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UH Hilo’s Kahuawaiola Indigenous Teacher Education Program receives international accreditation

University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo
Alyson Y Kakugawa-Leong, (808) 932-7669
Dir, Media Rel, University Relations
Posted: Oct 9, 2018

The University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo Ka Haka `Ula O Ke`elikōlani (KH`UOK) College of Hawaiian Language’s Kahuawaiola Indigenous Teacher Education Program received a 10-year accreditation from the World Indigenous Nations Higher Education Consortium (WINHEC). 

“The College applauds Kahuawaiola for being the first of the teacher education programs to meet its accreditation requirements through an international Indigenous accreditation process,” said KH`UOK Director Keiki Kawai`ae`a. 

The Hawaiʻi Teacher Standards Board provides the option for Indigenous and culturally-focused programs such as Kahuawaiola to fulfill its accreditation requirements through either a national or international Indigenous-focused accrediting body. In concert with the accreditation of Kahuawaiola, KHʻUOK applied a year early and was reaccredited by WINHEC.

The WINHEC Board of Affirmation/Accreditation met in Norway in August to consider applications and reports from potential candidates such as the Kahuawaiola Indigenous Teacher Education program. 

“We were so fortunate to have attended that meeting as we were afforded the time to present the Kahuawaiola program,” noted Makalapua Alencastre, associate professor and coordinator of the program. Alencastre said the teacher education program and KH`UOK accreditations “are important affirmations of the cultural and academic integrity of P-20 Hawaiian language medium education for our lāhui Hawaiʻi.”