Your Master’s degree should represent more than the completion of a collection of courses. It should demonstrate mastery in a specific area in your field of study. By the end of your first summer after you enter the program, begin to decide on which capstone option you would like to pursue and begin to identify areas of interest that can help you focus your assignments for coursework, research, professional practice and eventually your the culminating project.

Completion of the culminating capstone assures the Master in Early Childhood Education Program and the Office of Graduate Education at the University of Hawaiʻi that you have achieved graduate level knowledge and skill in your area of inquiry.

If you anticipate continuing in graduate school for a doctoral degree, you might want to consider writing a thesis (Plan A) as preparation for advanced study. The Plan A paper must be based on empirical research. If you decide on the Plan A, you will follow the guidelines and requirements set forth by the Graduate Division.

The Plan B Capstone is a suitable choice for students expecting to work in applied settings after receiving their degrees. The Plan B should have professional merit and value in the student’s area of specialization. For this program, students can choose from a variety of Plan B options which include: 1) a Mini-Research Study and Research Paper, 2) a Project that makes a meaningful contribution to your community; or 3) a Professional Portfolio. These options are elaborated on in our handbook.

The MEd ECE Program offers several different Capstone options. Choosing whether you will complete a Plan A or a Plan B is an important decision that depends on several factors:

  • Your interests, strengths, resources (time, support, finances) and long term goals
  • The flexibility of your timeline for degree completion
  • The availability of an advisor with expertise in your area of interest and the time to support you in completing your Capstone

It is important to discuss the options with your advisor and to be clear on program requirements for each option early on in your coursework.

Requirements for Plan A

  • Mandatory MEd ECE coursework (18 credits)
  • A three person committee: two from the MEd ECE graduate faculty (one of whom is the chair), the third from another department (all committee members must be on Graduate Faculty)
  • Additional research courses approved by the committee
  • 6 credit hours of EDCS 700 Thesis Research
  • Registration in EDCS 700 the semester of graduation
  • UH Human Subjects Committee approval for study
  • A Plan A Thesis
  • Oral Examination of the Plan A Thesis

Requirements for Plan B

  • Mandatory MEd ECE coursework (18 credits)
  • A Program Advisor who is a member of the MEd ECE Graduate Faculty and a Second Reader responds to the Plan B Professional Portfolio and attends the oral defense. The second reader must have a Master’s degree.
  • 3 credits of EDCS 695 Plan B Capstone
    9 credits of elective coursework in major
  • Up to 6 credit hours of 699 (Directed Study) may be taken
  • Must be registered for at least one credit the semester of graduation
  • UH Human Subjects Committee approval for all studies that include human subjects
  • A Plan B Capstone
  • A Group Oral Examination of the Plan B Capstone