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Both four-year, public and private universities offer elementary teaching programs in Hawaii through their education departments. Degree programs in elementary teaching and education in Hawaii lead to bachelor's degrees, although there are two master's degree program and two post-baccalaureate programs designed for individuals who already hold a bachelor's degree in another field. Baccalaureate programs may be completed in four years; the master's degree can be earned in about two years. Student teaching and internship opportunities may be included by some programs. At least one school in Hawaii offers a program specifically devoted to special education at the elementary level. These colleges are profiled below.
Brigham Young University - Hawaii
The Hawaii campus of Brigham Young University is located in Laie on Oahu and is affiliated with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, though the college is open to students of all backgrounds. BYU-Hawaii's School of Education offers a bachelor's degree in elementary education. Students take classes such as human growth and learning, effective pedagogy and classroom management in addition to 12 credit hours of student teaching. A post-baccalaureate teacher licensing program is also available on a limited basis to individuals who have already completed a significant amount of training toward their license.
Chaminade University of Honolulu
Founded in 1955 as the first (and only) Catholic university in the state, Chaminade University offers 23 undergraduate and 7 graduate degree programs from its Honolulu campus. The school's elementary education bachelor's degree consists of a minimum of 120 credit hours over the course of 4 years. The first two years of studies consist of general education courses and required classes in English, math and history. Elementary education-specific courses begin in one's junior year, covering elementary language arts, math and science methods. A Master of Arts in Teaching with an elementary education emphasis is also available for individuals looking to further their education; 55 credit hours are required for the graduate degree.
Hawaii Pacific University
Attended by over 5,800 students at its Honolulu campus, Hawaii Pacific University offers both a bachelor's and master's program in elementary education. Student teaching, research and practicum requirements make up 21 credit hours out of the 124 credit hours needed for graduation in the bachelor's program. An additional 36 credit hours must be completed from the education concentration, with the rest of the credit hours coming from general education requirements. Classes in the master's program include child and adolescent development, the scholarly teacher and culturally responsive education in Hawaii. Nine additional credit hours in internships must also be completed.
University of Hawaii at Hilo
Located in Hilo on Hawaii's Big Island, the University of Hawaii at Hilo offers a large university's curriculum in a small school setting. In order to help provide the best educated teachers in Hawaii, the university's Education Department provides a master of arts in teaching (MAT) - elementary education track. The degree offers either elementary or secondary teachers additional graduate level education for those already holding a bachelor's degree. In this 36 credit program, enrollees explore methods in research and elementary instructional practice. Course requirements include classes in learning development, learning differences and learning environments. Field experience is required, and individuals can complete clinical practicum at local elementary schools, if necessary, upon the approval of the principal. Graduates are eligible for licensure to teach grades K-6.
University of Hawaii at Manoa
The University of Hawaii at Manoa (UHM) is the main campus of the University of Hawaii System and is located in Honolulu. The College of Education prepares aspiring teachers for licensure that can lead to teaching at the elementary or secondary levels. Students may complete a standard bachelor's degree program in elementary education, and can opt to add an emphasis in either early or special education. UHM's core elementary education curriculum includes courses in literature and literacy, social studies, mathematics, visual arts and performing arts. Bachelor's candidates study modern American education, principles of elementary school teaching and methods for creating a beneficial learning environment. Through student teaching, participants acquire skills that can prepare them for teaching in their own classroom. Graduates are qualified to pursue licensing for teaching grades K-6.
Dual tracks are also available in early childhood education and special education. Majors in the early childhood track prepare individuals to teach children from preschool age up through the third grade, gaining teaching licensure at the elementary level with a focus on early childhood education. Participants in the special education track, meanwhile, learn to develop programs and curricula specifically for children with special needs. This program requires completion of an additional 15 credits on top of the standard bachelor's curriculum in elementary education; graduates are qualified for initial licensure in both elementary and special education. Learners complete extra coursework in special education and work in the field two days per week with mentor teachers.
To become a state-approved teacher in the state of Hawaii, individuals must pass PRAXIS tests related to their field and complete an educational program from an accredited institution of higher learning. These schools currently offer the elementary education programs necessary to meet these requirements. The degree programs and tuition costs are summarized in a comparison table below.
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School Name||School Type & Setting||Elementary Education Programs Offered||Tuition Fees (2015-16)|
|Brigham Young University - Hawaii||4-year, private not-for-profit; town|| Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education,
Post-baccalaureate Teacher Licensing Program
|$5,240 LDS-only; $10,480 non-LDS (undergraduate 2016-17)**|
|Chaminade University of Hawaii||4-year, private not-for-profit; large city|| Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education,
Master of Arts in Teaching
| $21,780 (undergraduate)*
|Hawaii Pacific University||4-year, private not-for-profit; large city|| Bachelor of Education in Elementary Education,
Master of Education in Elementary Education
| $22,440 (undergraduate)*
|University of Hawaii at Hilo||4-year, public; remote town||Master of Arts in Teaching - Elementary Education Track|| $11,148 in-state*
$24,996 out-of-state (graduate)*
|University of Hawaii at Manoa||4-year, public; large city|| Bachelor of Education in Elementary Education,
Bachelor of Education in Elementary and Early Childhood Education,
Bachelor of Education in Exceptional Students and Elementary Education
| $11,164 in-state*
$31,216 out-of-state (undergraduate)*
Source: *NCES College Navigator, **Brigham Young University-Hawaii