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Students in a Geography of Hawai'i class planting māmane, koa, pilo and other natives at Keauhou in Ka'ū to restore the watershed and forest. From left to right are Quinn Shiroma, Clayson Morante, and Kamalani Andrews.

Hawai‘i Community College Offers New Sustainability Certificate

Hawai‘i Community College is offering a new Academic Subject Certificate (ASC) in Sustainability starting in the Fall 2021 semester that aims to equip students with the skills and knowledge to help address some of today’s biggest challenges.

“The need for individuals with knowledge about sustainability is growing, in our island communities, in our world, and in our workforce,” said Hawai‘i Community College Sustainability Initiatives Coordinator Charlotte Cheek. “Graduates with this certificate will learn how to be part of the solution. No matter what career you are pursuing, sustainability is a valuable component.”


Like sustainability itself, the Sustainability Academic Subject Certificate is interdisciplinary, and the certificate encompasses Hawaiʻiʻs geography, traditional sustainable practices, climate change and mitigation science, aloha ʻāina, and more.

Students will have opportunities to pursue their passions and learn in dynamic places, ranging from loʻi kalo (taro patches) to science labs.

The certificate consists of four Sustainability (SF) Designated Classes, which are three credits each. Students take one SF course in each of the following areas: Natural Science, Social Science, and Hawaiian Studies. In addition, they take one more three-credit SF class of their choice. Students may also apply up to six credits of SF classes from other UH campuses toward the certificate.

The certificate can be earned alongside any Hawai‘i CC degree program. 

"I would like to express how incredibly excited we are about the debut of our Academic Subject Certificate in Sustainability!” said Drew Kapp, Geography Instructor and Co-Chair of the Academic Sustainability Committee. “Many members of our Kauhale have already been teaching, learning, working and living sustainability, and it’s just amazing that now our students can earn a certificate in a subject that speaks to this holistic understanding of and relationship with our ʻāina, wai, kai - so very appropriate, timely and critical for Hawaiʻi nei. We mahalo Claudia Wilcox-Boucher who initiated the ASC process several years ago, and acknowledge the determined efforts of Debbie Weeks, Noʻel Tagab-Cruz, Kristine Kotecki and all members of our Academic Sustainability Committee. And we wouldn’t have been able to do it without the advocacy and encouragement from Krista Hiser at Kapiʻolani Community College and Matt Lynch of the University of Hawai’i Office of Sustainability and the support of Chancellor Rachel Solemsaas."

For more information, please contact Drew Kapp at dkapp@hawaii.ed or Kristine Kotecki at