In Hawai‘i, we are deeply committed to the possibility that all students have access to an excellent education that prepares them to become authentic leaders of our local and global communities. Our regional core values of kuleana (responsibility), ‘ohana (family), and aloha (love), and our 10-year Strategic Direction guide our work.
We do not work alone in this effort, but as part of a broader community of families, community organizations, educators, and other leaders who are committed to helping our students become learners and leaders. We work together to empower students to contribute to their local and global communities, while honoring and grounding in the history, values, and cultural diversity that make our islands unique.
Hawai‘i is home to a resident population that is one of the most diverse in the world. Native Hawaiian, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Filipino, Portuguese, Micronesian, Pacific Island immigrants, and mainland white settlers are all represented in the state’s population. While the diverse ethnic mix of people in Hawai‘i creates a cultural melting pot, our host Hawaiian culture underlies all our communities and culture. Hawaiian history is a part of our school curriculum; the Hawaiian flag flies next to our United States flag; and our Hawai‘i anthem is sung proudly along with our national anthem at all major events.
You will have the opportunity to teach at 35 different public and charter schools on the islands of O’ahu and Hawai’i. The island of Hawai’i, also referred to as the “Big Island” because it is nearly twice the size of all the other islands combined, is home to an active volcano, snow-capped mountain, desert, and rainforest. The considerably more urban island of O'ahu is home to 80 percent of the state’s residents and the capital city of Honolulu.
Our Challenge, and Opportunity
Despite the beauty and vibrant communities on the islands, it is not paradise for everyone. Hawai‘i is largely a middle-class state, with the labor market dominated by the service and hospitality industry. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, approximately 11 percent of the resident population is living in poverty. This includes upwards of 40,000 kids in Hawaiʻi or one in eight children, a worsening trend since 2008 when the country was in the midst of the recession.
Today, with more than 400 people directly associated with TFA in our Hawai‘i community (corps members, alumni, staff, and board), we have tremendous potential as a community of people who share a set of values and a commitment to the movement for educational equity.
Why Choose Hawai'i?
What You Need to Know
Becoming Certified to Teach
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
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.
Subjects And Grade Levels
- Math high need for Secondary Math teachers
- Social Studies
- Special Education high need for Special Ed teachers
- English Language Learners