Project SHINE

One of our special service efforts is Project SHINE. SHINE is an acronym for Students Helping in Naturalization of Elders. Since 1996, Chaminade has worked with Kapi’olani Community College and the University of Hawai’i at Manoa to help elder immigrants learn the English and civic skills necessary for becoming citizens. Now part of a national consortium, this successful tutorial was originally the brainchild of a local grassroots community group. Through the experience, service-learning students may examine culture/ethnicity in America, legal & ethical issues, the roots of poverty in our communities, religion, or teaching techniques. They learn from and help to empower those who are marginalized.

Background Information

In the mid-1990s, the United States tightened its immigration policies and implemented Federal Welfare Reform. This legislation increased the strain on immigrant communities throughout the country. As a direct result, Hawai’i saw cutbacks in social services and welfare provisions for its non-U.S. citizens. The Chinese Community Action Coalition (CCAC), a non-profit grassroots organization, responded. In 1996, the CCAC developed the Honolulu Chinese Citizenship Tutorial Program (HCCTP) – to help immigrants pass the naturalization examination for U.S. citizenship.

The HCCTP’s successes have involved student-tutors from UH-Manoa, Chaminade, KCC, HCC, HPU, and Michigan State. Inspired by the HCCTP, similar service-learning opportunities have evolved at other sites, such as the Filipino Community Center.

You can get involved through SHINE – “Students Helping in the Naturalization of Elders.” This national service-learning initiative supports the Hawai’i tutorials by engaging college students in English language tutoring and intensive review of the citizenship exam material.

Program Goals

  1. To tutor immigrants of Honolulu communities – to help them learn English and pass their citizenship exams . . . thus maintaining their quality-of-life.
  2. To promote inter-ethnic agency, community, and university collaboration.
  3. To raise the consciousness of college students concerning government policies toward immigrants and the “immigrant experience.”
  4. To promote and facilitate the empowerment of immigrants in Hawai’i.

Course Requirements*

  1. Attend all training sessions. See your on-site coordinator if you have any time conflicts.
  2. Complete the program’s paperwork/online materials (pre-service registration and contract).
  3. Secure a regular shift appointment & site. Commit to that shift by tutoring for two hours each week, for the duration of the 10-week program.
  4. Keep journals of training and tutoring sessions – Include summary of events, thoughts/reflections about what happened, and links to course material. Meet with instructor to discuss the SHINE service-learning experience.
  5. Complete program evaluation.

* Requirements for courses are ultimately defined by their respective instructors.

Tutoring Sessions


Tutors are expected to focus on two areas: understanding and passing the citizenship test, and conversational English. Each shift is 2 hours long, and punctuality is important.  Prior to the beginning of their shift, tutors must inform their shift coordinator if they will be absent/late.

Each tutor is required to complete a minimum of 20 tutorial hours and 5 training/reflection hours by the end of the program’s 10-week period. After completing SHINE’s Orientation, you will choose one tutorial shift that you will commit to for the duration of the program (September 20 – November 26, 2017). Tutorial shifts are listed below.


1220 A'ala St.
4:00 - 6:00pm
ChinatownSaturday or SundayKalanihuia
1220 A'ala St.
9:30 - 11:30am

*** Please come to SHINE’s Orientation ready with your first & second choice for a tutorial shift and $5 for a field book.  Sign-up is on a first-come, first-served basis. Thus, we do not guarantee that you will get your first choice.


Any time missed (absences, tardies, holidays, etc.), must be made-up.  Make-up work is scheduled by making arrangements with a tutor coordinator to attend another shift.  Some exceptions (ie: spring break) do not require make-ups. See your SHINE calendar (given at orientation) for details.

Training Sessions
Training sessions are mandatory. View training information.

Getting There

A map and directions will be shared during Orientation.