S.B. NO.



S.D. 1


H.D. 1














     SECTION 1.  The legislature finds that current data suggests that Native Hawaiians are less likely to attend college than other ethnic groups, partly due to low levels of preparation and inadequate finances.  For those Native Hawaiian students who attend college, graduation and retention rates are significantly lower than the general student population.

     The legislature further finds that students also have a strong desire to live close to family and to participate in family activities at home.  Furthermore, multiple studies testing for factors leading to retention have identified that the more Native Hawaiian students are involved in school activities and the more interaction they have with faculty and peers, the more likely they are to persevere in their higher education.

     The legislature further finds that it has been reported that thirty per cent of Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander students have parents with high school degrees as the highest education level, and eighteen per cent of parents have a bachelor's degree or higher.  During the 2007 to 2008 academic year, thirty-four per cent of Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander undergraduate males were enrolled in postsecondary education.

     The legislature further finds that health care sector employment is projected to increase by more than one hundred sixty per cent by 2040, and the wages in that sector are typically more consistent with a livable wage in Hawaii.  However, these jobs typically require a bachelor's degree at minimum.  Currently only about fifteen per cent of Native Hawaiians or Pacific Islanders hold bachelor's degrees.

     To address these issues, Senate Resolution No. 60, S.D. 1, regular session of 2014, created the Native Hawaiian health task force to improve the health of Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders.  The goal of the task force is to articulate priorities to advance health care equity for Native Hawaiians which would in turn improve health care for all people of Hawaii.  The findings for establishment of a framework were widely discussed and embraced by government agencies, community members, and affected stakeholders.  The work of the task force recognized past efforts to improve the health of Native Hawaiians.  The task force used nā pou kihi as the cultural framework to organize its findings and recommendations.  Nā pou kihi reflects the necessary four corner posts of a hale necessary to support the weight of the structure and everyone who resides under its roof.

     One of the four corner posts of nā pou kihi focuses on achieving social justice through educational achievement and economic success for Native Hawaiians.  Native Hawaiians have a long history of valuing learning and the pursuit of knowledge, which are celebrated in mo‘oleloe (history) and exemplified in the phenomenal achievements of Native Hawaiian kūpuna.  Native Hawaiian ancestors developed a sophisticated system of resource management that ensured equitable access to the riches of the ‘aina (land), wai (fresh water), and kai (ocean) for all.  All members of society had a clear and well-defined role that contributed to the welfare of the community.  Ka wai ola provides the foundation for securing the educational and economic benefits necessary for Native Hawaiians to thrive and flourish in society.

     The legislature further finds that establishment of a health sciences academy with a focus on Native Hawaiian student retention would promote integration of students into the academic college milieu.

     This Act reflects the position of the legislature on Native Hawaiian health care.  The legislature supports:

     (1)  Collaborative efforts to ensure that funding for Native Hawaiian health care continues;

     (2)  Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders by focusing on essential social and cultural determinants that improve health outcomes amongst the State's indigenous population;

     (3)  Options to improve health care for keiki and residents in rural areas; and

     (4)  Collaborative efforts to provide better dental care for keiki and adults throughout the State's communities.

     The purpose of this Act is to develop an undergraduate health sciences academy within the University of Hawaii system, in cooperation with relevant educational institutions, to target the recruitment and retention of Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander students and first generation college attendees.

     SECTION 2.  Chapter 304A, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by adding a new section to part IV, subpart M, to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:

     "§304A-    Early college and undergraduate health sciences academy pathway.  (a)  An undergraduate health sciences academy is established within the University of Hawai‘i to target the recruitment and retention of Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islanders, and first generation college students.  The undergraduate health sciences academy shall be administered by the University of Hawai‘i at West O‘ahu.

     (b)  The mission of the undergraduate health sciences academy shall be to eliminate health disparities in Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander, and other underserved communities by promoting access to quality health sciences education pathways at high school and undergraduate levels, with the intention of creating a generation of innovators and leaders, thereby increasing the number of Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders in health professions and science careers, and improving the health and well-being of the Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander populations and the state population as a whole.

