Teaching Here

Why Choose Hawai'i?

A headshot of a young man with short dark hair, smiling and wearing a coral Hawaiian shirt.
Taylor Hamilton (Hawai'i '13)

TFA to me means family. I am from Hawaii, born and raised and I know in Hawaii family is a big thing. When I think of TFA Hawaii, I think of family because of the Ohana that has been created through the program.

A headshot of a young African-American male wearing a dark shirt and pink lei.
Bryson Mitchell (Hawai'i '13)

When I think of TFA for me it just essentially means an opportunity for kids to have equal opportunity and to have their dreams hopefully realized by a group of people who are just as ambitious and as passionate as they are.

A headshot of a young woman with long blonde hair wearing a purple blouse against a white background.
Colleen McEnearney (Hawai'i '13)

Teach for America has been a family to me. It's been a community of people who are all excited about and working towards the same thing and it's been a way for me to realize my own potential as a leader and as a teacher. It's also been a group of just really amazing friends.

What You Need to Know


First year, unlicensed corps members have a starting salary of $34,000 (subject to change).

Second year, licensed corps members have a starting salary of $45,000.

See salary schedule




Optional 2nd Year program through Chaminade University or Johns Hopkins University​


One year via Alternative Route to Credential (ARC) program. Details about program accreditation can be found below: 

Becoming Certified to Teach

  • Overview
  • Partner Universities
  • Is it possible to complete a master's degree at the end of the two years?
  • How much does the Master's degree cost?
  • Is a master's degree required?

We are pleased to announce that Teach For America-Hawai‘i has been approved by the Standards Board to offer an independent licensure program and will now be providing teaching credentials to all corps members. The Alternative Route to Credential (ARC) program will be a collaboration between Teach For America, Chaminade University and other community partners.

In order to receive a credential, corps members must successfully complete the following program of study during their first year in the classroom.

Core Assessments and Mentoring

Corps Members must complete all core Key Assessments listed below and actively participate in professional development.

  • Key Assessment 1 : Praxis
  • Key Assessment 2 : Summer Institute Portfolio and Evaluation
  • Key Assessment 3: Planning Portfolio
  • Key Assessment 4: Clinical Observations
  • Key Assessment 5: Student Learning Assessment
  • Key Assessment 6: Dispositions Assessment


Hawaiian Culture and History

All corps members must complete a Hawaiian culture and history component. Information on completion of this component is provided by Teach For America.


Content Support and Coursework

All corps members should enroll in a Masters of Education program at Chaminade University or Johns Hopkins University. All classes are offered online, and classes may be offset with an Americorps award if funding is granted.

Chaminade University

  • Elementary General Education (K- 6)
  • Secondary General Education (7 - 12)
  • Special Education

Johns Hopkins University

  • Masters of Science in Education
  • Chaminade University
  • John Hopkins University


Estimated Cost (not including 1st year certification costs):

  • Chaminade University: $11,000
  • Johns Hopkins University: $20,000

Americorps funding MAY offset some costs. 


Placement School Locations

Neighborhood Tour

  • O‘ahu Island – Leeward Coast
  • Hawai‘i Island – Kona

This rural part of Oahu extends from Ewa to Nanakuli, up the coast to Maili, Waianae and Makaha. The leeward coast boasts of white sandy beaches, excellent swimming, snorkeling, and fishing spots and magical sunsets as the sun melts into the Pacific Ocean’s horizon. Winter usually brings large surf into Makaha and Yokohama Beaches.

Learn more

The sunny Kona District stretches for about 60 miles from Kona International Airport to beyond Kealakekua Bay on Hawaii Island’s lava-lined western coast. Along this expansive area, you’ll find everything from coffee farms to historic Hawaiian landmarks.

In fact, King Kamehameha actually spent his final years in Kailua-Kona. Today, Historic Kailua Village (Kailua-Kona) is a bustling, gathering place in the heart of the district, just a 15-minute drive south of Kona International Airport. Home to shops, restaurants and nightlife, you can conveniently take a walking tour of Kona’s history at places like Hulihee Palace, Mokuaikaua Church and the Ahuena Heiau.

Other significant historic places include Kealakekua Bay to the south, where Captain James Cook first set foot on the island in 1778 and where he was eventually killed. Nearby is Puuhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park, a well-restored Hawaiian “place of refuge.” North of Kailua-Kona is the Kaloko-Honokohau National Historic Park, a 1160-acre park that lets you explore early heiau (temples), fishponds and petroglyphs.

Shielded from winds by Maunaloa, south Kona’s calm and clear waters are perfect forsnorkeling, diving and spotting dolphins and honu (Hawaiian green sea turtles). One of Kona’s most memorable experiences is going on a manta ray boat tour to scuba or snorkel with these gentle, graceful sea creatures. Kona is also famous for its deep-sea fishing, hosting the International Billfish Tournament (August) every year. And on land, don’t forget to travel to the cooler upland slopes of towns like Holualoa, where you can sample the distinctive flavors of 100% Kona coffee. On the versatile Kona coast, you’ll find the adventures are as big as the island itself.

Learn more

Alumni Spotlight

Hawai‘i 2007
Academic Coach Pohakea Elementary School
Originally from Waipahu, Chelsey has been at Pohakea Elementary School since she was placed there in 2007, and she is now entering her third year as an academic coach. She is a graduate of Mid-Pacific Institute, Lewis & Clark College, and the University of Hawai`i at Manoa.

Subjects And Grade Levels

  • Elementary
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • English
  • Math high need for Secondary Math teachers
  • Physics
  • Social Studies
  • Special Education high need for Special Ed teachers
  • English Language Learners


Regional Expenses

Monthly Salary

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Estimated Monthly Expenses

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What's Left Over
Ongoing Certification Costs
You may be able to offset ongoing certification costs with an AmeriCorps education award. Learn more.
One Time Summer Start Up Costs
Estimated Start Up and Certification Costs