The student newspaper of Honolulu Community College

New sustainability minor equivalent available for UH students

By Jaedyn Yamaguchi

A new sustainability minor equivalent has been established for students in the University of Hawaii system.

The program approaches sustainability and issues such as climate change. Through multiple academic subjects, the minor equivalent allows students to look at sustainability from different angles. The classes in this program may also be used toward general education requirements. This widens students’ options, which is one of the strengths of this program, explained UH author Heidi Sakuma.

Kapi’olani, Windward and Hawai’i community colleges have already launched the minor equivalent. In Fall of 2020, the program will also be available at Honolulu CC, Leeward CC and Kaua’i CC. 

Many UH students are passionate about sustainability and climate change,  Sakuma said. A study conducted at all ten campuses in the UH system, demonstrated this high interest. The program is the missing piece for many of these students.

Rebecca Tang, a Kapi’olani CC graduate, who completed the minor equivalent, spoke highly of the program. She appreciated that these classes gave her multiple perspectives on sustainability.

“Looking at climate change from the different angles of an economics class, a biology class, an English literature class and a Pacific Island studies class, really helped me to see the ‘bigger picture’ of sustainability and what we need to do to become a more sustainable society,” said Tang.

Rebecca Tang, one of the first to pursue the sustainability minor equivalent.

Tang encourages students in any major to take the sustainability minor equivalent.
”It really feels like you’re taking courses that are adding to you as a person, and whatever you go into, it’s going to benefit you. The minor gave me an enriched experience in college that I will never forget. It helped me become a better steward and a much more conscious consumer–which is what we need in our world!”
She continued by encouraging anyone searching for a meaningful college experience to consider taking the sustainability minor.

UH Manoa and UH West O’ahu also plan to create complimenting upper-level certificates to the minor equivalent.

To gain more knowledge on the sustainability minor equivalent, Sakuma suggested contacting Krista Hiser, director of the UH Center for Sustainability Across Curriculum, at hiser@hawaii.edu.

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