The Kahuawaiola Indigenous Teacher Education Program at the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo is the first teacher education program in the world to receive accreditation from the World Indigenous Nations Higher Education Consortium (WINHEC).
WINHEC congratulated Kahuawaiola for its “commitment to elevate high standards of indigenous teacher education as an exemplar example for all Indigenous peoples.”
The accreditation is valid for 10 years and the indigenous education consortium has also renewed accreditation for UH Hilo’s Ka Haka ʻUla o Keʻelikōlani College of Hawaiian Language.
“[The teacher education program and Hawaiian language college accreditations] are important affirmations of the cultural and academic integrity of P–20 Hawaiian language medium education for our lāhui Hawaiʻi,” said Makalapua Alencastre, associate professor and coordinator of the program.
The WINHEC Board of Affirmation/Accreditation met in Norway in August to consider applications and reports from potential candidates.
“We were so fortunate to have attended that meeting as we were afforded the time to present the Kahuawaiola program,” said Alencastre. The UH Hilo group was commended by Hohaia Collier, executive co-chair, and Walter Kahumoku III, co-chair of the WINHEC Board of Affirmation/Accreditation, for “the high degree of cultural and professional integrity reflected in the presentation to the board.”