Bachelor of Education

Secondary Education


The UH West O‘ahu Bachelor of Education degree with a concentration in Secondary Education, grades 6-12, prepares knowledgeable, skillful, responsive educators for a global society. Studies encompass an innovative, field-based teacher preparation program, as well as public service activities that support West O‘ahu communities. This area of concentration is especially designed for teacher candidates who wish to specialize in teaching English language arts, social studies, math, general science, and/or biology at both middle and high school levels, grades 6-12. A strong liberal arts curriculum supports candidates’ excellent knowledge of content in the chosen discipline.

Throughout their program of study, teacher candidates participate in over 630 hours of field-based coursework, including the early field experience, service learning, introduction to middle-level and secondary education, and two practicums taken concurrently with content methods courses. The program culminates in a 15-week, full-time high school student teaching semester in the chosen field. Field placements occur in middle and high schools island-wide and especially in Central and Leeward O‘ahu and on the Wai‘anae Coast. Faculty deliver courses on-campus and online, while maintaining flexible scheduling to accommodate teacher candidates’ busy lives.

Upon successful of their program of study, the Education Division recommends the B.Ed graduate for licensure by the Hawai‘i Teacher Standards Board. UH West Oʻahu Secondary Education courses have not been determined to meet specific requirements for licensure or licensure preparation in states other than Hawaiʻi. If you intend to work in another state, we recommend contacting the state to find out what their certification requirements are and if you can work there. Online courses and programs at UH West Oʻahu do not lead to teacher certification. However, all of our courses and programs are fully accredited and course credits may transfer to university programs that may lead to state professional licensure. Additional licensure information can be found on the NC-SARA webpage.

Learning Outcomes

Graduates of the Bachelor of Education degree with a concentration in Secondary English will be able to:

  • Demonstrate knowledge of English language arts subject matter content that specifically includes literature and multimedia texts as well as knowledge of the nature of adolescents as readers.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of English language arts subject matter content that specifically includes language and writing as well as knowledge of adolescents as language users.
  • Plan instruction and design assessments for reading and the study of literature to promote learning for all students.
  • Plan instruction and design assessments for composing texts (i.e., oral, written, and visual) to promote learning for all students.
  • Plan, implement, assess, and reflect on research-based instruction that increases motivation and active student engagement, builds sustained learning of English language arts, and responds to diverse students’ context-based needs.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of how theories and research about social justice, diversity, equity, student identities, and schools as institutions can enhance students’ opportunities to learn in English Language Arts.
  • Are prepared to interact knowledgeably with students, families, and colleagues based on social needs and institutional roles, engage in leadership and/or collaborative roles in English Language Arts professional learning communities, and actively develop as professional educators.

Graduates of the Bachelor of Education degree with a concentration in Secondary Mathematics will be able to:

  • Demonstrate and apply knowledge of major mathematics concepts, algorithms, procedures, connections, and applications within and among mathematical content domains.
  • Solve problems, represent mathematical ideas, reason, prove, use mathematical models, attend to precision, identify elements of structure, generalize, engage in mathematical communication, and make connections as essential mathematical practices.
  • Apply knowledge of curriculum standards for mathematics and their relationship to student learning within and across mathematical domains.
  • Exhibit knowledge of pre-adolescent and adolescent learning, development, and behavior
  • Provide evidence demonstrating that as a result of their instruction, middle-level and secondary students’ conceptual understanding, procedural fluency, strategic competence, adaptive reasoning, and application of major mathematics concepts in varied contexts have increased.
  • To be lifelong learners and recognize that learning is often collaborative.
  • Engage in a planned sequence of field experiences and clinical practice under the supervision of experienced and highly qualified mathematics teachers.

Graduates of the Bachelor of Education degree with a concentration in Secondary General Science or Biology will be able to:

  • Understand and articulate the knowledge and practices of contemporary science and engineering.
  • Plan learning units of study and equitable, culturally-responsive opportunities for all students based upon their understandings of how students learn and develop science knowledge, skills, and habits of mind.
  • Plan for engaging all students in science learning by identifying appropriate learning goals that are consistent with knowledge of how students learn science and are aligned with standards.
  • Demonstrate biological, chemical, and physical safety protocols in their classrooms and workspace.
  • Provide evidence that students have learned and can apply disciplinary core ideas, crosscutting concepts, and science and engineering practices as a result of instruction.
  • Strive to continuously improve their knowledge of both science content and pedagogy, including approaches for addressing inequities and inclusion for all students in science.

Graduates of the Bachelor of Education degree with a concentration in Secondary Social Studies will be able to:

  • Demonstrate knowledge of social studies disciplines. Candidates are knowledgeable of disciplinary concepts, facts, and tools; structures of inquiry; and forms of representation.
  • Plan learning sequences that leverage social studies knowledge and literacies, technology, and theory and research to support the civic competence of learners.
  • Design and implement instruction and authentic assessments, informed by data literacy and learner self-assessment, that promote civic competence.
  • Use knowledge of learners to plan and implement relevant and responsive pedagogy, create collaborative and interdisciplinary learning environments, and prepare learners to be informed advocates for an inclusive and equitable society.
  • Reflect and expand upon their social studies knowledge, inquiry skills, and civic dispositions to advance social justice and promote human rights through informed action in schools and/or communities.

Field Based Coursework

Student teaching is a full-time, 15 week, supervised classroom experience, taken concurrently with a Writing Intensive (WI) seminar. A gradual release of responsibility by the mentor teacher leads to a minimum of 15 days of solo teaching. Candidates complete their student teaching in a school that is in partnership with the UH West O‘ahu Division of Education. At the discretion of the UH West Oʻahu Field Placement Coordinator, and with approval of the principal and mentor teacher, Hawai‘i Department of Education part-time teachers and teaching assistants may be able to complete their student teaching in the school where they have been employed.

With guidance from their classroom mentor teacher and university supervisor, candidates complete their required 630 hours of field-based coursework in partner schools, including but not limited to the following:

  • Kapolei High School
  • Campbell High School
  • Waianae High School
  • Mililani High School
  • Ewa Makai Middle School
  • Kapolei Middle School
  • Honoʻuliʻuli Middle School

Careers and Earning Potential

Teaching is a rewarding career that provides benefits and job security in an era of teacher shortages across the United States. Teachers often continue their professional development via graduate programs in education, including master’s and doctorate degree programs in curriculum and instruction or specialized fields in literacy, special education, and English language learners. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (2016 data), the median salary for secondary school teachers is $59,070. The Hawai‘i State Department of Education reported the starting salary for teachers who graduate from a State Approved Teacher Education Program as $50,123 for the 2020-21 school year.

Graduates find teaching positions in public and private schools; coordinate education programs for public and private sectors, such as museums, libraries, YMCA, and community centers; and serve as consultants to industries. Once licensed in Hawai‘i, secondary school teachers may seek reciprocal certification in all states, as well as the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and Guam.

For more information on careers and earning potential, visit the Hawaiʻi Career Explorer website.

Student Clubs

The UH West O‘ahu Education Club is a wonderful opportunity for teacher candidates to gain an
even greater understanding of the education field and participate in community service projects,
workshops, social activities, and more. The club supports literacy causes and raises monetary
and book donations that benefit lending libraries and local area elementary, middle, and high

Faculty Contact

Dr. Mary Heller
(808) 689-2339

Dr. Cathy Ikeda
Associate Professor
(808) 689-2488

Social Studies
Dr. Bonnie Bittman
Assistant Professor
(808) 689-2491

Dr. Laurie James
Associate Professor
(808) 689-2364

Dr. Richard Jones
(808) 689-2340