UH Hilo College of Hawaiian Language receives international accreditation

University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo
Alyson Kakugawa-Leong, (808) 974-7642
Director, Media Relations, University Relations
Posted: Sep 8, 2009

Ka Haka ‘Ula O Ke'elikōlani College of Hawaiian Language at the University of Hawai`i at Hilo has been awarded full accreditation by the World Indigenous Nations Higher Education Consortium. The announcement was made last month at WINHEC’s annual general meeting in Toronto, Canada.


“WINHEC's accreditation of Ka Haka 'Ula is a great honor,” said Dr. Kalena Silva, director of the college.  “We are delighted that this organization with member nations from all over the world has so strongly affirmed the quality of our programs.”


WINHEC’s accreditation team also jointly reviewed Ka Haka 'Ula’s Kahuawaiola Indigenous Teacher Education Program in conjunction with the Hawai'i Teacher Standards Board’s State Accreditation Teacher Education (SATE) team. The WINHEC accreditation recognizes Ka Haka 'Ula as a preschool to graduate school program that includes its preschool to grade 12 laboratory school program, its two Bachelor of Arts programs, its teacher education certificate, its two Master of Arts programs and its Ph.D. program.


WINHEC accreditation serves to strengthen and to validate indigenous higher education institutions and programs founded upon the diverse indigenous languages, cultural beliefs, protocols and practices of WINHEC member institutions.


Ka Haka ‘Ula O Ke‘elikōlani is the first college in the U.S. within a mainstream institution to be awarded WINHEC accreditation. Only two other institutions worldwide have been similarly accredited: New Zealand's Te Wananga O Aotearoa and Norway's Sami University College. The accreditation period lasts 10 years with a midterm, fifth-year review.