Hawaii Sustainable Development Goals Course


The Pacific & Asian Affairs Council (PAAC) and the College of Hawaiian Language (Ka Haka ʻUla O Keʻelikōlani and ʻImiloa Center) at the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo are collaborating to offer an opportunity for Hawaiʻi high school students to earn college credit at no cost by enrolling in one of two online courses focused on examining the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in global and local contexts.



What content will be covered?

These courses will examine the ways we are confronted by challenges of sustainability, both in Hawaiʻi and around the world. We will use the SDGs to examine the social, environmental, and economic concerns that all nations must confront in the face of issues such as climate change, cyclical poverty, and food insecurity. Additionally, we will pay special attention to the impacts of these global challenges on Hawaiʻi and the need to tackle them with sensitivity to our local context in mind.



How is the class taught?

This course will be delivered in a blended online format. Students will be responsible for independently completing research, assignments, and quizzes. There will also be synchronous virtual class time in the form of discussion sections and guest speaker sessions. Support from the instructor will be provided during weekly office hour sessions or by appointment.



Class dates and times?

This course will be offered after school, following the end of the typical school day (tentatively 4:00-5:15 PM). Students will attend class two days per week.



Who can apply?

Currently, only students who will be juniors and seniors during the 2022-2023 school year from select public high schools are eligible to enroll in these courses. Please consult your early college coordinator or email paac@paachawaii.org with questions about eligibility. Unfortunately, we are unable to accept students who attend private, charter, or home schools at this time. 



Course Sessions & Application Timelines


HWST 125: Hawaiʻi Sustainable Development Goals I (Fall 2022)

  • January 31, 2022: Applications DUE*

  • February 26 or 27, 2022: Mandatory Virtual Orientation for Accepted Students

  • February 2022 (Date TBC): Enrollment Paperwork Due

  • August 22, 2022: First Day of Instruction

  • December 8, 2022: Last Day of Instruction


HWST 126: Hawaiʻi Sustainable Development Goals II (Spring 2023)

  • September 18, 2022: Applications DUE*

  • September 24, 2022: Mandatory Virtual Orientation for Accepted Students

  • September 30, 2022: Enrollment Paperwork Due

  • January 9, 2023: First Day of Instruction

  • May 3, 2023: Last Day of Instruction


Please Note:

  • * If additional class seats are available, applications will continue to be accepted on a rolling basis.

  • * Students enrolled in HWST 125 will have the option to continue on to HWST 126 without submitting a new application, provided they complete HWST 125 with a passing grade and obtain a letter of support from their counselor.

  • * There is no pre-requisite for either course. Students may apply to enroll in HWST 126 without completion of HWST 125.



Application Requirements


Application Deadline for Fall 2022


Please submit all materials by Monday, January 31, 2022.

Incomplete applications will not be considered.


NOTE: Since we are only able to offer this course to select schools, please consult your early college coordinator or email paac@paachawaii.org to confirm eligibility. Once approved, you will be provided a password to access the application form.


Application Components

  • (1) Student Application Form. Includes student information, short response questions, and parental consent (release and waiver—digital signature).

  • (2) Supporting Documents (Please have your counselor or a school official email these directly to paac@paachawaii.org)
    • Digital copy of official school transcript showing a GPA of 2.5 or higher.
    • Proof of combined SAT/PSAT score of 900 or higher (typically shown on school transcript). If the student has not taken the SAT/PSAT, a letter from the principal or counselor attesting to the student’s academic ability to thrive in a college-level course will suffice.



What about college credit?

Students who are still in high school will be enrolled as Early Admit students through the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo. Students will earn three (3) general education DH (Humanities) credits from the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo with successful completion of HWST 125 or HWST 126 with a passing grade.



Can I get dual credit at my high school?

We are in the process of securing approval to offer an elective half-credit for all students who successfully complete HWST 125 or HWST 126. Accepted students will receive instructions on how to apply for this credit during the online orientation sessions. Students will be eligible to receive high school credit only once, even if they complete both courses.


What do I need to participate?

  • * Commitment to attend all virtual class sessions and complete all coursework by the due dates

  • * Access to stable internet connection on a laptop, desktop, or tablet, not a cell phone

  • * Access to word processing and video conferencing applications

  • * Access Google Classroom (where course materials will be hosted)

  • * Quiet learning environment for student (especially for discussion sections)

  • * An email address that does not block messages to/from the instructor (we prefer Gmail as some school accounts block messages from PAAC)



What is the cost to enroll?

The course is offered at no cost to students, thanks to the generous support of the Mamoru & Aiko Takitani Foundation. Students do not need to pay for books or materials to participate in the mandatory aspects of the course.