The UH West O‘ahu Bachelor of Education (B.Ed) degree with a concentration in Elementary Education, K-6, 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 in particular.
Throughout their program of study, teacher candidates participate in over 630 hours of field-based coursework, ranging from the early field experience, to service learning, to three practicums taken concurrently with methods courses. The program culminates in a 15-week, full-time professional student teaching semester with seminar. Field placements occur in elementary 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 completion of the program, the Education Division recommends B.Ed graduates for an Elementary (K-6) teaching license by the Hawai‘i Teacher Standards Board.
Field Based Coursework
Student teaching is a full-time, 15 week, supervised classroom experience, taken concurrently with a Writing Intensive (WI), ethics-focused 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 an elementary, middle, or high school that is in partnership with the UH West O‘ahu Division of Education. At the discretion of the UH West O’ahu 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 elementary schools, including but not limited to the following:
- August Ahrens Elementary School
- Nanakuli Elementary School
- Pearl City Elementary School
- Mauka Lani Elementary School
- Daniel Inouye Elementary School
- Aikahi Elementary 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 doctoral 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 K-6 elementary school teachers is $59,070 per year. The Hawai‘i State Department of Education reports 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, Elementary Education classroom teachers may seek reciprocal certification in all 50 states, as well as the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and Guam.
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