Graduate Certificate

Typical Length 18 months

Delivery Hybrid


Add a Field


Stipends Available

The Early Childhood Education (ECED) Graduate Certificate is an 18-credit graduate certificate that provides foundational coursework in this specialization. Students interested in early childhood teacher license have the option to Add-a-Field in PreK-K or PreK-3 in English or Kaiapuni / Hawaiian Language Medium* to an existing teacher license. Courses focus on the developmental and educational needs of children from preschool through 3rd grade and strengthens practitioner’s knowledge base and ability to support learning in content areas as well as curriculum, pedagogical and assessment practices relevant to children in PreK-3 settings. Endorsed by the Hawai‘i Teacher Standards Board, the program assessments, rubrics, and framework meet state and national Professional Standards and Competencies for Early Childhood Educators (Level ECE III).

Two track options:

  1. Add-a-Field license (Generalist PK-K or PK-3)
  2. Non-License

*Kaiapuni / Hawaiian Language Medium students need to complete HAW 402 or KHAW 404 before applying for the program.

Who should consider this program

Students in community based programs with an undergraduate degree in another major seeking foundational knowledge and skills in early childhood education.

Teachers licensed in another field (e.g. K-6 or SPED PreK-3) who want to acquire a SATEP recommendation in the specialization of early childhood education, but who do not want to complete a master’s degree.

Students acquire theoretical foundations and research based perspectives specific to developmentally, culturally and linguistically relevant practices in educational programs for young children and their families.

Common Careers

The ECED Graduate Certificate focuses on providing early childhood educators with specialized knowledge of ECE content, curriculum, pedagogy and assessment practices for children in Birth through 8 years settings, with special emphasis on the Birth-5 programs. Students pursuing this certificate may be seeking lead teacher or instructional leadership positions in community based birth and PreK-K settings or may be seeking a SATEP recommendation in the specialization of early childhood education to qualify as teachers in public PreK classrooms.


Admission Requirements
  • Must have graduated from an accredited, four-year institution of higher education recognized by the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa (UHM), prior to beginning the program.
  • An Undergraduate Cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher.
  • A transcript from each post-secondary institution attended.
  • A written statement of objectives as part of your application.
  • Your resumé or CV.
  • Two (2) letters of recommendation.


  • Applicants who are not native English speakers may need to take the TOEFL or IELTS (Academic) tests. For more information view the Graduate Division website.
  • International students that have been admitted are required to submit a copy of their Identification documents (i.e. Passport or Identification Card).
  • International applicants need to show proof of sufficient funding to cover all educational and living expenses.
Application Deadlines
Starting Semester General Admission GENERAL Admission
Fall 2024 July 31 Rolling Admissions if Capacity Allows

We are currently not admitting international students residing outside of the US into our hybrid or online programs due to legal and tax implications. For more information, please contact Graduate Division at

Apply Now
Tuition & Funding

Early Childhood Education (ECED) Graduate Certificate courses are offered through Outreach College. Participants pay the UHM Outreach College per-credit course rate and fees.

For the most current information, always refer to the Graduate Division website, and UHM Outreach College Tuition & Fees.


Financial Aid (FAFSA)Available for this program

Delivery & Format

The Early Childhood Education (ECED) Graduate Certificate is a cohort program consisting of hybrid courses with on-line evening sessions and 2-3 face-to-face Saturday sessions each semester. Cohort I will begin in Fall 2024 and will span for 3 semesters.

2024-2025 Dates

  • Fall 2024 (hybrid):
    • Weekly online from 5:30 – 8:30 p.m. HST.
    • In Person August 31, 2024 and up to one more Saturday 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
  • Spring 2025 (hybrid):
    • Weekly online from 5:30 – 8:30 p.m. HST.
    • In Person – First week of the semester • Early-March • Mid-April (in-person) Saturday 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. (Possibly earlier/later on some days)
  • Fall 2025 (hybrid):
    • Weekly online from 5:30 – 8:30 p.m. HST.
    • August – first week of the semester • Mid-October • End of November (in-person) Saturday 9:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.  (Possibly earlier/later on some days

Students are responsible for arranging flights and ground transportation.

Students needing financial assistance to help with travel costs are encouraged to apply for financial support. ECED GCERT program travel stipends are available to students who successfully complete the course of study. These may be used to offset the cost of attending in-person instruction.

Refer to FAQs for more information on program format and design.


The Early Childhood Education Graduate Certificate is a 18-credit graduate program consisting of the following courses:

    • STE 425: Family & Community Centered Programs (3)
    • EDCS 619: Social & Cultural Constructions of Childhood (3)
    • STE 417: Foundations of Early Childhood Education (Ages 3-8) (3)
    • STE 415: Observation and Assessment in Early Childhood Education(3)
    • EDCS 622(B): School Curriculum (Early Childhood) (3)
    • EDCS 677 Curriculum Design in Early Childhood Education (3)

Practice based key assessments are embedded into coursework for students seeking SATEP recommendation in PK-K or PK-3. Students will need to carry out implement assignments in the appropriate age group and settings emphasized in Professional Standards and Competencies for Early Childhood Educators and consistent with their employment objectives (Infant-Toddler, PreK-K, or K-3 settings).

Advising & Faculty

Our faculty and staff will provide you with guidance and resources to support your success from beginning to end. You will receive a dedicated faculty advisor to partner with you on your journey.

Program Coordinator
Photo of Robyn Chun

Robyn Chun

Assistant Specialist

(808) 956-0337

Photo of Kiyomi Umezawa

Kiyomi Umezawa

Assistant Professor