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Teaching Programs in Hawaii

Hawaii’s educational system is unique: It is the only state with one public school system—though it has many independent schools. The educational system has improvements to make, and it needs excellent teachers to help meet these challenges. Because of this, the Hawaiʻi State Department of Education created the 2030 Promise Plan. The plan includes increasing support for multicultural and multilingual students and staff, bringing in more high-quality teachers, redesigning curricula, allowing students more opportunity to take control over their learning, and fostering greater collaboration with higher learning institutions.

If you want to be an integral part of improving the state’s educational system, now is the perfect time to become a teacher in Hawaii.

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How Do I Become a Teacher in Hawaii?

Hawaii requires all teachers, school counselors, and school librarians to be licensed by the state board. There are several options for obtaining licensure for those who hope to become half- or full-time educators in the state.

Traditional Pathway to Becoming a Teacher in Hawaii

The traditional route to becoming a teacher, librarian, or counselor in Hawaii schools is to earn a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in education through a State Approved Teacher Education Program (SATEP). You must complete student teaching, meet the state’s basic skills and knowledge expectations by passing relevant Praxis exams, and go through a professional fitness check. If you’re a new graduate or have fewer than three years of teaching experience, you can qualify for a provisional license, which is valid for three years. After your provisional license, you can earn a standard license, which is renewable every five years.

Hawaii also offers an advanced license, which is renewable every 10 years. To be eligible, you need to do one or more of the following after earning a bachelor’s:

  • Teach for at least five of the previous eight years before applying
  • Earn a master’s, specialist, or doctoral degree
  • Pass 30 hours of relevant graduate coursework from an approved institution
  • Become a teacher leader or master teacher through the Hawaiʻi Department of Education, a Hawaii Charter School, or a school that is a member of the Hawaiʻi Association of Independent Schools

Becoming a Teacher Through Alternative Certification or as a Career Switcher

This route is for those who have a bachelor’s degree in a field other than education but want to become teachers. The simplest path to take—though you can return to school for an additional bachelor’s degree or enter a master’s program—is to complete a Hawaii educator preparation program (EPP). These include programs through traditional colleges, as well as Teach for America, Teach Away (teaching English overseas), and unique online programs. Some may require an internship, student teaching, and/or residency program. You’ll also have to pass any relevant exams and the professional fitness check.

Becoming a Career and Technical Education or Computer Science Teacher

If you have a background in another field and at least an associate degree, you may qualify for a standard limited career and technical education (CTE) or computer science license. CTE fields include arts and communication, business, health services, industrial and engineering technology, natural resources, public and human services, and many more. The limited license requires: