Bachelor of Arts in Social Sciences

Early Childhood Education


The Bachelor of Arts in Social Sciences with a concentration in Early Childhood Education program focuses on Early Childhood Education (birth through age eight) from a theoretical orientation and places the field within broader social, historical, political, and cultural contexts. Coursework in other areas of the social sciences provides a foundation for students to critically examine early education and childcare.

Early Childhood Education students will examine how parents and other family members work collaboratively with teachers to build a learning and home environment that stimulates curiosity through informal educational opportunities. The principles of quality education, multiculturalism, critical thinking, and reflective teaching are infused in all major coursework. The courses are designed to build a strong sense of social justice while also educating all students from diverse backgrounds and inspiring teachers as agents of change. Courses are taught in-class and through distance learning instruction, and in partnership with associate’s degree programs in Early Childhood Education at Hawaiʻi Community College, Honolulu Community College, Kauaʻi Community College, and UH Maui College. At minimum, students who wish to enter UH West Oʻahu ‘s Bachelor of Arts in Social Science degree program with a concentration in Early Childhood Education must be eligible for transfer admission by the time of application and should complete the 32 credits of ECED Core and the prerequisite coursework in Math and English required for the BA program prior to transfer. Conferral of a Bachelor of Arts degree in Social Sciences with a concentration in Early Childhood Education does not result in professional licensure.

Learning Outcomes

Graduates with a concentration in Early Childhood Education from UH West O‘ahu will be able to:

  • Plan, implement and evaluate early childhood curriculum and identify the theories and program models that inform curricular choices.
  • Apply formal and informal observation methods to diverse groups and individual children and communicate effectively with families and other professionals about student progress.
  • Demonstrate respectful and reciprocal relationships with families, appropriate communication and guidance practices with young children, and positive parent-school relations.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of fiscal, educational, physical, and human resources for effective early childhood program development.
  • Advocate for children and families based upon knowledge of ethical and professional standards, critical thinking, socio-political analysis of programs, self-reflection, and commitment to social justice.

Internships / Practicums

Early Childhood Education graduates have completed practicum and research projects at the Manoa Children’s Center, Mid-Pacific Institute Preschool, and other approved early childhood programs. As part of the practicum and research projects, students design, implement, and assess an action research project to improve a chosen teaching goal, and develop and apply higher-level analysis and research skills, while connecting theory and practice.

Careers and Earning Potential

Early Childhood Education is an exciting and dynamic field where teaching standards are being raised and career opportunities are constantly developing. Graduates may teach in public and private early childhood programs including Head Start, Family Interaction programs, public and private preschools, and home childcare. As the demand for highly qualified, preschool educators with bachelor’s degrees continues to grow, yearly salaries are on the rise.

Early Childhood Education majors are well prepared to enter graduate programs in Early Childhood Education and Educational Foundations as well as pursue certificates in Elementary Education K-6 teaching.

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