Graduates of the online Bachelors Degree in Social Work

Aloha kākou,

Welcome to the new website for Outreach College. The release of this site coincides with the beginning of great change in higher education. The COVID-19 pandemic has drastically transformed higher education in 2020 and likely well into the future. While we don’t yet know what future changes will bring, we do know that higher education will have to be much more versatile in how it offers educational programs. There will be less reliance on curriculum requiring fully on-campus courses, with more diversity in program delivery; less emphasis on the traditional student pathways; and more emphasis on educational opportunities for students throughout their lives.

Since 1927, the mission of Outreach College has been to serve nontraditional students through innovative programs that reflect the needs of the various student populations we serve. With the changing higher educational landscape, the mission of Outreach College has become increasingly central to the mission of UH Mānoa. Accordingly, the College has been actively promoting educational innovation at UH Mānoa and the College’s offerings of programs have been evolving. Throughout this website, you will see the results of this innovation, but two trends stand out: the rapid growth in online programs and in noncredit professional education programs.

In partnership with three UH Mānoa schools—the Thompson School of Social Work and Public Health, the College of Social Sciences, and the Nancy Atmospera-Walch School of Nursing —Outreach College has launched several fully online baccalaureate degree completion programs. Initially targeted to serve community college graduates wishing to receive a 4-year degree from UH Mānoa, these programs are serving a wide range of working adults, with ages ranging from 20 to 62. In addition, the College’s Come Back to Mānoa program and its Outreach College on Maui office have successfully helped many working adults find ways to complete their undergraduate degrees amid challenging family and career commitments. 

Gone are the days when a student graduates and devotes their life to a career with one or two job changes. The rapid pace of change necessitates being agile in one’s career, making career advances and changes over relatively short time frames. Given the time and financial commitment, a master’s degree may not be the best educational option for supporting career moves. Shorter, noncredit educational options have become much more popular. Outreach College has responded with a variety of noncredit certificates and courses across a wide range of study areas: from human resource management to clinical research, from education to building operations, and from business process improvement to forensic anthropology.

I hope you find our website useful in exploring ways to advance toward your personal and professional goals. Outreach College continues to evolve, forming new partnerships with UH Mānoa colleges as well as organizations outside the university to provide new educational opportunities for all types of students. 


William Chismar, 
Dean, Outreach College
University of Hawai’i at Mānoa