Building a Better Resume with PAAC’s New Global Issues Certificate

December 11, 2020

Most high school students will tell you: building a solid resume for college is important, but so is developing a global perspective. Now, they can do both at the same time.

PAAC’s Global Issues Certificate gives high school students a chance to expand their understanding of global issues while earning a valuable credential that will shine on their college applications. 

“This Certificate is another new PAAC program designed to help fill the educational needs of students in 2020,” said Jason Shon, PAAC’s High School Program Director. “I think we’ve managed to create a program that will remain valuable to PAAC and Hawaiʻi’s youth even after in-person learning resumes.”

The Certificate focuses on exposing students to a wide breadth of global issues and illuminates how various actors - including government, businesses, civil society, international institutions, non-government organizations, and individuals - can contribute towards achieving the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

To obtain the certificate, students must participate in PAAC’s well-known global education programs like Academic WorldQuest (an international affairs trivia competition) and Global Vision Summits (statewide conferences on various global issues). A Culminating Experience, in which the student explores a global issue in greater depth, is also required.

Students are also tasked with completing multiple lessons from PAAC’s SDG Curriculum Suite. This collection of lessons developed recently by PAAC contains over 20 lessons on topics ranging from microplastics to nuclear disarmament to food waste. Each topic relates to one or more of the UN Sustainable Development Goals and provides both global and local perspectives.

The Certificate is unique among PAAC Programs for its flexibility. As long as all components are completed before high school graduation, students may take up to four years or finish in as little as four months. “We have to adapt to students’ scheduling constraints,” said Shon. “Unlike our other programs, the Global Issues Certificate is primarily an individual and self-guided endeavor that any motivated student can complete at his or her own convenience.”

To learn more about the Certificate, visit