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Free UH Mānoa summer program for Hawaiʻi high school students interested in the intelligence field


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The College of Social Sciences (CSS) at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa is pleased to announce the return of the Academy for Hawaiʻi Intelligence Studies Summer Program (AHI-SP POLS) for Hawaiʻi high school students. The free four-week summer program introduces Hawaiʻi students to the field of national intelligence. Applications are due June 1.

An informational session via Zoom will be held at 7 p.m. HST, Wednesday, May 29. Pre-registration for the session is required by emailing

“AHI-SP POLS, piloted last summer, was the first program of its kind in Hawaiʻi that provided high schoolers statewide with college credit for a workforce pathway to national intelligence,” said Jairus Grove, AHI-SP POLS program director and political science professor. “It revealed an overwhelming demand and enthusiasm for educational programs in this field. We’re proud to be able to expand the program to 40 students this year to meet increased demand.”

“AHI-SP POLS changed my life,” said Tasanee Cogliandro, a graduate of the inaugural AHI-SP POLS class and currently a rising senior at Kīhei Charter High School in Maui. “I wasn’t sure what (career) I wanted to go into until I participated in this program and really understood that I truly do have a passion for political science. I know that I want to and am capable of making change at a large scale – whether that be in international relations, political science, or efforts of national security. This program not only inspired me for my future career path, but it also taught me the important basics of political science, and how the world is affected by them on a wider scale. I will never forget AHI-SP POLS’ impact on my life.”

AHI-SP POLS is a dynamic, immersive learning experience in one of the state’s fastest-growing fields. It runs July 5–27, 2024, and includes an online component (July 5–20) and an in-person residence week on the UH Mānoa campus with simulations, games, lectures and field trips (July 21–27).

This statewide opportunity is open to qualified Hawaiʻi high school juniors and seniors, and incoming UH Mānoa freshmen. Participants must be Hawaiʻi residents with a minimum high school GPA of 3.0 (GPA based on cumulative grades – 9th grade to Fall 2023).

Expenses for AHI-SP POLS students, including registration, tuition/fees, airfare and on-campus housing/meals are paid through the Pacific Intelligence and Innovation Initiative (P3I).

More 2024 Program Highlights

  • Course Overview: AHI-SP POLS introduces students to a wide variety of concepts including power and contemporary world politics since 1945, with an emphasis on the U.S. role. Simulation games, field trips and networking opportunities with Hawaiʻi-based industry experts provide an interactive experience bringing real world experiences to complement in-class learning.
  • College Credits: Students who successfully complete the program will earn college credits in POLS 120: Introduction to World Politics, a university-level course in political science. POLS 120 is the first course in the Intelligence Studies course sequence currently under development at CSS.
  • More Information: Academy for Hawaiʻi Intelligence Studies Summer Program

Launched in summer 2023, AHI-SP POLS is part of the College of Social Sciences’ ongoing commitment to support workforce development opportunities in the state. Participants in the inaugural cohort included 30 high school juniors and seniors from Hawaiʻi, Kauaʻi, Maui and Oʻahu. They were:

  • 77% female.
  • 80% from Hawaiʻi State Department of Education high schools and charter schools.
  • 57% from the neighbor islands (30% from Maui, 17% from Hawaiʻi, 10% from Kauaʻi and 43% from Oʻahu).

2023 AHI-SP POLS students at Saunders
Participants from the 2023 AHI-SP POLS program. (Photo credit: Sara Maaria Saastamoinen)
2023 AHI-SP POLS: Group In Pols Room
2023 AHI-SP POLS students participate in discussions about a wide variety of concepts including power and contemporary world politics (Photo credit: Sara Maaria Saastamoinen).
2023 AHI-SP POLS class
Thirty students participated in the 2023 Academy for Hawaiʻi Intelligence Studies Summer Program. (Photo credit: Sara Maaria Saastamoinen)