The Hawaii Teachers Standards Board maintains the licensing for teachers in the state, including standard, provisional, advanced and Career & Technical Education (CTE) special permit. It also manages emergency hire permits.
Explore licensing options in this overview.
Hawaii Qualified Teacher designation
The Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015 requires that teachers of all subjects meet the federal requirement for designation as ESSA Hawaii Qualified. To meet ESSA Hawaii Qualified Teacher (ESSA HQT) requirements, teachers must:
- Hold a valid Hawaii Teachers Standards Board (HTSB) teaching license in the subject area and grade level for the teaching assignment or
- Hold a valid Hawaii Qualified Teacher certificate by having a valid HTSB License in any subject area for the grade level assigned and also meets one of the following requirements:
- Passed the Praxis Content Exam or other accepted content exam for the subject area and grade level or
- Holds a valid National Board Certificate for the subject area or
- Earned a College major or 30 credits in the subject area or
- Completed an approved ESSA Hawaii Qualified Teacher Rubric in the subject area or
- Earned a Hawaii issued Highly Qualified Teacher certificate in the subject area
Frequently Asked Questions about HQ
to learn more.
Those applying to be a substitute teacher in the Department must take our Substitute Teacher Course, with these conditions/exceptions:
Bachelor's degree or higher, not teacher-trained (Class II): Certificate showing successful completion of course requirement good for 5 school years.
Recent teacher-college graduate, in-state or out-of-state licensed/certified teacher (Class III):Exempted for 5 calendar years from year of initial employment from taking the course.
Teacher retired from the Department (Class III):
Exempted for 10 calendar years from year of retirement.
To be recertified, applicants must successfully complete re-certification class with a score of 80% or better. Certificate showing successful completion of course requirement is good for another 5 school years.
Substitute Teacher Course
Taught at the Department's
Community School for Adults statewide. Contact a CSA for course dates, times and fee.
Paraeducator (Educational Assistants)
A paraeducator works under the supervison of teachers or other professional practitioners. Their jobs are instructional in nature and they provide other direct services to children and youth and their families, including:
- One-on-one tutoring
- Assist with classroom management
- Provide instructional assistance in a computer laboratory
- Conduct parental involvement activities
- Provide instructional support in a library or media center
- Act as a translator, or
- Provide instructional support services under the direct supervision of a highly qualified teacher or professional practitioner.
Minimum requirements for paraeducators:
- Forty-eight semester credits of baccalaureate-level courses from a regionally accredited institution of higher education recognized by the Department. The 48 credits may be from various program or academic subject areas. In addition, 6 of the 48 credits must have been for math and English courses at the baccalaureate level. Or,
- An Associate in Arts (AA) or Science (AS) degree from a regionally accredited institution recognized by the Department. The credits earned for the degree must have been for courses that are baccalaureate level. Or,
- A certificate with a minimum score of 459 on the
ParaPro Assessment provided by the Educational Testing Service.
For more information, contact Classified / Support Services Personnel Recruitment at 808-441-8411.
The ParaPro Assessment is a computer-based assessment option for Educational Assistants (EA) and part-time Paraprofessional Tutors (PPT) to meet Department of Education minimum qualifications for employment.
The administration of the ParaPro Assessment is managed by the
Community School for Adults (CSA). Individuals interested in future ParaPro Assessment opportunities can contact the following CSA campuses for more information:
- McKinley Campus: 808-594-0540
- Kauai Campus: 808-274-3390 or 808-837-8466
- Maui Campus: 808-873-3082
- Waipahu Campus: 808-528-9577
- Hilo Campus: 808-974-4100
- Wahiawa Campus: 808-305-3200
- Windward Campus: 808-254-7955
School-Level Educational Officers
The Department certifies its own school administrators through the Hawaii Certification Institute for School Leaders (HICISL). The two-year HICISL program promotes the performance of aspiring school leaders in their role through coaching, coursework and residency components. HICISL is administered by the Department's Leadership Institute.
There are two main tracks available for interested persons to apply to participate in the HICISL program. Applicants must meet the following minimum requirements.
Track A (Regular)
Tenured, certificated teacher currently employed in the HIDOE public school system
Four (4) or more years of K-12 teaching experience
Satisfactory performance evaluations
Currently non-tenured HIDOE employee or non-HIDOE employee
Holds a K-12 administrator license or a Master’s Degree in Educational Administration or Educational Leadership from an accredited university
Three (3) or more years of K-12 teaching experience
Satisfactory performance evaluations
NOTE: Persons applying through Track A or B are screened and selected to participate in the HICISL Summer Institute. Successful completion of the Summer Institute is required to continue to the Residency phase of the HICISL program. The Residency phase is one year for Track A and two years for Track B.
Persons who possess a current, valid school-level administrator license through another state may be eligible for certification in Hawaii if they meet the following requirements.
Track IV (Vice Principal)
- Possesses current, valid K-12 school level administrator license
- Holds a Master’s Degree in Educational Administration or Educational Leadership from an accredited university
- Has a minimum of five (5) years K-12 school level experience, to include three (3) years satisfactory performance as a licensed, K-12 school level vice principal (or assistant principal) in a public school system
- private school and/or charter school experience not accepted at this time.
- residency, internships and practicum under a provisional or preliminary license does not meet the (3) year minimum requirement.
- duties performed must be comparable to a HIDOE vice principal
- satisfactory performance will be verified
Track V (Principal)
Possesses current, valid K-12 school-level administrator license
Holds a Master’s Degree in Educational Administration or Educational Leadership from an accredited university
Has a minimum of five (5) years K-12 school level experience, to include four (4) years satisfactory performance as a licensed, K-12 school level principal or higher, in a public school system (private school and/or charter school experience not accepted at this time). Duties performed must be comparable to a HIDOE principal
For further information about becoming a certified school level administrator (i.e. Principal or Vice Principal), contact:
Professional Development and Educational Research Institute (PDERI)
Address: 345 Puuhale Road Room 106, Honolulu, HI 96819