Categorized | Education

UH regents consider Hawaiian studies associate in arts degree


The University of Hawaii Board of Regents will hear public testimony before considering approval of a new associate in arts in Hawaiian studies (AAHS) degree for the system’s seven community colleges, at its monthly meeting Thursday, May 17.

The AAHS aims to prepare students to transfer to four-year institutions. Students would be required to earn 60 to 62 credits from curricula that focus on Hawaiian culture and knowledge.

Under the program, students would complete their general education core classes and satisfy core requirements for a Hawaiian studies or any bachelor’s degree at UH Manoa, UH Hilo, UH West Oahu or UH Maui College.

“One of the things we see at the community colleges is that not everyone comes to us intending to transfer to a BA program. For these students, they will now have an opportunity to follow a path of Hawaiian knowledge that, once they graduate, will allow them to take that knowledge into the workforce and back to their communities, from Puna, Kauai, to Puna, Hawaii, from Seattle to Tokyo and beyond,” said Keala Losch, arts and humanities assistant professor at Kapiolani Community College.

Establishing an AAHS program at seven community colleges is one way of preserving our Hawaiian culture, values and language, Losch said.

“The AAHS provides that opportunity for us to educate everyone, Hawaiian and non-Hawaiian alike, on the successes and challenges of the Hawaiian community, which has an impact on the larger fabric of our society here in the Hawaiian Islands,” Losch said.

Currently, each campus offers a diverse set of classes based on the expertise of its faculty, Losch said.

The Board of Regents is scheduled to hear public testimony on the proposed AAHS degree at 9 a.m. Thursday, May 17 at the John A. Burns School of Medicine.

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