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Mānoa's College of Social Sciences rolls out innovative plan to engage and prepare local high school students for success in a global environment

The College of Social Sciences at UH Mānoa is redefining its engagement with high school students. The goal: success in a global environment.

The innovative approach weaves together two key elements: reaching local high school students and building interaction with educational institutions throughout the world.

"Weʻre working with institutions across the globe to really have authentic educational experiences for our Hawaiʻi students. This will help them become bold and engaged global citizens able to really make a difference in our world," said Denise Eby Konan, dean of the College of Social Sciences.

One aspect of this initiative is the college's Mānoa Academy, which is a statewide program for reaching out to high school students and focusing on native Hawaiians and under-served communities throughout Hawaii. This enables them to experience the college's dynamic learning environment, while learning more about themselves, and connecting with others.

The Mānoa Academy was launched this past summer through a partnership between the College of Social Sciences and Kamehameha Schools Kapālama. Students participated in the dual credit program earning high school and college credits for two courses.

Umi Perkins, a professor for the Manoa Academy, saw first-hand how successful this program is and can be. "There were these moments, these kind of spontaneous moments that were pretty powerful I think. They started to see the power of being in this kind of environment. It is a bit hard to describe. It was kind of special," said Perkins.

The College of Social Sciences has also developed agreements with national and international educational institutions. This includes: West Valley College in California (which is the first of its kind between a California community college and an out-of-state institution); Khon Kaen University in Thailand; Northwest A&F University in Shaanxi Province, China; Tohoku University in Sendai, Japan; and the University of Electronic Science and Technology in Chengdu, Sichuan, China.

Together these initiatives by the College of Social Sciences help prepare Hawaii's youth for success as our future leaders in a global environment.