     (c)  A professional development curriculum shall be developed and implemented for high school teachers.  As high school freshman and sophomores, students shall participate in college readiness programs, and health equity and cultural safety course work.  As high school juniors and seniors, students shall choose one of three health science pathways, with two courses in each of the following areas:

     (1)  Biomedical, including medical, nursing, and dentistry;

     (2)  Behavioral health, including social work, community health, and public health; or

     (3)  Allied health, including respiratory, pre-professional, long-term care, health information management, and other related activities.

     (d)  The undergraduate health sciences academy shall:

     (1)  Recruit highly qualified Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander, indigenous, and other professionals to develop and lead the program;

     (2)  Create a set of early college course work to:

         (A)  Prepare students and families for higher education;

         (B)  Introduce the field of health sciences to students;

         (C)  Set the foundation and context for obtaining an undergraduate health science degree through early college science-based course work (minimum of 6.0 college credits);

         (D)  Build knowledge and fluency in Hawaiian knowledge and language; and

         (E)  Foster leadership development;

     (3)  Form a collaborative faculty team from the University of Hawaii at West O‘ahu, University of Hawaii at Manoa, University of Hawaii Maui College, University of Hawaii at Hilo, and University of Hawaii community colleges, to develop interdisciplinary, articulated course work delivery in the high school classroom and at post-secondary campuses; and

     (4)  Conduct cutting-edge grant-funded scholarship in the areas of Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander health and indigenous health.

     (e)  The following Native Hawaiian principles shall guide the academic program at the early college or high school level:

     (1)  Ho‘omālamalama – education strategies:  technological strategies shall be used to create online learning groups and course work in health equity and cultural safety;

     (2)  Ho‘omana – empowerment strategies:  problem-based learning, service-oriented approaches, and kua‘ana mentoring (peer mentoring that is culturally and place-based appropriate) strategies;

     (3)  Ho‘opili – engagement strategies:  place-based community learning, summer research institutes, and college preparatory approaches;

     (4)  Ho‘okāhuli – transformation strategies:  high school students and their families, beginning as early as the students' freshmen year, shall be introduced to innovative technologies and best practices to enable them to more rapidly progress toward a career in a health or science profession.

     (f)  The following shall be the fundamentals of the Native Hawaiian principles under subsection (e), which shall guide the academic program at the undergraduate level at the University of Hawai‘i:

     (1)  Ho‘omālamalama:  innovative pedagogies that include technology, community-based internships, problem-based learning, and ‘āina-based learning strategies through the selected health science pathway as described in subsection (c);

     (2)  Ho‘omana:  health leadership curriculum, kua‘ana mentorship (peer and professional mentoring that is culturally and place-based appropriate), and community service initiatives;

     (3)  Ho‘opili:  ‘ohana involvement in the education process, the use of technology to engage the community and the family in the learning process, the creation of community-based internships and service projects, and the creation of community-based research and scholarship opportunities; and

     (4)  Ho‘okāhuli:  creation of internships related to innovation, technology, and the development and reporting of outcome measures which track employment and continued professional and graduate education outcomes."

     SECTION 3.  There is appropriated out of the general revenues of the State of Hawaii the sum of $         or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2017-2018 and the same sum or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2018-2019 for        permanent faculty and staff positions to establish and implement an undergraduate health sciences academy at the University of Hawai‘i.

     The sums appropriated shall be expended by the University of Hawaii for the purposes of this Act.

     SECTION 4.  New statutory material is underscored.

     SECTION 5.  This Act shall take effect on December 24, 2088.



Report Title:

UH; Health Sciences; Native Hawaiians; Pacific Islanders; Appropriation



Establishes an Undergraduate Health Sciences Academy at the University of Hawaii to increase recruitment and retention of Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander, and first generation college students.  Appropriates funds.  (SB1294 HD1)




The summary description of legislation appearing on this page is for informational purposes only and is not legislation or evidence of legislative intent.