Sponsored by UH System & the Hawaii State Dept. of Education
The need for good, qualified teachers in Hawaii is greater than ever, especially in special education. To train and keep them in the islands, the University of Hawaii and the Hawaii State Department of Education have created the campaign “Be a Hero. Be a Teacher.” Instructors Jeff Judd and Christina Keaulana are part of the program at Leeward Community College and share with HI Now viewers how they are making an impact.
According to Keaulana, 30% of all new teaching positions are in the underserved Leeward District schools and a majority are needed in SPED classrooms. 167 emergency SPED licenses (not teaching credentialed) were issued in fall 2016 alone to address the shortage.
There is a high demand for SPED careers by Teacher Education Program students and HIDOE employees. Nearly 20% of Teacher Education students want to work in SPED settings: 107 are currently seeking SPED certification and a recent survey indicates that 95% are interested in the APC degree. HIDOE para-educators are increasingly interested in completing a SPED degree.
A majority of Teacher Education Program students reside in underserved areas, represent underrepresented groups, and currently serve as HIDOE employees. A large majority of TEP students live on the Leeward coast. Over 50% are either Native Hawaiian or Filipino. Furthermore, many para-educators work in Leeward coast HIDOE schools.
About Leeward Community College ” Be a Hero. Be a Teacher” program
The Associate of Arts in Teaching degree program is designed to provide a career ladder for teaching. The program prepares you to be an effective educator and provides a solid foundation for those interested in pursuing a baccalaureate degree in education. The AAT degree embeds field experiences in most pre-professional education courses, so you’ll learn about teaching in local classrooms with experienced teachers.
The vision of Leeward’s Teacher education program is to improve equity and access to teacher education for underrepresented groups and non-traditional students. The program seeks to provide quality teachers who are locally educated and culturally sensitive to schools in their own communities.
About Jeff Judd
Since Fall 2007, Jeff Judd has served as an Instructor for the program. He earned a BS degree in Biological Science and a teaching degree in secondary science from the University of California at Davis, and a PhD in Educational Psychology from the University of Hawai`i at Manoa. Jeff began teaching physical education for K-8 students in the early 1990s, and then moved to teaching chemistry, general science, and psychology for 16 years at the secondary level.
About Christina Keaulana
Christina Keaulana began as a lecturer for the program in 2013 and has since become an Instructor. In addition to teaching, she also coordinates the program’s Special/Inclusive Education Certificate of Competence. She earned a PhD and Master’s degree in Special Education from the University of Hawaii at Manoa, a B.A. in both English and Asian Studies from Brandeis University, as well as certification as an English as a second language teacher through the Windsor Institute in Madrid, Spain. Christina taught incarcerated youth, English language learners, and special education for 12 years in remote locations around the world as well as in her home community in Waianae, HI.