Incentives Offered to STEM, Hawaiian Culture Students at UHMC

July 31, 2012, 8:30 AM HST · Updated July 31, 12:12 PM

UHMC. Photo by Wendy Osher.

By Wendy Osher

The University of Hawaiʻi Maui College is offering incentives to students interested in pursuing a career in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics and STEM-related fields within a Hawaiian Studies and cultural context.

The performance-based incentives are provided through the Kahikina O Ka Lā program, supported by the National Finance Foundation.

Under the Kahikina O Ka Lā program, current STEM and STEM-related curricula are combined with traditional Hawaiian cultural knowledge. Student award recipients will receive continuous academic support through program counselors, and an annual performance-based stipend award in the amount of $3,500 or $5,000.


For the 2012-2013 academic year an estimated 60 students will benefit from the program.

“Kahikina O Ka Lā is committed to guiding UHMC students to careers and leadership roles both locally and on a global stage,” said Damien K Cie, Project Director for Kahikina O Ka Lā.

Applicants will be ranked on preference using multiple criteria such as GPA, course units completed, and academic interests and goals.

To continue in the program, participants must meet minimum semester requirements, including but not limited to the following:

  • maintaining a GPA of 2.5 ($3,500) or 3.0 ($5,000)
  • enrolling in STEM and STEM-related curriculum, with a minimum of one Hawaiian Studies course per year
  • creating an academic plan and meeting with a counselor twice per semester and
  • participating in academic enrichment (i.e. tutoring, mentoring) and providing campus and community outreach.

The Kahikina O Ka Lā program is funded through The Advanced Technology Solar Telescope Mitigation Initiative awarded by the National Science Foundation in response to the application to build the Advanced Technology Solar Telescope upon the summit of Haleakalā.

The program was established to assist in addressing the impacts of the telescope project.

More than 15 different STEM and STEM-related programs offered at the University of Hawai’i Maui College are eligible for this initiative, including Agriculture and Natural Resources, Dental Hygiene, Electronic and Computer Engineering.

***Supporting information courtesy UHMC.


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