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Leeward CC sustainable agriculture students

If you are fired up about sustainability and have the desire to create change, take note of the University of Hawaiʻi Community Colleges Academic Subject Certificate (ASC) in Sustainability. Five campuses now offer the ASC in Sustainability, a multidisciplinary, embedded certificate that can be earned along with any other associate’s degree.

Honolulu CC and Leeward CC added the certificate in 2020, following models at Kapiʻolani CC and Windward CC. Hawaiʻi CC will offer the certificate beginning in fall 2021.

“The benefit of having faculty teach sustainability courses across multiple academic disciplines, and across all the community college campuses, is that it allows a great deal of flexibility for students to customize the areas of focus that make up their Academic Subject Certificate,” said Erika Lacro, vice president for community colleges.

Sustaining the next generation


The certificate, which is similar to earning a minor in sustainability, requires between 12 and 16 credits and can be earned entirely online. Courses from different campuses can apply. Some campuses also offer a capstone experience that allows students to focus on a project or passion that they wish to develop.

Lono Mance, a Honolulu CC student, took several of the sustainability-focused courses that comprise the new certificate.

“Taking and being a part of the sustainability classes and community has brought an appreciation to myself and my family for the environment and respect it is owed,” Mance said. “That is what I will pass on to my kids and in the future my grandkids—the understanding that we are a part of the world around us.”

Faculty collaboration


The new certificates at Honolulu CC and Leeward CC reflect collaboration by faculty systemwide to develop and align curricula focused on the social, economic, cultural and environmental aspects of sustainability. Honolulu CC Associate Professor John DeLay, teaches sustainability-focused geography courses and serves as co-coordinator of the certificate, along with Honolulu CC History Professor Cynthia Smith.

Hawaiʻi is uniquely suited as a showcase for sustainability issues given our extraordinary array of environmental and biotic diversity, the legacy of stewardship by the host culture, and the challenges we face from climate change and sea-level rise, renewable energy and food security,” DeLay said.

Smith added, “We are educating students to live and work in a world where environmental challenges and sustainable solutions are, and will continue to be, urgent issues. Promoting awareness of how environmental issues impact their personal and professional lives is our academic obligation.”

More information about ASC

Email campus contacts for more information:

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