BEd, Elementary Education & Multilingual Learning

Typical Length 2 years

Delivery Campus-Based

Nationally Accredited



If interested, please refer to the “How to Apply” page for this program. Questions and concerns can be shared using the “Request More Info” page.

Become a K-6 Elementary School TESOL Teacher

Successful completion of this program will prepare you to work in an elementary classroom with an emphasis on teaching multilingual learners. Upon completion, you will be recommended for initial teacher licensure in kindergarten through sixth grade (K-6) general education with licensure in Elementary K-6 Education and TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of other Languages). Graduates of the EEML program are considered “highly effective” and prepared for general elementary education classroom instruction, school language support specialist positions, or international teaching.

The EEML program is a combination of methods and field-based coursework with an emphasis on school-based field experience placements in Hawaiʻi Public schools with large populations of multilingual learners. The EEML program requires candidates to complete 12 credits of specialized methods coursework on teaching and working with multilingual learners (MLLs). In the final year of the program, candidates will take the English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) Praxis exam for dual-licensure.

Who should consider this program?

The EEML program attracts students who are passionate about language, diversity, equity, social justice, and international education. Most importantly, teacher candidates in the EEML program love working with elementary-aged culturally and linguistically diverse students.

In addition, students who should consider this program…

  • are pursuing initial teaching licensure
  • want to earn their TESOL license
  • are interested in teaching multilingual learners
  • have a passion for working with bilingual/multilingual populations 
  • are interested in diversity and applications of culture to education
  • are interested in teaching internationally or abroad
  • are interested in being a school language support specialist
Career & Licensure Information

Common careers:

  • Elementary, General Education Classroom with Multilingual Learners (MLLs)
  • ELL/ESL/MLL Teacher
  • School Language Support Specialist
  • International Teacher
  • Graduate School Student

Once completing an initial teacher licensure program, graduates are eligible to apply for a state license through the Hawai‘i Teacher Standards Board, which will allow the licensee to teach in public and charter schools in the State of Hawai‘i.

Hawai‘i also participates in the NASDTEC Interstate Agreement which facilitates the mobility of educators among states that are members of NASDTEC. UHM recommends you contact the office of certification in any state to which you may be relocating to get the most current information. See NASDTEC website for more information.


Some courses may occur in a hybrid format using a combination of face-to-face and online work; other courses are taught through traditional face-to-face (f2f) courses on campus.


The EEML is cohort-based.  It allows you to work with the same classmates over a two-year period. Benefits to the cohorted program include community building, collaboration, and mutual success.  All of your courses are assigned so registration is guaranteed. The EEML cohort is supervised by a cohort coordinator who advises, supports, and guides students.

Cohorts take their required methods courses jointly for two days per week. Content area methods courses are completed the first three semesters of the program in addition to 12 credits in EEML.

While in the EEML program, students complete four semesters of elementary school-based field experiences. In semesters one through three, students are in the field two days per week at schools throughout Oʻahu that serve linguistically diverse students. In the final semester, students complete full-time (five days per week) student teaching to refine their practice and prepare for the first year of hire.

Admission Requirements
  • 2.75 GPA or higher
  • Complete 55 credits prior to beginning the program. The 55 credits can be from UHM and/or approved transfer credits from another institution.
  • Complete UHM General Education Core Requirements prior to the start of program. Applicants who have completed an articulated Associates of Arts (AA) degree from a UH Community College are considered to have met the UHM General Education Core Requirements with possible exceptions (see an academic advisor).
  • Complete Licensure Track Prerequisite Courses
    • MATH 111
    • MATH 112 (FS)
    • MUS 253, THEA 470, DNCE 490 or any other DA course
    • HWST 107 (DH)
    • HDFS 230 or PSY 240 (DS)
    • SPED 304
    • STE/EDEF 360
  • Complete 40 hours of paid or voluntary group leadership field experience with K-6th grade students. The experience cannot have occurred more than 5 years prior to acceptance into the program.
  • Interview with the program
  • Write a personal statement
  • Provide Three (3) Professional References

Set up an appointment with an academic advisor

Application Deadlines

New cohorts start only in Fall semesters. Application deadlines are as follows:

  • International Students: January 5 (refer to the International Admission Process for detailed information)
  • February 1: General Priority Deadline
  • March 1*: General Final Deadline

How to Apply
Tuition & Funding

$471 per credit for residents and $1389 per credit for non-residents. Students enrolled in an online program will only be assessed for resident tuition regardless of their residence in a different state or country. See the “Undergraduate” heading on the Office of the Registrar’s website.

See the following sites for funding information:


Coursework needed prior to starting the program (9 credits):

  • Elementary Education Emphasis Courses
    • SPED 304
    • STE/EDEF 360
  • Multilingual Learning Emphasis Course
    • LING 102 (highly recommended to take prior to starting the program)

Required and STRONGLY recommended to take prior to starting the program (6 credits):

  • Elementary Education Emphasis Courses
    • EDEF 310 (or EDEF 352)
    • EDEP 311

Work with your Office of Student Academic Services (OSAS) Academic Advisor to schedule the above Elementary Education Emphasis courses. Some of these courses may be offered in the summer.

Program Coursework (57 credits)

Once in the program, your coursework will be block-scheduled by your cohort coordinator(s); your seat is guaranteed. Teacher candidates must complete the following:

  • Additional emphasis courses (12 credits): SPED 444, STE 327, STE 328, SLS 302
  • Professional Education Core Courses (51 credits):

Several courses fulfill Focus Requirements for general UHM graduation:

Course + (Focus Requirement) Credits
STE 312 Introduction to Teaching (W) 3
STE 313 Principles and Methods of Reading Instruction (W) 3
STE 314 Principles and Methods of Writing Instruction (W) 3
STE 320 Instructional & Assessment Methods for Multilingual Learners 3
STE 322 Social Studies, Elementary (W) 3
STE 323 Science, Elementary
STE 324 Mathematics I, Elementary 3
STE 325 Mathematics II, Elementary 3
STE 326 Visual Arts, Elementary 3
STE 329 Performing Arts Expression (O) 3
STE 317 Field Experience, semesters 1, 2, and 3 9
STE 390B Student Teaching, semester 4 10
STE 391B Student Teaching Seminar, semester 4 (W)(E) 2


Please complete the Request More Info form and we will connect you with someone who will be happy to answer your questions, provide more detailed information, and assist with the application process once admissions open.

Photo of Elizabeth Chapman De Sousa

Elizabeth Chapman De Sousa

Associate Professor/Cohort Coordinator

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Monica Smith (she/ her/ hers)

Associate Professor/Cohort Coordinator

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