UH Hilo Kahuawaiola Indigenous Teacher Education Program receives accreditation

The UH Hilo graduate certificate program is the first teacher education program in the world to receive accreditation from the prestigious international authority, the World Indigenous Nations Higher Education Consortium.

By Susan Enright.

Group of people on steps. Makalapua Alencastre, Roxanne DeLille, Keiki Kawaiʻaeʻa, Noelani Iokepa-Guerrero, Kahuawaiola, Kananinohea Mākaʻimoku, Kahuawaiola, Ray Barnhardt, Walter Kahumoku III, Kamehaʻililani Waiau, Keane Nakapueo-Garcia, and Sylvia Hussey.
UH Hilo group at Sami University of Applied Sciences, Norway. (Front row, left to right) Makalapua Alencastre, director of Kahuawaiola; Roxanne DeLille, chair of the WINHEC visiting committee; and Keiki Kawaiʻaeʻa, director of Ka Haka ʻUla o Keʻelikōlani College of Hawaiian Language. (Second row, l-r) Noelani Iokepa-Guerrero and Kananinohea Mākaʻimoku, both faculty members at Kahuawaiola; Ray Barnhardt, chair of the WINHEC Board of Affirmation/Accreditation. (Back row, l-r) Walter Kahumoku III, UH West O‘ahu and WINHEC Board of Accreditors; Kamehaʻililani Waiau, instructor at Kahuawaiola and principal at Ke Kula ʻO Kamakau; Keane Nakapueo-Garcia, a graduate of Kahuawaiola and teacher at Ke Kula ʻO Kamakau; and Sylvia Hussey, director of the Native Hawaiian Education Council. Courtesy photo.

The Kahuawaiola Indigenous Teacher Education Program at the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo is the first teacher education program in the world to receive accreditation from the World Indigenous Nations Higher Education Consortium. The accreditation is a prestigious validation that “the public is being served with maximum educational effectiveness.”

The indigenous education consortium has also renewed accreditation for the UH Hilo Ka Haka ʻUla o Keʻelikōlani College of Hawaiian Language.

The WINHEC Board of Affirmation/Accreditation met in Norway in August to consider applications and reports from potential candidates such as the UH Hilo teacher education program.

“We were so fortunate to have attended that meeting as we were afforded the time to present the Kahuawaiola program,” says Makalapua Alencastre, associate professor and coordinator of the program. The Hilo group was commended by Hohaia Collier, executive co-chair, and Walter Kahumoku III, co-chair, of the WINHEC Board of Affirmation/Accreditation, for “the high degree of cultural and professional integrity reflected in the presentation to the board.”

The notification letter congratulated Kahuawaiola for “commitment to elevate high standards of indigenous teacher education as an exemplar example for all Indigenous peoples.”

Alencastre says the teacher education program and Hawaiian language college accreditations “are important affirmations of the cultural and academic integrity of P-20 Hawaiian language medium education for our lāhui Hawaiʻi.”

The accreditation is valid for 10 years.

Kahuawaiola Hawaiian and Indigenous Teacher Education Program

The Kahuawaiola Hawaiian and Indigenous Teacher Education Program is a three-semester graduate certificate program, delivered primarily through the medium of Hawaiian, specifically designed to prepare Mauli Ola Hawaiʻi (Hawaiian identity nurturing) teachers of the highest quality to teach in Hawaiian language medium schools, Hawaiian language and culture programs in English medium schools, and schools serving students with a strong Hawaiian cultural background.

In addition to the newly acquired accreditation from the World Indigenous Nations Higher Education Consortium, Kahuawaiola is accredited through the State Approval of Teacher Education Programs.

Upon successful completion of the program, candidates have satisfied one of the requirements for initial licensure from the Hawaiʻi Teachers Standards Board.

 

About the writer of this story: Susan Enright is a public information specialist for the Office of the Chancellor and editor of UH Hilo Stories. She received her bachelor of arts in English and certificate in women’s studies from UH Hilo.