ACCESS Engagement

ACCESS Engagement

ACCESS Engagement supports academic collaboration (including service and research) across communities, institutions, and disciplines. We help build communities of transformation. Our civic-engagement programs and projects are run in cooperation with community partners – institutions, agencies, organizations, groups, and individuals.

ACCESS Engagement offers engagement opportunities – community-based research, service learning, internships – focusing on health, education, public policy, social justice, and many other fields. We have special expertise and activities pertaining to UHM as an ʻĀina-based, Hawaiian place of learning. Our focus areas include sustainability, indigeneity, trans-disciplinarity, and teaching to important current issues.

SERVICE LEARNING is a pedagogy that gives students direct experience with capacious issues they are studying in the curriculum and with ongoing efforts to analyze and solve them. Students have an opportunity to both apply what they learn in real-world settings and reflect in a classroom setting on their service experiences. Learn more about the opportunities we offer and get started with service learning.

INTERNSHIPS primarily train students for future careers, but also integral to educational success. They help bridge students' academic experiences and the world of work. Learn more about the opportunities we offer and get started with internships.

CIVIC ENGAGEMENT implies working to make a difference in the civic life of our communities and developing the combination of knowledge, skills, values and motivation to make that difference. It means promoting the quality of life in a community, through both political and non-political processes (Thomas Ehrlich, 2000).

Skills needed to work with the community are an important college outcome, and working with community partners is good preparation for citizenship, work, and life. "Civic learning needs to be an integral component of every level of education, from grade school through graduate school, across all fields of study" (A Crucible Moment: College Learning and Democracy's Future, 2012)

ACCESS Engagement particularly supports the CSS in achieving its mission of engaging students and allowing them to experience dynamic learning environments, and applying their knowledge outside of the classroom. We particularly work with Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander students. We offer special programs for new and transfer students, inter/national students, and veterans. We also support special initiatives and student clubs with meeting space and engagement opportunities.

ACCESS Engagement has a diverse and creative staff. Come to the ACCESS Lounge in Dean Hall 5/6 and meet both us and the many other inspiring students and faculty involved in engagement activities. We are open daily 8:30am-5pm – often also later. The Lounge is a place to inspire and engage - to study, hold meetings, and host events.

CREDITS: Several CSS disciplines offer civic-engagement opportunities combined with research. At the college level, CSS also offers service-learning, fieldwork, internship, and capstone courses focused on community engagement. The primary task of ACCESS is to support these efforts at all levels.

The ACCESS Engagement Director, Dr. Ulla Hasager teaches three credit courses: ES 380, Field Work in Ethnic Studies, 1-6 credits, 25-100 hours of service, field research, and analysis; SOCS 385, Service Learning, 1 credit (CR/NC, repeatable twice to a total of 3 credits), functioning as a lab for other courses offering service learning or as a stand-alone course including minimum 25 hours of service; and SOCS 489, Internships, 3-6 credits based on 150-300 hours of service. Email for additional information.

FOR COMMUNITY PARTNERS: To get started on working with us or to make changes to existing arrangements, please email See also the Internships webpage.

FOR FACULTY: To get started on including service learning in a particular class, integrate the Internship Program, or set up specific projects, one-time event, faculty workshops, mentoring, or community-based research, please email


ACCESS Engagement
Tel: 808 956 0655
Dean Hall, rooms 5-7
2450 Campus Road
Honolulu, Hawaiʻi 96822

Director: Dr. Ulla Hasager
Tel: 808 956 4218
Cel: 808 330 1276