IAO: Outreach for proposed alternative certification for local language teachers


The Indigenous Affairs Office, in coordination with the Public School System, announces its ongoing village outreach and public comment period for its proposed alternative certification for Chamorro and Carolinian Language and Heritage Studies instructor.

In September, officials of the Department of Community and Cultural Affairs, the Indigenous Affairs Office and the Carolinian Affairs Office signed a memorandum of agreement to develop an alternative certification program for the Chamorro and Carolinian language teachers of the Public School System.

During the MOA signing, the four agencies agreed that an alternative certification program will attract interested people into education and training, help increase the number of local language teachers in public schools, and ensure that instructors are adequately proficient in Chamorro or Carolinian and have the requisite skills to effectively teach Chamorro and Carolinian.

Currently, the alternative certification requires an individual to pass the Praxis I test, have a high school diploma, and complete 24 college credits.

The proposed alternative certification, which was adopted by the CNMI Board of Education in early October, does not require an individual to pass the Praxis. It would only require an individual to have either: 

a high school diploma or equivalent, 3-24 college credits, and at least two years’ work related experience; or

high school diploma or equivalent, certification from an advisory panel appointed by the BOE, and at least three years’ related content experience; or

high school diploma or equivalent, certification from an advisory panel appointed by the BOE, and a professional portfolio in Chamorro or Carolinian content.

The remaining schedule for village meetings and public outreach is as follows:

– Nov. 14: Rota Sinapalo Youth Center (6-7 pm)

– Nov. 16: San Antonio Center (6-7 pm)

– Nov. 21: Tinian Youth Center (6-7 pm)

Submit comments to:

– Mary Lou Ada
Chairperson, CNMI Board of Education
P.O. Box 501370, Saipan, MP 96950; or

-Roman M. Tudela
Resident executive, Indigenous Affairs Office
Caller Box 10007, Saipan, MP 96950 (PR)

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