The UH Hilo Master of Arts in Teaching program prepares graduate students to become teachers in the state of Hawai‘i.
By Lara Hughes.
In response the state’s shortage of teachers, the School of Education at the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo offers a Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) degree program. The two-year program prepares students to become teachers in the state of Hawai‘i who can create “supportive environments based on their knowledge of learner development and learning differences.”
“The MAT teacher preparation program fills the critical teacher shortage in our state,” says Michele Ebersole, professor of education and chair of the education department.
After the first year in the MAT program (three semesters), students can apply for teacher licensure with the Hawaiʻi Teacher Standards Board.
Of the 24 MAT students to complete year-one this past spring, 23 of them are currently employed as teachers in the state:
- Rebecca Akiona – Keonepoko Elementary School.
- Corey Bell – Konawaena Elementary School.
- Tani Chamberlin – Kealakehe Elementary School.
- Chanell Crawford – Kamaile Academy Public Charter School.
- Cecile Daquioag – Ka‘u Elementary School.
- Dayna Ganigan – Mt. View Elementary School.
- Asia Harman – Keaukaha Elementary School.
- Nicole Harrison – Hilo Union Elementary School.
- Kathrine Hu – Keonepoko Elementary School.
- Kevyn-Bren Inouye – Mt. View Elementary School.
- Peter Kim – Kalanianaole Elementary School.
- Shanda Lee – Keonepoko Elementary School.
- Olivia Long – Pahoa Elementary School.
- Shyanne Matsumoto – Keonepoko Elementary School.
- Erik Onishi – Mt. View Elementary School.
- Nicole Shigenaga – Kea‘au Elementary School.
- Andrea Stroescu – Mt. View Elementary School.
- Channa Uyetake – Pahoa Elementary School.
- Secondary Science:
- Elizabeth Clemens – Roosevelt High School.
- Secondary English Language Arts:
- Karl Hennen (opted to study for a Teaching English as a Second Language certificate this year).
- Placement in Secondary Math:
- Laura Pereira – Ka‘u High School.
- Dawn Hess – McKinley High School.
- Carri Wissman – Hilo Intermediate School.
- Placement in Secondary Science:
- Amber Fontes – Waiakea Intermediate.
The second year of the graduate program (two semesters) completes the Master of Arts in Teaching degree.
The MAT program was developed four years ago and is currently a candidate for national accreditation with the Council for Accreditation of Educator Preparation. CAEP advances teacher preparation “through evidence-based accreditation that assures quality and supports continuous improvement to strengthen P-12 student learning.”
Community outreach and hands-on experience is an important aspect of the UH Hilo MA in teaching program. Coursework is integrated with fieldwork and, in the first year, individual students are required to complete over 700 field hours.
“Students spend time observing practices in the summer and begin teaching during the fall semester,” says Ebersole. “They engage in full-time student teaching during the spring semester.”
As undergraduates at UH Hilo, before entering the master’s program, the cohort spends volunteer time with K–12 students in a variety of educational settings.
In addition, several of the courses offered allow the graduate students the opportunity to tutor K–12 students by working one-on-one with individual students or by teaching in small groups. Ebersole says this helps them decide if teaching is the right profession and builds early professional knowledge for those who intend to work toward their teaching certification. It also provides service to the local and educational communities.
Last fall, members of the Hawai‘i Island Retired Teachers Association visited UH Hilo for a “talk story” session with the MAT cohort. The retirees have a long history of support for the UH Hilo School of Education.
- Retired teachers from Hawai‘i Island share their wisdom with UH Hilo teacher candidates, UH Hilo Stories, Sept. 24, 2015.
The School of Education, in collaboration with the Big Island Council of Teachers of English, also hosts annual workshops and professional development activities to help support teacher development in literacy practices.
Alumni from the program teach in private, public and charter schools and some have earned the distinction of being National Board Certified Teachers, while many others serve as local administrators.
More photos of the Annual MAT Teacher Candidate Reception held in May 2016, click to enlarge:
The priority deadline for MAT applications for the 2017-2018 academic year is Dec. 15, 2016.
UH Hilo undergraduates interested in becoming elementary or secondary teachers can contact Professor Ebersole to schedule an appointment to discuss the graduate program.
About the author of this story: Lara Hughes (senior, business administration) is a public information intern in the Office of the Chancellor.
-UH Hilo Stories