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Our Research

Native Hawaiian Student Services embraces research and knowledge generation as a way of and to empowerment.  Our approach resonates with the work of Trask, Brayboy, Corntassel, and Alfred.  Brayboy clearly articulates our approach in using research as asserting sovereignty and self-determination by helping us to “reframe” research through Indigenous perspectives.  Similarly, our work to indigenize assessment is an act of self-determination because it reframes the ways in which we assess student learning and development through an indigenous lens.  Ultimately, our research and assessment efforts endeavor to better understand Native Hawaiian student success so that we may better support their educational journeys.

NHSS strives to be an entity that not only responds to research trends on effectively serving Hawaiian students, community and nation but also actively engages in generating and contributing knowledge to the broader body of knowledge on Indigenous/Native student success.  Staff in NHSS is actively involved in knowledge generation and dissemination in the fields of educational assessment and evaluation, student services, and student development at different levels.  Specifically, we are fortunate enough to have a research and evaluation coordinator who has created a solid infrastructure for us to be able to build, strengthen and grow NHSS’s and Hawaiʻinuiākea’s capacities to conduct research and evaluation.  Programmatically, NHSS staff has integrated program and services assessment into our work and regularly revisit our guiding documents like our mission, core values, and experience map to insure that our work is relevant, high quality, and effective.  Locally, we contribute our knowledge, expertise, and experience on Native Hawaiian students and student support services to the University of Hawai‘i and local communities.  We have also established a robust research agenda on Native Hawaiians in higher education especially in relationship to our student support programs.

Collaborative Research with NHSS

We look forward to collaborating with students, staff, faculty and other community members in our various research work.  Please contact us if you would like to collaborate with our team or propose a study.

Supporting UH Mānoa Student Research

As part of our Hūlili Professional Development Program, we provide professional development and research support for Hawaiian students at UH Mānoa.

Additionally, our Imua E Nā Pōkiʻi program supports graduate student professional development opportunities.  In the past, the program has supported student travel to the Native American Indigenous Studies Association conference.

Our Student Learning Outcomes

The mission of the Native Hawaiian Student Services (NHSS) is to serve Native Hawaiian students at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa through a comprehensive, culturally respectful, and academically competent program of student support and advising services. Our resources and services are designed to increase the recruitment, retention, and matriculation of Native Hawaiian students.

NHSS has two kuleana with respect to student support.  The first kuleana (responsibility), as reflected in our mission, is to provide support and guidance all Native Hawaiian pursuing higher education with an emphasis on those attending UH Mānoa (approximately 3,000).  The second kuleana is to provide support and guidance to all HSHK majors.

The core values, which drive and shape our student support activities stems from our mission and informed by our collective experience and initial assessment work.  The figure below highlights the core values that drive the Native Hawaiian Student Services programs.

Create and promote a Hawaiian place for learning.

Hawaiian places of learning are intentional and organic spaces and places that give power to Hawaiian perspectives; welcome multiple Hawaiian identities; promote collaboration, networking and organizing; encourage mentorship; and serve as pu‘uhonua (places of refuge) for Hawaiian students and our communities.

Promote and advocate Hawaiian language, studies, and education.

In addition to the recruitment of students to our HSHK majors, NHSS promotes and advocates for the teaching and learning of Hawaiian knowledge to be used as the medium for students to better understand themselves (as a Hawaiian), their education, their kuleana, our communities, and our nation.

Recognize our kuleana to honor the traditions of our Indigenous people and to promote social justice for Native Hawaiians.

NHSS supports student empowerment and advocates for social justice by encouraging student organizing efforts; helping students recognize the intersectionalities of oppression; promoting community access and human service; and investing in student leadership development.

Educate a highly knowledgeable, skilled, flexible, world-class Native Hawaiian workforce.

NHSS hopes to produce a highly knowledgeable, skilled, flexible, world-class Native Hawaiian student community by teaching students how to learn; providing students with transformative and transferable skills; providing opportunities for student professional development; and fostering an entrepreneurial spirit in our students.

Learning Organization

NHSS strives to be an entity that responds to research trends on effectively serving Hawaiian students, community and nation.


Unlike traditional student support models that focus on acculturating students to the institution, we strive to create cultural and physical spaces that allow students to explore, discuss, and reinforce Hawaiian identity because we believe it is integral to student success.  In turn, supporting Hawaiian identity is the thread that runs through all of our services and programs.  Consequently, NHSS staffers provide encouragement and support for haumāna to engage in diverse disciplines that foster Native Hawaiian representation in different professions, leadership opportunities for haumāna to serve our lāhui, and integrated learning experiences that link classroom learning and community engagement.

As an organization, we continuously work towards excellence and innovation by engaging in active learning through ongoing assessment, scholarly research, reflection, and professional development.  At the program level, we have integrated assessment into our everyday practices and reflect on our practices, results, and analysis on a regular basis.  We have also established a robust research agenda on Native Hawaiians in higher education especially in relationship to our student support programs.

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