The Early Childhood Education program offers a Certificate of Competence, Certificate of Achievement, and an Associate in Science degree. The Early Childhood Education program prepares students with the attitudes, skills, and knowledge necessary to teach in preschool programs. The training melds the theoretical and the practical by including hands-on lab experiences using practices conducive to the healthy development of the whole child.
The Associate in Science degree in Early Childhood Education meets the preferred training and experience requirements for preschool teachers as described by the State of Hawai‘i’s Department of Human Services (DHS). A Certificate of Achievement, however, with a 2-year degree in another field can also meet DHS requirements for preschool teachers.
The Certificate of Competence meets the training requirements for the Child Development Associate certificate (CDA). The Council for Early Childhood Professional Recognition awards CDA credentials to those who successfully complete their assessment process. The CDA satisfies requirements for entry-level teaching positions.
While both Early Childhood Education certificates and the Associate in Science degree provide training to teach in a preschool classroom in Hawai‘i, the Associate in Science degree better prepares a graduate to teach at any preschool accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). The Associate in Science degree also prepares students to enroll in the fully articulated Bachelor’s of Social Science Degree with concentration in Early Childhood Education offered by UH West O‘ahu.
The program is designed primarily for night students and therefore will take longer to finish the five semesters needed if a student attends full-time (12 credits per semester). Although there are no prerequisites for entry into the program, all courses at the first level require at least concurrent enrollment in ENG 22. Completion of ENG 100 with a “C” or higher is required for entry into ED 195 and second-level courses; therefore, it is recommended that students enroll in ENG 100 as soon as possible.
It is highly recommended that SCI 121L or SCI 122L be taken concurrently on campus with their corresponding lecture course.
A GPA of 2.0 or higher for all courses applicable toward the degree or certificate is needed to meet graduation requirements.
Students are required to complete a criminal history check through the DHS as a prerequisite to taking any of the Early Childhood Education labs. Infant/Child CPR and First Aid are required before the Certificate of Achievement or the Associate in Science is conferred.