University of Hawai’i is hosting an intelligence summer program for the second year in a row: Big Island Now

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

Participants in the 2023 AHI-SP POLS program.

“AHI-SP POLS was the first program of its kind in Hawaii to provide high school students statewide with college credit toward a path to national intelligence,” said Jairus Grove, AHI-SP POLS program director and professor of political science. “It revealed an overwhelming demand and enthusiasm for educational programs in this area. We are proud to expand the program to 40 students this year to meet increased demand.”

Applications must be submitted by June 1. There will be an information session via Zoom on Wednesday at 7 p.m. Pre-registration for the session is required via email (email protected).

This statewide opportunity is open to qualified Hawaiian high school seniors and seniors, and incoming UH Mānoa freshmen. Participants must be residents of Hawaii with a minimum high school GPA of 3.0 (GPA based on cumulative grades – 9th grade through 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 pursue until I took part in this program and really understood that I really have a passion for political science.”

Students participate in discussions about concepts such as power and contemporary world politics during the 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 from July 5 to 27 and includes an online component (July 5 to 20) and an in-person residential week on the UH Mānoa campus with simulations, games, lectures and field trips (July 21 to 27).

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


Fees 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 range of concepts, including power and contemporary world politics since 1945, with an emphasis on the role of the US. Simulation games, field trips and networking opportunities with Hawaii-based industry experts provide an interactive experience that provides real-world experiences to complement in-class learning.

Students who complete the program will earn credit in POLS 120: Introduction to World Politics, a college-level political science course. POLS 120 is the first course in the intelligence studies series currently being developed at CSS.


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

Participants in the first cohort included 30 high school seniors and seniors from Hawai‘i, Kaua‘i, Maui and O‘ahu.

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