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.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.

Learning Outcomes

Graduates of the Bachelor of Education (B.Ed.) degrees with a concentration in Secondary Education will be able to:

  • Understand how learners grow and develop, recognizing
    that patterns of learning and development vary
    individually within and across the cognitive, linguistic,
    social, emotional, and physical areas, and designs and
    implements developmentally appropriate and challenging
    learning experiences.
  • Use understanding of individual differences and diverse
    cultures and communities to ensure inclusive learning
    environments that enable each learner to meet high
  • Work with others to create environments that support
    individual and collaborative learning, and that encourage
    positive social interaction, active engagement in learning,
    and self-motivation.
  • Understand the central concepts, tools of inquiry, and
    structures of the discipline(s) he or she teaches and create
    meaningful learning experiences that assure mastery of
  • Understand how to connect concepts and use differing
    perspectives to engage learners in critical thinking,
    creativity, and collaborative problem solving related to
    authentic local and global issues.
  • Understand and use multiple methods of assessment to
    engage learners in their own growth, to monitor learner
    progress, and to guide the teacher’s and learner’s decision
  • Plan instruction that supports every student in meeting
    rigorous learning goals by drawing upon knowledge
    of content areas, curriculum, cross-disciplinary skills,
    and pedagogy, as well as knowledge of learners and the
    community context.
  • Understand and use a variety of instructional strategies
    to encourage learners to develop deep understanding of
    content areas and their connections, and to build skills to
    apply knowledge in meaningful ways.
  • Engage in ongoing professional learning and use evidence
    to continually evaluate his/her practice, particularly the
    effects of his/her choices and actions on others (learners,
    families, other professionals, and the community), and
    adapt practice to meet the needs of each learner.
  • Seek appropriate leadership roles and opportunities to
    take responsibility for student learning, to collaborate
    with learners, families, colleagues, other school
    professionals, and community members to ensure learner
    growth, and to advance the profession.

Field Based Coursework

Student teaching is a full-time, 15 week, supervised classroom experience, taken concurrently with a Writing Intensive (WI). 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
Nānākuli High School
Leilehua High 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 as $47,443 for the 2017-18 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 Industry Sectors 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
Assistant Professor
(808) 689-2488

Social Studies
Dr. Paula Major
Associate Professor
(808) 689-2341

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

Dr. Richard Jones
Associate Professor
(808) 689-2340