Tuition allowances to train Hawaiian teachers

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The University of Hawaii at Mānoa College of Education (Center of excellence) The Grow Our Own Teachers initiative has been renewed and will recruit its fifth cohort for the spring semester of 2022. As with the previous cohorts, scholarships will be available for students admitted to the Master of Education program in secondary education at fall 2021 or who have applied for the post-baccalaureate certificate in teacher training (PBCTE) secondary program or PBCTE elementary program for spring 2022.

“I am grateful for the generous support provided by the Grow Our Own initiative and the allowance,” said Tina Thi Huynh-Nguyen, current PBCTE high school student. “It really allows me to pursue my dreams and ambitions. Spring 2022 will be the semester where I can proudly say that I am the first in my whole family to graduate from university with a bachelor’s degree in environmental science and a certificate to teach.

“I am continually struck by how often Grow Our Own students talk about how this program supports their dreams of using education to give back to the communities in which they grew up or now live and work,” said Kirsten Mawyer, director of the secondary program of the Teacher Training Institute. “I was touched by the way these recipients express their gratitude to the State that invests in them so that they, in turn, can invest their energy and passion in keiki and ‘ōpio (next generation) which will become that of Hawaii future leaders and stewards.

The new cohort of applicants will graduate in May 2023 and be eligible to apply for a teaching permit from the Hawaii Teacher Standards Council. As part of their engagement, they will be required to teach full-time for at least three years for the Hawaii Department of Education (HIDDEN) or state charter schools. Thanks to a rigorous application process, HIDDEN employees who serve as emergency hires, substitute teachers or teaching assistants are given priority. Priority is also given to areas where there is a shortage of Hawaiian language, world languages, English, math and science teachers. Applications for the Grow Our Own initiative must be submitted by October 1, 2021.

“Grow Our Own means to me to ‘pay it forward'” said a colleague PBCTE high school student Espie chapman. “I am grateful for the opportunity to give back to my community and to future world leaders. The most exciting part of the allowance is that I will be offered a position as an educator in the HIDDEN, and I will have a direct impact on the future of education.

A partnership between the Center of excellence and HIDDEN, this unique initiative would not have been possible without the support of Senator Michele Kidani, who has been a strong advocate of access to the teaching license for all students and practicing educators.

Kidani said: “Now, more than ever, we need to make sure that we prepare the next generation of teachers for our keiki. The Grow Our Own program successfully addresses recruitment and retention issues by providing a debt-free path for our next generation of school leaders. I am so proud of all of our program graduates and their commitment to our keiki. A great mahalo at the colossal work of EUH College of Education and Hawaii Ministry of Education for their work in developing this program.

For more information on Grow Our Own, contact Marie Guillermo at uhmgoo@hawaii.edu.

By Jennifer Parcs


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