Pacific Islander students can receive services through UHH PISC (Pacific Islander Student Center)

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The Center offers a broad spectrum of services and programs including lectures, panel discussions, workshops, films and videos, and musical, dance, and dramatic performances. 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 flatscreen 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

Bridge Program

Fifteen students who have been accepted to UHH will be selected to participate in an intensive 7-day residential bridge program on campus prior to the start of the fall orientation week each year. The program is designed to introduce first-year students to college-level expectations for writing, mathematics, critical inquiry, study skills/strategies, different learning and teaching styles, and campus resources, as well as to encourage help seeking behaviors which many minority students lack. Find out more>>

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.

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