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UH Board of Regents grants established status for associate degree program in teaching at Leeward Community College

Public can learn more about the program at free information session on April 2

Leeward Community College
Carolyn Tanaka, (808) 956-8109
External Affairs & University Relations
Posted: Mar 24, 2009

HONOLULU — At its monthly meeting held last week, the University of Hawaiʻi Board of Regents approved the establishment of the Associate of Arts in Teaching (AAT) degree at Leeward Community College and removed it from provisional status. The 62-credit degree program prepares students for employment as educational assistants or advancement to a baccalaureate program in elementary, special education or secondary education.

The program was provisionally approved by the Board of Regents in 2005 to address the critical shortages in the teacher workforce in Leeward and Central Oʻahu. It was also designed to meet the requirements of the No Child Left Behind Act, which included a mandate for all educational assistants to be deemed highly qualified by receiving 48 college credits or an associate degree.

So far, the program has significantly outperformed initial expectations in the number of majors, student semester hours, and student registrations. In fall 2006, there were 24 majors in the program. By fall 2008, there were 263 declared AAT majors. In the last two years, 28 Leeward AAT graduates transferred to institutions of higher learning to pursue baccalaureate degrees.

The AAT program has demonstrated that it is able to address Hawaiʻi‘s critical teacher shortage by preparing quality pre-service teachers who are locally educated and culturally sensitive to schools in their own communities. The program also ensures the improvement of equity and access to teacher education for underrepresented groups and non-traditional students.

The program will be sponsoring a free information session on Thursday, April 2, from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at the Leeward Community College campus, Room GT-105. It is open to the general public and attendees will be given the opportunity to learn more about the AAT degree and meet the instructors, counselor and students enrolled in the program. Items that will be covered include degree requirements, support services offered to education majors at Leeward CC, related clubs and activities, and financial aid options.

For more information about the information session or the degree program, call the AAT office at (808) 455-0467 or visit

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