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We have received approval from the Hawai‘i Teacher Standards Board to offer an independent licensure program that provides all our corps members the opportunity to earn their teaching credentials. Our nationally accredited Alternative Route to Credential (ARC) program is a collaboration between Teach For America, placement schools, university partners (Chaminade University and Johns Hopkins University), and several cultural and community organizations.

Becoming Certified to Teach

We recommend corps members for licensure after successful completion of our ARC program. This requires passing all key assessments, teaching time after passing the Praxis, and successful completion of all university courses (earning at least a B- in each course and having an overall GPA of at least 3.0 for credential courses).

Graduate School 

All corps members in our ARC program enroll in courses with our university partners. While not required, corps members have the option to apply this coursework towards a master's degree. A breakdown of programs offered by our university partners can be found below. All tuition and fee rates below do not include grants, loans, or stipends from any source. Corps members may be eligible to receive an Americorps education stipend to use towards qualified student loans and fees.

Chaminade University*

Johns Hopkins University

Licensure Only: $4,950 total ($618.75/credit*) plus applicable online/hybrid fees)

8 credits (two 3-credit classes, two 1-credit classes)

Classes are in Fall Special Term, Winter Term, Spring Term, and Spring Special Term

*The $618.75 per credit cost reflects a 25% special discount for Teach For America students.  The regular tuition for the 2019-2020 Academic Year is $825 per credit.

Licensure Only: $4,135 total ($827/credit*, no fees)

This is the per credit rate for the 2019-2020 school year. 2020-2021 is TBD

5 credits (one 3-credit class, two 1-credit classes)

Classes are in the Fall Term and Spring Term

Licensure + Master of Education in Instructional Leadership: $18,562.50 total

Licensure credits, fees (8): $4,950 total plus applicable online/hybrid fees

Additional credits to reach 30 credits: 22 x $618.75/credit = $13,612.50

Online ($93) or Hybrid ($40) fee per course

No portfolio fee

Graduation fee: $215

*Students interested in becoming a Vice-Principal or Principal in one of Hawaii’s public school system sometime in the future, can take elective courses which can be applied towards the Hawaii Department of Education’s Certification Institute for School Leaders (CISL) program, if accepted into their program.  Chaminade is one of the two higher education partners working with the Hawaii Department of Education to provide these courses.

Licensure + Master of Science in Education = $26,985

(with a concentration in: Educational Studies/Elementary (grades 1-6) or Educational Studies/Secondary (grades 7-12) - total cost of 30 credits and the portfolio and graduation fee to earn both licensure and a MS Ed)

Tuition: 30 x $827/credit = $24,810

Portfolio fee: $2000

Graduation fee: $175

No GRE testing necessary

No GRE testing necessary

Faculty and staff are experienced in working with local schools and students in Hawai‘i's unique educational climate and system. Graduates include many national and local award-winning teachers and administrators.

JHU is one of the top graduate schools of education in the country. The MSEd program is fully aligned with TFA curriculum at the local and national level with regional context built-in.

Need-based financial aid is available only to degree-seeking candidates based on the submission of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) Application. The admissions application fee is waived during the months of May - July for TFA applicants. No registration fees are required. Deferred payment of AmeriCorps funds is available. Please contact Chaminade for further information.

Financial aid is available on a limited basis. Payment plans are available. Please contact JHU for further information.

Application and registration fees are waived during two-year program plan, tuition for 9 waived institute credits waived. Deferred payment of AmeriCorps funds available. Frozen tuition for two years.

Online Format

Online Format

Admission is contingent on the submission of an official, sealed, degree-conferred transcript to:

Chaminade University

The Office of Professional and Continuing Education
3140 Waialae Avenue
Honolulu, HI 96816

Admission is contingent on the submission of an official, sealed, degree-conferred transcript to:

Johns Hopkins School of Education
Office of Admissions
6740 Alexander Bell Drive, Suite 110
Columbia, MD 21046

If your institution has the option of sending an electronic transcript, please have it sent to:

Have specific questions for Chaminade? Email:

Have specific questions for JHU? Get more info here or email the MSEd team

* The financial information above about our partner universities is based on the 2019-20 cohort year. Updates for the 2020.21 year will be provided in spring of 2020.


Do I need to enroll in a university? 
Unless you are already licensed in the state of Hawai`i, you must enroll in a university program listed above for at least licensure only courses. This is required as part of our Alternative Route to Certification (ARC) program to supplement the training you receive through TFA, by providing subject-area and SPED training and mentorship through our university partners.

If you are already licensed, you may want to consider applying for the Master’s program. If interested, please contact the same points of contact listed above to learn more about the Master’s program and process.

Can I pursue a license or Master’s degree in a content area I am not currently teaching?
No, you may not pursue licensure in a content area you are not teaching. You need to meet teaching hour requirements.  If you are a Special Education teacher, you enroll in a general education licensure or Master’s program in the content area you teach.

Teach For America Training

There is a lot of training and development before the first day of school.

  • Onboarding & Pre-Work: Virtual development that takes place between the time you confirm your offer and when you arrive for induction. During onboarding, you will begin to build community with staff members and fellow corps members, deepen understanding about Hawai‘i’s history with an intentional focus on indigenous culture, and engage in required pre-work items designed to set you up for success on this journey.
  • Induction: Two days of full-time in-person training at the institute location starting in mid-July.
    Your induction into the Hawai‘i corps is an important time when all new corps members and staff members come together to begin transitioning into life in the corps. Induction serves as a great introduction to Hawai‘i as your corps will establish a deeper understanding of fellow corps members, our mission, and our regional context.
  • Institute: Five weeks of full-time in-person training and student teaching following induction.
    Institute is an intensive summer training program that allows you to deepen skills in foundations of teaching and diversity, equity, and inclusiveness. This preparation is valuable to your development as a teacher leader and is built upon during ongoing development throughout your corps experience and alumnihood.
  • Orientation: Two days of in-person training scheduled during the weeks between the end of institute and the first day of school in early August. Orientation is the time you contextualize prior knowledge and learning from the summer to your specific placement in Hawai‘i.

Estimated Costs

  • Praxis testing costs: $120-$240
  • Flight to induction/institute: Cost varies
  • Flight back to Hawai‘i from institute: $700 average

Archived Reports

SY 20-21 CAEP Annual Report Data

Teach For America Hawaii’s Alternative Route to Certification Program is nationally accredited and regionally approved. This report displays data for the CAEP Accountability Measures.