College of Social Sciences, UH Mānoa
College of Social Sciences, University of Hawaii at MānoaCollege Logo
College of Social Sciences, University of Hawaii at MānoaCollege Logo

Mānoa Academy

The CSS Mānoa Academy was founded on the belief that many Hawaiʻi high school students are eager and ready for the intellectual challenges of a university education while still in high school. Juniors and seniors at participating local high schools can enroll in college-level courses taught by UH Mānoa instructors and earn dual credits in the process. This innovative program is designed to empower the most promising of youths to grow, thrive and work together to become the next generation of global game-changers. Their academic preparedness and engagement in high-impact learning are enhanced, helping them realize that a top-quality higher education is a reachable goal.

Mānoa Academy is open to qualified Hawaiʻi high school juniors and seniors who are enrolled in partnering institutions and meet UH Mānoa admission requirements. Students develop their critical-thinking and time-management skills, and a strong work ethic. Participation also increases these high-schoolers’ confidence that they are capable of university work, because they are already earning college credits.

Top five benefits cited by Mānoa Academy students:

  1. Reduced cost
  2. Feel more prepared
  3. Faster college graduation
  4. Easing the stress of college applications
  5. More certainty in choice of major

Additional highlighted program benefits:

  • Dual credits to apply toward high school requirements and college degree*
  • Priority registration status during initial freshman term at UH Mānoa
  • Opportunities with civic engagement and service-learning programs
  • Priority eligibility for Mānoa Academy Abroad experiences

The Pathway to College

Mānoa Academy is founded on the belief that many Hawaiʻi high school students are eager and ready for the intellectual challenges of a university education. Through the Academy, students are not only encouraged to pursue a college degree but are challenged to discover their passions and gain important skills that will promote academic and personal success.

Students admitted to Mānoa Academy enroll in college-level courses taught by UH Mānoa instructors and earn dual credits (high school and college). Partner schools and programs pay a special pre-determined rate for their students, which eases the financial cost of college for the participating students and their families.

Students gain academic preparedness and engage in high-impact learning opportunities that will foster recognition that a top-quality education can be obtained in-state. Academy offerings inspire students to become leaders through transformational learning experiences, civic engagement and study abroad opportunities, and exposure to cutting-edge university research.

Mission and Objectives

To increase college access and success and inspire students to become leaders in their local and global communities.

Program Objectives:

  • Increase student access to and persistence in higher education
  • Ease the transition from a high school to university setting
  • Foster intellectual curiosity and growth

Program History

Mānoa Academy launched in Summer 2016 under the leadership of Denise Eby Konan, dean of the College of Social Sciences. The program was initially piloted in partnership with Kamehameha Schools – Kapālama campus as part of a larger effort between the University of Hawaiʻi and Kamehameha Schools to increase college preparation and success for students of Native Hawaiian descent.

The pilot expanded in the 2016-2017 school year, allowing UH Mānoa to contribute to the Early College effort already underway across the UH System.

Through the Mānoa Academy, the College helps lead UH in its commitment to enhancing educational opportunities for Hawaiʻi students and increasing the number of students entering and completing college.

In the 2018-2019 school year, the Mānoa Academy welcomed three partner high schools on Hawai‘i Island through a collaboration with the Maunakea Scholars program, marking a new era for the Academy in the digital landscape. In an effort to attain its vision of becoming a statewide program, the Mānoa Academy is continuing to develop online programming to provide access to students who do not reside on Oʻahu, as well as those living in rural areas.


Denise Eby Konan, Dean
UH Mānoa College of Social Sciences and Mānoa Academy

The Mānoa Academy offers four different ways for students to participate in the program depending on their interests.

In the High Schools

Students attend classes taught by UH Mānoa instructors on their high school campuses. Classes are offered during the school day or after school hours, providing students with convenient access to college-level courses in a familiar setting.

At UH Mānoa

High school students participate in courses at UH Mānoa, the flagship of the UH System. Program participants experience collegiate classes first-hand, and become familiar with the campus nestled at the entrance to Mānoa Valley and located on major bus routes.


Students participate in synchronous or asynchronous online courses from the convenience of home or school. Online courses are compatible with modern learning styles and offer students flexibility while improving their technical skills.

Mānoa Academy: Global Capstone

Mānoa Academy graduates are highly encouraged to participate in a study abroad capstone experience during the summer prior to entering their freshmen year at UH Mānoa. Study abroad opportunities introduce students to different cultures, leading to a broader understanding of the world. The Manoa Academy: Global Capstone fulfills a General Education Core requirement while offering participants an extraordinary way to jumpstart their studies and encourage their development as global leaders.

This section is for high school principals or Early College counselors who are interested in learning more about the College of Social Sciences’ Mānoa Academy and how they can become a part of this program.

Mānoa Academy increases college access and success by providing a platform for participants to complete a semester or more of transferable University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa credits.

In Hawai‘i, Early College is an initiative that allows high school students to take college classes on their high school campuses for dual credit. Mānoa Academy goes beyond this model and provides diversified learning opportunities for its students. Regardless of the mode of delivery, the Mānoa Academy honors the Memorandum of Agreement in place between the UH System and the Hawai‘i Department of Education. As part of the Early College mission, partnering institutions are encouraged to promote this program to students who are underrepresented at UH and/or unlikely to attend college.

Modes of Delivery

In the Fall and Spring semesters, courses are most frequently delivered in the high school setting. Students attend classes taught by UH Mānoa instructors on their respective campuses during the school day or after school. During the summer terms, partnering institutions are encouraged to have their students participate in courses taught on the UH Mānoa campus. While courses are exclusive to Mānoa Academy students, attending classes on the UH Mānoa campus provides students with a taste of the college experience and helps them get acquainted with the campus and its resources.

Online courses can be offered year-round.

Program Development

The Mānoa Academy will work with partners to determine the best course offerings for their students. While CSS highly encourages its partners to select courses that satisfy General Education requirements, some UH Mānoa courses that do not carry General Education credit may better suit students in furthering their journeys along a career pathway. CSS is committed to an ongoing dialogue with partners to create a plan that makes sense for them and their students.

New Partners

Please review the Mānoa Academy admission criteria to determine if a partnership is right for your school or program. The Mānoa Academy also requires each school or program to designate a lead point of contact who will work closely with students and assist them with questions. This is usually a counselor (e.g., Early College, College and Career, etc.). It is beneficial for this person to participate in the initial consultation along with other members within school leadership.

Interested in becoming a partner? Contact Mānoa Academy at

For questions about the Mānoa Academy program, please contact:

Jaret KC Leong

Jaret KC Leong

Director of Mānoa Academy and Academic Pathways

Saunders Hall 312

(808) 956-3687