UH Hilo and Hawai‘i Community College launch “2+2” transfer program in sociology

Sociology students earning an associate’s degree from Hawai‘i CC can now easily plan to transfer, with all their credits, into the bachelor’s in sociology program at UH Hilo.

By Susan Enright

The University of Hawai‘i at Hilo and Hawai‘i Community College have finalized a new “2+2 degree pathway” agreement for students studying sociology. The agreement allows students at Hawai‘i CC earning an associate in liberal arts degree with a concentration in sociology to plan for transferring, with all their credits, into the bachelor of arts in sociology program at UH Hilo.

Kris Roney
Kris Roney

The overall goal of 2+2 transfer programs is to expand options for community college students interested in earning a bachelor’s degree. The terms of the new sociology agreement focus resources from both campuses—including shared responsibilities for student recruitment, academic advising and support—to make the process of planning their Hawai‘i CC courses and then transferring into the UH Hilo program successful for the students.

Kris Roney, UH Hilo’s vice chancellor for academic affairs, says the work to assure an efficient pathway for students in sociology is another excellent outcome of the partnership between UH Hilo and Hawaiʻi CC.

“Facilitating transfer for students who seek a bachelor’s degree is a moral imperative, and I am grateful to the faculty and staff who brought this articulation agreement to fruition,” says Roney.

Marilyn Brown
Marilyn Brown

Key faculty involved in this initiative are both long-time UH faculty: Trina Nahm-Mijo, who recently retired after 43 years as professor and department chair of social sciences at Hawai‘i CC, and Professor of Sociology Marilyn Brown at UH Hilo.

“The sociology department is very happy to be part of this 2 + 2 transfer program,” says Brown. “Transfer students have always been so important to our major. Hawai‘i Community College students especially have long been some of our strongest students and contributors to the department. We’re very happy to have our long-standing relationship with Hawai‘i CC formalized in this way to the mutual benefit of our campuses and students.”

Roney says the UH Hilo sociology program “embraces community-based, applied learning experiences,” a perfect entry into social services and related fields that benefit the local community.

According to the UH Hilo Department of Sociology website, most UH Hilo graduates in sociology have sought careers as social workers, counselors, case workers, and program administrators. Related fields are in health care, gerontology, education, work force development, domestic violence, marriage and family support, community development, recreation, children’s programs, and criminology.

Some students pursue careers as ministers and pastors of religious organizations. Others have pursued small business management and social event promotion careers.

Sociology degrees are also beneficial for those interested in participation in local, national, and international non-governmental organizations, many of which are addressing various kinds of inequalities. These organizations can be an avenue supporting progressive social change.

The new sociology transfer agreement requires advisors from Hawai‘i CC and UH Hilo to form partnerships to help students with pre-admission, admission, degree requirements, and related matters. Students are required to meet periodically with a faculty advisor or a member of the administration to discuss any curricular changes.

Each campus is required to make efforts to find the financial resources necessary to carry out the agreed support systems.

“I look forward to seeing our students’ successes at all levels of their education in the sociology 2+2 pathway and cheering them on as they cross the stage at graduation and into their future,” says Roney.


Story by Susan Enright, a public information specialist for the Office of the Chancellor and editor of UH Hilo Stories. She received her bachelor of arts in English and certificate in women’s studies from UH Hilo.