Project BELL Graduates Proficient ESL Educators

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Contact:
Jim Manke, (808) 956-6099
External Affairs & University Relations
Kristen Cabral, (808) 956-5039
Public Information Officer
Posted: Jun 5, 2002

The University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa‘s Project BELL (Bilingual Education and Lifelong Learning), an interactive project run by the College of Education, recently graduated seven participants and is actively recruiting for individuals involved in teaching English as a Second Language who are interested in improving their skills.

Project BELL promotes the skills and career development of those already involved in teaching English as a Second Language (ESL) or working with bilingual students. Current in-service, Hawaiʻi Department of Education (DOE) part-time teachers and educational assistants participate in this project.

Funded by the U.S. Department of Education‘s Office of English Language Acquisition, the program offers support in all areas of the participant‘s educational experience including tuition, stipends, academic counseling and other personal assistance. Higher-level college degrees through the UH system leading to the completion of a teacher education program approved by the DOE, one-to-one mentoring by highly qualified classroom teachers, and a focus on professional development and staff empowerment are some components of the project.

Participants in Project BELL have been a colorful mix of people of Taiwanese, Hawaiian, Tongan, Samoan, Filipino, Japanese, Marshallese and Caucasian ancestry. Their commitment to teaching is shown by their involvement in schools across Oʻahu as well as their aspirations to post-baccalaureate degrees.

The recent Spring 2002 graduates exemplify the commitment and quality of the participants:

Melanie Connors received her post-baccalaureate certificate in secondary education with an academic emphasis in ESL and has been a part-time teacher in the ESL program at Kalakaua Middle School since 2001.

Alan Feuerman received a post-baccalaureate certificate in secondary education with an academic emphasis in science while student teaching at Niu Valley Intermediate.

Rachel Jamias earned a post-baccalaureate certificate in secondary education with an ESL emphasis and was chosen to be a grand marshall of the graduating class. Jamias was offered a full-time teaching position at Leilehua High where she has been working as a part-time teacher since 1999.

Yvette McDonald earned a post-baccalaureate certificate in secondary education with a business emphasis while student teaching at Leilehua High School.

Julie Morihara received a post-baccalaureate certificate in secondary education with a home economics emphasis while teaching full-time at Highlands Intermediate.

Maria Criselda Reyes was also chosen as a grand marshall of the graduating class, and received a post-baccalaureate certificate in secondary education with an ESL emphasis while student teaching at Wahiawa Middle School.

Josef-Troilan Orias received a bachelor‘s degree in elementary and special education while student teaching at Kaʻiulani Elementary School.

To qualify for the program, applicants must be in-service, part-time teachers or educational assistants in the DOE and be recommended by school administrators, district ESL resource teachers, and /or the DOE‘s ESLL or bilingual education specialist.

Preference is given to applicants who are bilingual in one of the most common languages of the ESL population including Ilocano, Samoan, Cantonese, Vietnamese and others. Priority is also given to applicants employed by a school with a high percentage of ESL students and/or if they teach in an ESL or Title VII (bilingual education) program.

For career advancement opportunities and more information about the program, contact Project BELL Coordinator Melinda Fernandez at 956-3370 or visit the program‘s Web site at www.hawaii.edu/wccc/bell.

For more information, visit: http://www.hawaii.edu/wccc/bell