CDS Projects

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Hawai‘i Paraprofessional Training Institute (HI PTI)

Funded by the federal Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), the goal of the Hawai‘i PTI is to strengthen statewide capacity to train and employ skilled behavioral health professionals, especially in rural and underserved areas of the State of Hawai‘i. 

During the 2017-2021 award period we aim to:

  1. Identify current uncertified para-professionals and –educators and provide tuition waivers for the coursework needed to complete a Hawai‘i PTI certificate / credential program
  2. Recruit new para-professionals and –educators in hard to serve areas of the state and do the same
  3. Train and certify or credential behavioral health para-professionals and –educators statewide
  4. Work with the existing Hawai‘i Workforce Development Taskforce to develop a statewide para-professional and –educator workforce development plan

Through BAYADA Behavioral Health (BAYADA) and Leeward Community College (LeeCC) training programs, para-professionals and –educators across the state have an opportunity to pursue a Registered Behavior Technician™ (RBT®) credential and/or the Special and Inclusive Education Certificate of Competence (SpEd Cert).  Housed at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa Center on Disability Studies, the Hawai‘i PTI is collaborating with BAYADA and LeeCC to provide scholarships to eligible individuals who have not attained a bachelor’s degree.

Two training pathways RBT® SpEd Cert
BAYADA Behavioral Health Yes  
Leeward Community College Yes Yes
Team Members

Tammy Tom, MA, MS
Project Director

Christina Keaulana, PhD
Leeward Community College Project Director

Kathleen Penland, MEd, BCBA, LBA
BAYADA Behavioral Health Project Director

Project Dates
Project Start Date: 
September, 2014
Project End Date: 
August, 2021
Project Funding
Funding Agency: 
Bureau of Health Workforce (BHW), Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)
Primary Contact
Tammy Tom
Project Director