The UH Mānoa College of Education Grow Our Own Teachers Initiative received 53 applicants for the third cohort of the program, nearly doubling the number of interested students since the first cohort began in January 2018. Scholarship stipends for qualified applicants are provided through support from the State Legislature and the Hawai‛i Department of Education (HIDOE).
“The near doubling of applicants for this program is a testament to the outstanding things we can accomplish when we work together,” said HIDOE Assistant Superintendent Cynthia Covell. “We look forward to continuing our innovative approach to teacher retention and recruitment as we continue to fill our classrooms with homegrown talent.”
Grow Our Own was designed for HIDOE employees who are already teaching and who serve as emergency hires, substitute teachers, or educational assistants. The main focus is to address teacher shortage areas in Hawaiian Language, world languages, English, mathematics, and science. The application process is rigorous in order to ensure candidates match these goals.
After careful review by the COE and HIDOE, the college selected 41 new students for spring 2020. Of those accepted, 29 are current DOE employees, while 12 are Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Teacher Education–Secondary (PBCTE–Secondary) program non-DOE applicants. The selected students will receive tuition stipends with travel stipends for those on the neighbor islands. Funding granted to non-DOE applicants is based upon the quality of the applications and available funds.
The new cohort of Grow Our Own candidates will begin the college’s online PBCTE–Secondary program in January 2020. They are expected to graduate in May 2021 when they are eligible to apply for teacher licensure from the Hawai‘i Teacher Standards Board (HTSB). Grow Our Own graduates commit to three years of full-time teaching (6th–12th grades) in HIDOE or charter schools in their licensed field.
With generous support and leadership from Senator Michele Kidani, this unique partnership between the COE and HIDOE is providing working educators with an opportunity to obtain a teaching license.