Preparation for the Classroom: Hawaii

Alternate Routes Policy


The state should ensure that its alternate routes provide efficient preparation that is relevant to the immediate needs of new teachers, as well as intensive induction support. The bar for this goal was raised in 2017.

Meets a small part of goal
Suggested Citation:
National Council on Teacher Quality. (2017). Preparation for the Classroom: Hawaii results. State Teacher Policy Database. [Data set].
Retrieved from:

Analysis of Hawaii's policies

Hawaii allows institutes of higher education as well as Teach For America to offer alternate route programs. The state does not make specific requirements for its alternate route programs; however, Hawaii considers its alternate routes as part of its State Approved Teacher Education Programs (SATEP). 

Coursework Requirements: Hawaii provides general preparation requirements for all SATEPs, including, but not limited to, preparation on Hawaiian language, history, and culture, teaching reading, including working with students with disabilities, and working effectively with students who are limited English proficient.

Induction Support: Hawaii does not provide alternate route program providers with guidelines to structure induction support for their program candidates. TFA candidates receive classroom support throughout the course of the residency program, which lasts two school years.

Supervised Practice Teaching Requirements: Hawaii requires all SATEPs to offer candidates a clinical experience that meets one of the following requirements: a minimum of 450 hours in student teaching, internship, or residency, a demonstration of teaching proficiency through a combination of satisfactory work experience and observation by the preparation program, or a passing score on a board approved performance assessment normed in combination with any other requirements determined by the program. TFA candidates must complete a practice teaching opportunity.


Recommendations for Hawaii

Establish coursework guidelines for alternate route preparation programs.
Hawaii should establish minimum requirements for its alternate route programs to ensure that they provide streamlined preparation that meets the immediate needs of new teachers. The state should articulate guidelines regarding the nature and amount of coursework required of candidates. Requirements should be manageable given the time constraints of a novice teacher and contribute to the immediate needs of new teachers. Appropriate coursework should include grade-level or subject-level seminars, methodology in content area, classroom management, and scientifically based early reading instruction. Further, alternate route programs should not be permitted to overburden the new teacher by requiring multiple courses to be taken simultaneously during the school year. Hawaii should also ensure that programs can be completed within two years. In addition, the state should establish guidelines for practice teaching and/or induction to ensure that new teachers are supported in the first year of teaching.

Require opportunities for candidates to practice teach.
To ensure that candidates are well prepared to enter the classroom, Hawaii should require that candidates are provided with a practice teaching opportunity prior to their placement in the classroom. 

Establish induction support requirements for new teachers
In addition to practice teaching prior to entering the classroom, Hawaii should require an induction support experience that is structured for new teacher success. The state should create a strong induction that provides for: intensive mentoring with full classroom support in the first few weeks or months of school, a reduced teaching load, and release time to allow new teachers to observe experienced teachers during the school day.

State response to our analysis

Hawaii had no comment on this goal.

Updated: December 2017

How we graded

5B: Preparation for the Classroom 

  • Practice Teaching: The state should require a supervised practice-teaching experience.
  • Induction: The state should require that all new teachers receive intensive induction support.
  • Manageable Coursework: The state should ensure that the amount of coursework it either requires or allows is manageable for a novice teacher. Anything exceeding 12 credit hours may be counterproductive, placing too great a burden on the teacher. This calculation is premised on no more than six credit hours in the summer, three credit hours in the spring, and three credit hours in the fall.
  • Targeted Coursework: The state should ensure that all coursework requirements are targeted to the immediate needs of the new teacher (e.g., seminars with other grade-level teachers, classroom management techniques, training in a particular curriculum, reading instruction).
Preparation for the Classroom
The total goal score is earned based on the following:

  • Full credit: The state will earn the full point if all four elements are required for all alternate route programs.
  • Three-quarters credit: The state will earn three-quarters of a point if three elements are required for all alternate route programs.
  • One-half credit: The state will earn one-half of a point if two elements are required for at least some of the state's alternate route programs.
  • One-quarter credit: The state will earn one-quarter of a point if one element is required for at least one of the state's alternate route programs.

Research rationale

Alternate route programs must provide practical, meaningful preparation that is sensitive to a new teacher's workload and stress level. Too many states have policies requiring alternate route programs to "backload" large amounts of traditional education coursework, thereby preventing the emergence of real alternatives to traditional preparation. This issue is especially important given the large proportion of alternate route teachers who complete this coursework while teaching. Alternate route teachers often have to deal with the stresses of beginning to teach while also completing required coursework in the evenings and on weekends.[1] States need to be careful to require participants only to meet standards or complete coursework that is practical and immediately helpful to a new teacher.[2] That is, while advanced pedagogy coursework may be meaningful for veteran teachers, alternate route coursework should build on more fundamental teaching competencies such as classroom management techniques, reading instruction, or curriculum delivery.

Most new teachers—regardless of their preparation—find themselves overwhelmed by taking on their own classrooms. This is especially true for alternate route teachers, who may have had considerably less classroom exposure or pedagogy training than traditionally prepared teachers.[3] States must ensure that alternate route programs do not leave new teachers to "sink or swim" on their own when they begin teaching. It is critical that all alternate route programs provide at least a brief student teaching or other supervised practice experience for candidates before they enter the classroom, as well as ongoing induction support during those first critical months as a new teacher.[4]

[1] Constantine, J., Player, D., Silva, T., Hallgren, K., Grider, M., & Deke, J. (2009). An evaluation of teachers trained through different routes to certification. Final Report. NCEE 2009-4043. National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance. Retrieved from
[2] Walsh, K., & Jacobs, S. (2007). Alternative certification isn't alternative. Thomas B. Fordham Institute, National Council on Teacher Quality. Retrieved from
[3] Greenberg, J., Walsh, K., & McKee, A. (2014). Teacher Prep Review: A review of the nation's teacher preparation programs. Retrieved from
[4] For a further review of the research on new teacher induction, see: Rogers, M., Lopez, A., Lash, A., Schaffner, M., Shields, P., & Wagner, M. (2004). Review of research on the impact of beginning teacher induction on teacher quality and retention. Retrieved from