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Aloha from President Wright
with Chatt G. Wright

I would like to make you aware of an exciting new initiative that Hawai‘i Pacific University has been working on for the past few months. The critical shortage of certified teachers in Hawai‘i, and the Hawai‘i State Department of Education’s 2001-02 Teacher Employment Report citing current and future demand for qualified teachers led to renewed discussion about implementing a teacher education program at HPU.

In January 2003, HPU faculty and administrators began exploring various options to address this urgent need. A core teacher education task force was formed, comprised of Dr. Valentina Abordonado, Dr. Eric Brewe, Dr. Leslie Correa, and Dr. Mitchell Robertson. Ms. Ann Port, a special educational consultant, and HPU discipline experts from the colleges of Business Administration, International Studies, Liberal Arts, Natural Sciences, and Professional Studies provided assistance.

The post-baccalaureate Teacher Education Program at HPU will begin in the fall of 2005. The program will offer courses that will lead to secondary school certification in science, mathematics, TESL, English, computer education and social studies. It is anticipated that teacher licensing candidates will come from existing HPU programs, emergency-hire public school teachers who need to obtain their teaching licenses, individuals in the community who have completed their baccalaureate degrees and are now interested in joining the teaching profession, and “Troops to Teachers” servicemen who are exiting from military service.

HPU’s Teacher Education Program is being designed to develop professional educators who are effective teachers and who excel in culturally diverse classrooms. Alumni of HPU’s teacher education program will become part of a continually growing “ohana” of teaching professionals with ties to the university. These professional educators will be experts in their content areas and will utilize best practices in teaching, incorporating specific attributes of their environments, including technology, into their teaching and learning experiences.

Curricula will be tailored to each specific discipline and will be aligned with state and national standards. Courses will be rich with field-based learning experiences drawn from the vast cultural, societal, and environmental resources of Hawai‘i and with abundant service to the community. Teacher candidates will be mentored among a learning community of HPU faculty, teacher practitioners, and staff who model best professional practices. Our future teacher alumni will continue to be supported as teaching professionals through various resources at HPU.

The Hawai‘i Teacher Standards Board, which has responsibility for teacher licensing and credentialing, is now reviewing HPU’s proposed teacher education program. Once state approved teacher education status is awarded, HPU will be able to advertise and promote its new Teacher Education Program.

I sincerely believe that HPU’s Teacher Education Program will become the premier teacher preparation program in Hawai‘i and will play a major role in helping to resolve the nation’s critical teacher shortage. If you are contemplating a career in teaching and would like additional information about the proposed program, call Dr. Valentina Abordonado, the Interim Director of the Teacher Education Program, at 544-1143.

2004, Kalamalama, the HPU Student Newspaper. All rights reserved.
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