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Our Services

The Center offers a broad spectrum of services and programs to facilitate the success of Pacific Islander students at UH Hilo. All UH Hilo students are welcome at the Center. We think you’ll discover a “home away from home” right here in the middle of the UH Hilo campus. Stop by any time. You’re welcome here and we’d love to see you!

A Gathering Place

The Center is set up to be a gathering place for Pacific island students to meet each other, to study individually or in groups, or hold their meetings and events. Students can use our 10 Apple and PC desktop computers and sign out any of our 20 laptops for their use. To help students relax in between classes, we have a large flat screen television which can play CNN news, ESPN, and other major network news channels. The Center also has a growing collection of books and DVDs on Pacific-related topics, includes a kitchen (including refrigerator, stove and microwave), a lanai with covered tables for group meetings or to eat your lunch. Please contact if you wish to schedule a meeting or event at the PISC.

Student Development & Support

Learning Communities

The Center will arrange small learning communities in which students from similar cultural backgrounds who are enrolled in the same programs and/or courses will study together in small groups at the Pacific Islander Student Center and support each other’s success. Learning communities in particular will be constructed in ways that capitalize on Pacific Island identity and values. Pacific Islanders tend to identify with a unit larger than individuals, such as with families, clans, villages, and islands. Pacific Island cultures value group cohesion and harmony more strongly than individual success; a positive group reputation is strongly valued, and competition between groups often serves as an effective motivator. In light of that, great potential exists in developing and implementing approaches that aim to facilitate the success of students by motivating and rewarding them as groups, rather than as individuals. Thus, the project will construct learning communities that motivate and reward groups, enhance group reputation, and promote healthy competition between groups as a culturally informed service.

Peer Mentoring

The Center has partnered with the Minority Access & Achievement Program to utilize its PALS peer mentoring program for interested first year Pacific Islander students. Students will meet regularly with an assigned peer mentor throughout the first year, who will provide guidance, advice, encouragement and support as they assist them in building solid academic foundations and developing habits and attitudes that lead to academic and
personal success.

Academic Success

The Center provides an array , Pacific Island students will be provided throughout their college career with academic support services including tutoring, intrusive academic advising, monitoring of academic progress and intervention with students when they are not performing well, and financial aid counseling.

Student Employment

Research shows that students who participate in a "high impact" activity during their college experience will most likely persist in college. The Center will help place Pacific islander students into at least one of the following high impact activities each year:

Highly Engaged Learning Positions (HELP)

Pacific islander students at UH Hilo can propose meaningful employment opportunities on or off campus that impact their education while serving the Pacific island community on campus, in Hawaiʻi, or throughout the Pacific region.

Campus Programming

Faculty / Staff Workshops

Faculty and staff development workshops will be offered at least twice annually and will include exercises in identifying and understanding Pacific Island cultural values, and ideas and strategies for incorporating Pacific Island ways of knowing and learning into the curriculum and pedagogical approaches.

Pacific Speaker Series

The Center will sponsor a series of distinguished guest speakers from throughout the Pacific islands who will help educate, inform, and inspire the UH Hilo community on matters of importance to the region and its citizens.

Community Outreach

The PISC provides community-based learning opportunities which integrate service to the local community with leadership learning skills.

Pacific Youth Empowerment for Success (PacYES)

PacYES is an event that brings Pacific Islander high school students and their families to the UH Hilo campus to motivate, inspire and inform them about higher education opportunities and resources. The event is designed to expose high school students to college student role models and encourage them to pursue higher education.

Coming on Saturday, November 4, 2017!

Community Partners

The Pacific Islander Student Center (PISC) invites Hawaiʻi-based non-profit organizations and public schools that serve Pacific island youth to partner with us to host student leaders in their schools or organization. We can work together with hosting agencies to design one-time or on-going programs that empower Pacific islander communities. These community service projects have the added benefit of not only developing students’ leadership and mentoring skills and making connections between classroom learning and outside-of-classroom learning that occurs through experiential education, but also impacting the success of future generations of individuals from the target population.

What's Your Story?

What's Your Story?A digital storytelling project to chronicle the stories of Pacific Islanders in Hawaiʻi. The video interviews and narratives will be shared on the PISC YouTube channel for the general public. Our goal is to educate the general public on the many positive ways that Pacific islanders are contributing to the community in Hawaii. Students will collaborate with community-based organizations and clubs to identify and commit the individuals to feature on the project. Read more>>