Helping students get the education they need to enter the field
Sponsored by University of Hawaii System and “Be A Hero. Be A Teacher.” Initiative
With Hawaii’s teacher shortage affecting schools across the state, the University of Hawaii at West Oahu and the University of Hawaii at Manoa are developing ways to help students interested in teaching get the knowledge and preparation they need to succeed in the field.
Camille Hampton, the Education Pathway Program coordinator at UH West Oahu, says the state’s teacher shortage is serious. “On the leeward coast, we feel it especially. All of the schools have very different needs,” she explains.
The university was was awarded a federal grant that provided for the Teaching and Learn Academy. The pilot program aims to get more high school students to pursue an education degree while reducing the hurdles of going to college for first generation students. Currently, three high schools where students are participating include Waianae High School, Kapolei High School, and Campbell High School.
Students take courses where they can earn college credits in their junior and senior years. “The hope is that they’ll get through some of those gateway courses that are barriers for first year college students,” Hampton says.
The program also provides students with tutors who go out to each participating high school. In the student’s senior year, mentor teachers are also provided.
UH Manoa’s College of Education (COE) is also working to recruit students into the education field with its Minor in Education.
“We’re really excited to look at how to get more people from different majors to come into education,” says Janet Kim, COE special education recruitment specialist.
The minor allows students from other majors around campus to get exposure to education as a possible career pathway. Students who finish the minor in education will be eligible to sit for the substitute certification course. This means that when they graduate, they will be able to be fully employed with the Department of Education as a substitute teacher.