University of Hawai‘i to host intelligence summer program second year in a row : Big Island Now

The College of Social Sciences at University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa is bringing back the Academy for Hawaiʻi Intelligence Studies Summer Program (AHI-SP POLS) for a second year. The free four-week summer program will introduce them to the field of national intelligence.

Participants from the 2023 AHI-SP POLS program.

“AHI-SP POLS was the first program of its kind in Hawaiʻi that provided high schoolers statewide with college credit for a workforce pathway to national intelligence,” said Jairus Grove, AHI-SP POLS program director and political science professor. “It revealed an overwhelming demand and enthusiasm for educational programs in this field. We’re proud to be able to expand the program to 40 students this year to meet increased demand.”

Applications are due June 1. An informational session via Zoom will be held at 7 p.m., Wednesday. Pre-registration for the session is required by emailing [email protected].

This statewide opportunity is open to qualified Hawaiʻi high school juniors and seniors, and incoming UH Mānoa freshmen. Participants must be Hawaiʻi residents with a minimum high school GPA of 3.0 (GPA based on cumulative grades–9th grade to fall 2023).


“AHI-SP POLS changed my life,” said Tasanee Cogliandro, a graduate of the inaugural AHI-SP POLS class and currently a senior at Kīhei Charter High School on Maui. “I wasn’t sure what (career) I wanted to go into until I participated in this program and really understood that I truly do have a passion for political science.”

Students participate in discussions about concepts including power and contemporary world politics during 2023 AHI-SP POLS program.

AHI-SP POLS is a dynamic, immersive learning experience in one of the state’s fastest-growing fields. It runs July 5–27 and includes an online component (July 5–20) and an in-person residence week on the UH Mānoa campus with simulations, games, lectures and field trips (July 21–27).

Participants earn three college credits for completing the program and will be honored at a commencement ceremony on July 26.


Expenses for AHI-SP POLS students, including registration, tuition/fees, airfare and on-campus housing/meals are paid through the Pacific Intelligence and Innovation Initiative (P3I).

AHI-SP POLS introduces students to a wide variety of concepts including power and contemporary world politics since 1945, with an emphasis on the U.S. role. Simulation games, field trips and networking opportunities with Hawaiʻi-based industry experts provide an interactive experience bringing real-world experiences to complement in-class learning.

Students who complete the program will earn college credits in POLS 120: Introduction to World Politics, a university-level course in political science. POLS 120 is the first course in the Intelligence Studies course sequence currently under development at CSS.


Launched in the summer of 2023, AHI-SP POLS is part of the College of Social Sciences’ ongoing commitment to support workforce development opportunities in the state.

Participants in the inaugural cohort included 30 high school juniors and seniors from Hawaiʻi, Kauaʻi, Maui and Oʻahu.

Anna Harden

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