Accredited Academic Curriculum

There’s no need to put academics on hold while attending Pacific Quest. Students who have not yet finished high school can complete seven accredited academic courses for a total of four (4) credits. Courses are available for both our adolescent and young adult programs. These credits are woven seamlessly into the daily routine and supported by hands-on learning—no extra classroom time.

Our Courses

These courses align with Pacific Quest’s therapeutic curriculum, the common core curriculum, and national standards. It’s our goal to provide a well-rounded educational experience that incorporates both academic learning and therapeutic growth.We may also tailor a specific class to a student’s individual journey and provide specialized accommodations for learning differences.

These transferable credits are issued through Pacific Quest’s accreditation with AdvanceEd and the North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement.

Accommodations and Individualized Learning

Pacific Quest can accommodate learning differences, including:

• Dyslexia
• Dyscalculia
• Dysgraphia
• Dyspraxia
• Dysphasia and Aphasia
• Nonverbal Learning Disorders
• Autism Spectrum
• Asperger’s Syndrome
• Processing Disorders

Access to accommodations assures that our students have equal access to our student curriculum (and equal access to success).

Our courses include:

• Career and Technical Education – Horticulture Pathway (0.5 credits)

• Health Education – Health Education (0.5 credits)

• Language Arts – English and Language Arts (0.5 credits)

• Physical Education – Lifetime Fitness (1.0 credit)

• Science – Environmental Literacy (0.5 credits)

• Social Sciences – Hawaiian Culture (0.5 credits)

• Electives – Psychology (0.5 credits)

Course Descriptions
Strengths-Based Learning

At Pacific Quest, we celebrate and respect diversity while providing our students the tools for sustainable growth. That’s why we integrate different learning styles and multiple intelligences into daily activities and assessments. This integration emphasizes our students’ strengths. Our team members strive to help students discover their unique learner profiles and build upon their success.

Community Service Outings

Community and stewardship are cornerstones of PQ’s experiential learning philosophy. In addition to outings and recreation, students are involved in the local community with community service projects. As such, it’s crucial to provide our participants with opportunities to give back. Please see our COVID-19 Page for current information.

Outings and Recreation

Students have a chance to explore the Big Island’s diverse cultural, historical, and scenic offerings through our program outings. Students explore various beaches, trails, and other wilderness areas, learning about the island’s vastly different bioregions and engaging in healthy fun! Weekly outings include paddle boarding, day hikes to remote beaches, swimming, sailing, and exploring Volcanoes National Park.

Community Service

The Big Island of Hawaii provides a wide range of opportunities for our adolescent and young adult students to serve others. Student community service activities include:

• Organizing major cleanups of local beaches and ponds
• Removal of invasive species at Punalu’u Pond
• Invasive plant removal on the Niaulani Nature trail
• Fence Line clearing in conjunction with the local Nature Conservancy
• Routine farm maintenance
• Volunteer at community centers
• Assisting with landscape projects at the local elementary school
• Volunteer at nearby elementary schools and senior centers
• Assist with setup and breakdown responsibilities at community events and meals
• Participate in PQ and other community-sponsored beach cleanup events
• Provide green space maintenance services at the local zoo
• Aid local community farms
• Assist in invasive species removal tasks at various national park sites on the island

Additionally, PQ students sell produce from our sustainable gardens at the local Farmer’s Market. 100% of funds raised are donated to youth organizations in the surrounding community.

Rites of Passage: Mile Markers on the Path to Change

In every culture in human history, communities have intentionally marked transitions from one phase of life to another. But in our complex, modern world, Rites of Passage have been ignored or eliminated.

The consequences of this loss are most apparent in how adolescents and young adults struggle through significant life transitions. Lacking guides and healthy mentors, the path to adulthood can be elusive for months, years, sometimes even decades.

Rites of Passage are woven into the curriculum throughout each student’s stay, culminating in a threshold experience. This highly individualized experience is designed collaboratively between the student and Pacific Quest. 

The Steps in Every Rite of Passage

Meaningful, intentional Rites of Passage have been a critical part of raising healthy adults for tens of thousands of years. And while the specifics may vary from culture to culture, they have three essential steps or phases:


letting go of the old that no longer serves


engaging in a period of reflection, new learning, and new experiences


bringing what one has learned into their life moving forward

Rites of Passage are experiential learning opportunities that provides a blueprint for navigating transitions well into the future. More importantly, they help young people see their unique gifts and how these gifts strengthen their families and communities. Because, at their core, Rites of Passage have always been about the community, not just the individual.