritize the health and well being of our students, faculty and staff, along with the communities in which we live and work. The entire UH community has done an amazing job in behaving safely, and as a result, we have not experienced the kinds of outbreaks that have occurred at colleges and universities around the country.

Based on what we know today, we hope for a significant return to our campuses for fall 2021. We will be looking to leverage the learning and hard work of our faculty and staff for a healthy mix of in-person, hybrid and online instruction next fall. If there is one thing we have learned through this pandemic, it is that we must continue to be flexible and adapt to changes that are not under our control.

Thank you once again for your hard work, your patience, your resilience and your compassion for one another.

E mālama pono,
David Lassner
UH President

  *   *   *   *   *

Most UH graduation rates up, retention stable, despite pandemic

From UH News November 20, 2020

Most UH graduation rates are up and student retention remains strong across the 10 campuses of the University of Hawaiʻi based on 2019–20 academic year data, despite the COVID-19 pandemic and the significant disruption to the 2020 spring and fall semesters.

Eight UH campuses saw increases in the 150% graduation/success rate, the official rate used by the federal government. In addition, seven campuses saw increases in their 100% (on-time) graduation rates. The 100% and 150% rates represent 2 and 3 years at the seven UH community colleges, and 4 and 6 years at the three UH universities. These graduation/success rates are based on the outcomes as of the 2019–2020 academic year for students who enrolled 2 or 3 years ago (community colleges) and 4 or 6 years ago (universities).

“The continuing improvement in UH graduation rates, even in the face of the COVID-19 disruptions in the last academic year, is a credit to the work of our dedicated faculty, staff and leaders,” said UH President David Lassner. “More than a decade ago, administrators at the system and campus levels made this a priority and began to identify and remove barriers to timely graduation, and that work continues.”

Graph of the U H Manoa graduation rateLarger graph (PDF)

Graph of the U H Hilo graduation rateLarger graph (PDF)

Graph of the U H West Oahu graduation rateLarger graph (PDF)

Graph of the U H Community Colleges graduation rateLarger graph (PDF)

UH Mānoa’s on-time graduation rate has improved every year since 2006 and now stands at a record high 37.1%, an increase of 0.5 percentage points from the prior year. The campus was nationally recognized in 2017 for its dramatic improvement in on-time graduation. The six-year graduation rate at UH Mānoa is also at a record high of 61.8% after improving by 1.3 percentage points. UH West Oʻahu saw some of the largest increases in the UH System with a remarkable 11.1 percentage point jump to 38.7% and an increase in on-time graduation of 5.8 percentage points to record 19.2%.

  • UH Mānoa—six-year: 61.8% (+1.3 percentage points), on-time: 37.1% (+0.5 percentage points)
  • UH West Oʻahu—six-year: 38.7 percent (+11.1 percentage points), on-time: 19.2% (+5.8 percentage points)
  • UH Hilo—six-year: 37.9 percent (-6.2 percentage points), on-time: 26.3% (-1 percentage points)

Six of UH’s seven community colleges saw increases in the 150% success rate, which includes transfers to other institutions, and five of seven saw increases in on-time graduation. Kauaʻi CC experienced the largest increase in on-time graduation with an 8.1 percentage point growth to 24.8%. Kapiʻolani CC saw the largest increase in the 150% success rate with a 2.3 percentage point rise to 41.4%.

  • Hawaiʻi CC—150% success rate: 38.6 percent (+0.9 percentage points), on-time: 22.8% (+0.9 percentage points)
  • Honolulu CC—150% success rate: 44.9 percent (+0.2 percentage points), on-time: 25.9v (+1.2 percentage points)
  • Kapiʻolani CC—150% success rate: 41.4 percent (+2.8 percentage points/), on-time: 16.5% (-2.8 percentage points)
  • Kauaʻi CC—150% success rate: 37.1 percent (+0.6 percentage points/), on-time: 24.8% (+8.1% percentage points)
  • Leeward CC—150% success rate: 39.0 percent (+2.0 percentage points), on-time: 17.5% (+1.8 percentage points)
  • UH Maui College—150% success rate: 38.2 percent (+0.4 percentage points), on-time: 19.4% (+1.4 percentage points)
  • Windward CC—150% success rate: 38.0 percent (-4.0 percentage points), on-time: 15.9% (-3.3 percentage points)

Fall 2020 Retention Rates

Student retention saw some declines but held steady across UH’s 10 campuses, despite the COVID-19 pandemic. The one-year retention rate tracks first-time, full-time freshmen who enrolled in fall 2019 and returned in fall 2020. The pandemic impacted students in multiple ways beyond courses moving online including disruption in employment, tuition affordability and challenges in child and family care.

“This is a testament to many. Our students chose to persevere and continue their pursuit of higher education,” said Lassner. “It is proof of their resilience and it bodes well for the future of our state. Our students could not have succeeded without the amazing work of our faculty, who moved courses online with little warning, and the dedicated staff who support our students and faculty across our campuses day in and day out.”

UH Mānoa dropped 1.1 percentage points from last year’s record high to 80%, UH Hilo decreased by 1.5 percentage points to 71.2% and UH West Oʻahu fell by 1.9 percentage points to 74.5%. One-year retention rates increased at four of the seven UH Community Colleges: Honolulu CC, Kauaʻi CC, Leeward CC and Windward CC. Kauaʻi CC had the largest improvement, going from 57.1% to 68.4%, about a 20% increase.

  • UH Mānoa: 2019—81.1%, 2020—80%
  • UH West Oʻahu: 2019—76.4% , 2020—74.5%
  • UH Hilo: 2019—72.7%, 2020—71.2%
  • Hawaiʻi CC: 2019—64.3%, 2020—62.2%
  • Honolulu CC: 2019—50.9%, 2020—56.1%
  • Kapiʻolani CC: 2019—68.7%, 2020—68.6%
  • Kauaʻi CC: 2019—57.1%, 2020—68.4%
  • Leeward CC: 2019—64.3%, 2020—64.9%
  • UH Maui College: 2019—67.3%, 2020—61.5%
  • Windward CC: 2019—60.2%, 2020—61.9%

SA: University of Hawaii graduation rates rise even during coronavirus pandemic

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