Liberal Studies

Liberal Studies Department

Changes to CBEST and CSET

The state legislature is responsible for regulating public education, including teacher credentialing. This summer, it passed a bill, AB 130, into law that expands the ways prospective teachers can satisfy the Basic Skills Requirement and the Subject Matter Competency Requirement for their teaching credential. These changes dramatically affect Liberal Studies students timely entrance into the teaching field.

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Our Liberal Studies majors are prepared to contribute to a dynamic local-global community. 

Cal Poly Pomona Liberal Studies majors experience a liberal arts-based education in a learn-by-doing environment.

Camryn Hamm participates in service-learning project

We Promote

  • Social justice, equitable, and sustainable practices
  • Local-global learning
  • Critical thinking and creative practice
  • Inquiry-based dialogue
  • Urgent and emerging questions of our times
  • Wellbeing of individuals, communities, and environments
  • Active listening across differences 

About Our Program

Through depth and breadth, theory and practice across the arts and sciences, Liberal Studies majors are prepared for a variety of career options.

Our program has 4 organizing themes: sustainability, social responsibility and social justice, creativity, and wellness. Each of our courses focus on one or more of the organizing themes. Courses teach specific disciplinary concepts to address pressing issues using holistic academic and practice based arts and science education. Students develop interdisciplinary, problem-solving, and analytical skills employers across sectors desire. 

Arts & Sciences

Learning across the arts and sciences, Liberal Studies majors receive a foundational education for all professions. The result is the ability to think, write, and communicate independently and critically -- transferrable skills for all careers and futures. 

Theory & Practice

LS Majors learn and apply theories of the humanities (like art) and theories of the sciences (like sociology and ecology) building awareness, reasoning, and decision-making skills through practice and service-learning. 

Depth & Breadth

Through a variety of courses and signature assignments, LS majors come to know and understand a variety of disciplines (arts, anthropology, education, history, literature, science, sociology) and perspectives across communities and environments. 

Our Faculty

  • Our faculty have teaching experience (some global) from high school through higher education.
  • Our faculty have a social justice focus and equity-minded perspective across ability; immigration and documentation status; gender, sex and sexuality; race and ethnicity; social class, and emergent concerns.
  • Our faculty conduct research in the U.S., globally, and in online spaces.
  • Our faculty collaborate with students and community organizations on local food justice, social, and educational issues.
  • Our faculty exhibit works in museum collections, present film, and perform live works globally.
  • Our faculty publish, bringing their books and articles into the classroom.

LS Faculty and Student Podcasts

Service-Learning

Professor Estela Ballón presents findings of her study on Latina women earning doctorate degrees and Cal Poly Pomona students Sarah Plazola and Emma Ho’o explain how service-learning has enriched their college experience.

Animals in Education

Associate Professor Teresa Lloro talks about her book, “Animals in Environmental Education,” which examines the surprising ways that animals are incorporated in research and environmental education.

Disability Studies

Liberal Studies Lecturer Rodney Hume-Dawson discusses the field of disability studies and his efforts as a disability rights advocate.

Arts Integration Course

Assistant Professor Jeff Roy shares his research of music and dance among India’s third gender community while Cal Poly Pomona students Joanna Flores, Francisco Martinez and Jordin Veazie discuss the benefits of taking his course on arts integration for K-12 teachers.
ceis bldg

Testimony

After graduation, I started working as an Inventory Control Specialist in Costco's LA Regional Office, overseeing 58 LA locations for the Major Sales (electronics) department. Just recently (2019), I took over as Manager of Costco's Merchandise Training Dept., and now oversee a team of 11 trainers. On that team, I helped developed coursework and trained hundreds of merchandise employees in 8 Regional Offices across the US, including Assistant Buyers, Buyers, and General Merchandise Managers. 

I can honestly say that my education in the Liberal Studies Dept and the Learn by Doing philosophy embraced by each member of the faculty had an incredible impact on my career. The critical thinking, relationship building, and teamwork atmosphere in my coursework instilled a great foundation for me to build on in my career.  

-- Jonathan Galvan
Liberal Studies, General Studies Graduate, 2017
Costco's Merchandise Training Dept., Manager