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Closing the Achievement Gap in Hawaii with College Readiness Program

The NMSI College Readiness program (formerly known as the NMSI Comprehensive AP Program) is quickly expanding in Hawaii thanks to support from the Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA), the Office of Naval Research (ONR), and ExxonMobil. Together, we are working to provide consistent education to schools serving military families through the Advanced Placement program.  Today we announced the AP results for Campbell, Leilehua, Mililani and Radford High Schools. In addition to the results of these four exceptional schools, we announced the implementation of the college readiness program at Kalaheo High School for the 2013-2014 school year! This program is geared toward training and supporting teachers by giving them the tools and resources they need to help their students become college and career ready, and their students already have some great feedback on the program.

One of those students is Nicole Hortizuela, a senior from Campbell High School. She took and passed an AP English course last year, and she is now taking AP Calculus and AP Statistics this year, both of which will greatly help her achieve her goal of becoming an engineer. “I've learned problem-solving and analytic skills, and these are skills that transfer over to the field of engineering, which is the major that I have chosen for college.” She also believes there is a “notable difference” between traditional AP courses and NMSI’s courses. “I felt more prepared for the exam and for the college course itself due to the available study sessions,” she says, and the fact that NMSI provided financial incentives and extra support greatly contributed to her AP success. “AP classes have led me to believe I can truly succeed in college and not simply just pass through it. I feel more capable knowing that I've developed college-level skills and study habits while still in high school.”

Our program also has a strong impact on students from military families, as we provide consistent, rigorous coursework to help prepare them for their futures. Michael Madsen Jr., also a senior at Campbell High School, is one such student. He took AP Physics and AP Language and Composition last year, and this year he’s taking AP Calculus and AP Statistics. He also plans on becoming an engineer. “AP, and by extent NMSI, has very much affected my career goals. Before my experience with the rigors (and enjoyment) of AP Physics, I wanted to major in Mathematics, and now I plan on majoring in electrical engineering.” But what he is most appreciative is the structure and support NMSI has provided in his school. “I feel that NMSI has given me the resources to tackle a class that has let me help other students through school and prepare me for college. As a military dependent, a steady group like NMSI that is so interested in preparing me for the future is very welcome, especially through many moves. I would like to thank NMSI for providing me with the tools for my success.”
We provide such a rigorous and consistent education by first providing the teachers in our schools with the training and resources they need to be successful in the classroom – and the proof is in the results:

•There has been an 89% increase in the number of passing math, science, and English AP scores in our four Hawaii schools, compared to 15% nationally.

•Before NMSI, only 243 students took an AP math or science exam; after two years of the NMSI program, that number jumped to 613 – an increase of 152%!

•The number of passing AP math or science after two years has increased 188% in these four schools, compared to 59% in Hawaii and 24% nationally.
Congratulations to Campbell, Leilehua, Mililani and Radford High School for their incredible AP success, and a hearty welcome to Kalahelo High School for joining the NMSI family!
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