No Hawaii programs have made it to the top of graduate education and teacher preparation ratings lists by the National Council for Teacher Quality or U.S. News & World Report. However, the state offers some intriguing TESOL-related programs with creative formats designed to reach educators from remote areas of the state and suit the schedules of working adults. Among the graduate program, teacher certification, and license endorsement options are institutions with synchronous and asynchronous online coursework; a fully online secondary licensure program; an 80% online elementary certification program; an internship teaching practicum in Hawaii’s innovative native-language immersion school system; and traditional on-campus Master of Arts and graduate certificate programs.
ESL Teacher Certification
The Hawaii Department of Education (DOE) and the Hawai’i Teacher Standards Board (HTSB) oversee issues concerning state licensure. HSTB’s Licensing & Permits guide summarizes the various licenses issued for K-12 educators:
- Provisional License
- Advanced License
- Standard License, divided into different categories:
- A: For new graduates of state-approved teacher preparation programs.
- B: For graduates of HSTB approved out-of-state teacher preparation programs.
- C: For educators already holding valid out-of-state licenses.
- D: For educators with a National Board For Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) Certificate.
- E: For teachers holding a certificate with a Meritorious New Teacher Candidate (MNTC) Designation.
- F: For teachers with HSTB approved foreign credentials.
Hawaii DOE’s guide to English Language Learners summarizes state offerings in ELL, bilingual, and multicultural education. However, Hawaii does not issue a TESOL certificate for classroom teachers. Instead, teachers must have state-approved certification in the subject area they plan to teach, and then provide ELL services as support. They can then pursue coursework, testing, and accumulation of professional experience to qualify to Add a Field to their credential via an application to HTSB.
Alternative Certification Options
HSTB grants an Emergency Hire Special Permit to qualified candidates who have not met HSTB licensing requirements but who procure a position working as a K-12 classroom teacher in a designated teacher shortage area. There is also a location-specific Ni’ihau Teachers Permit issued to educators working on the island of Ni’ihau.
Master’s in TESOL Programs
Hawaii Pacific University offers a Master of Arts in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. University of Hawaii at Hilo offers a Master of Arts in Indigenous Language and Culture Education. Participants must be fluent in the Hawaiian language to enroll in this dual-language immersion certification track. University of Hawaii at Manoa offers a Master of Arts in Second Language Studies. Students choose one of five areas of specialization, including second language acquisition, language teaching, critical second language studies, language and social interaction, or language assessment, measurement, and program evaluation.