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
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.