Big Island teacher preparation program accredited

HONOLULU (AP) - A Big Island-based teacher preparation program recently earned national accreditation, allowing it to soon being recruiting students.

Kahoiwai Director Joe Fraser says the program received confirmation last week that it received 5-year accreditation from the Teacher Education Accreditation Council.

The Waimea program provides a way to earn a license to teach in the state that's an alternative option to traditional university-based programs.

Fraser says it was born out of a need to develop local teachers who have an understanding of the unique needs of Native Hawaiian students who attend charter schools. Part of the program involves spending time in Waipio Valley to learn about incorporating Hawaiian language and culture in the classroom.

The Hawaii Teacher Standards Board is scheduled to ratify the program's accreditation next month.

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