Our program values the purposes and aims of a liberal arts education: educating students with multiple disciplinary perspectives and knowledge through multiple opportunities for discussion and reflection to understand self and one's purpose, and to fulfill one's social responsibility as an active citizen.
Those who wish to become teachers are stepping into a dual role as citizens of their communities and future education professionals in society. This means the calling to become a teacher is greater than taking courses, getting grades and earning a degree. It includes regular introspection, effective communication and interaction with others, and decisive action based on social responsibility. These expectations are in line with our aspirations for Liberal Studies graduates to gain a "bigger picture" of self and society.
Curricularly, these options are designed for students who desire to become elementary education professionals. The coursework across academic disciplines is meant to prepare them with the content needed to pass the California State Exam for Teachers (CSET) to demonstrate subject matter competence to the state of California. Majors in these options should not confuse these Liberal Studies degree programs with the post-baccalaureate (after earning a Bachelors degree) credential program, which specializes in teaching methodology coursework.
Think of it this way: Liberal Studies degree provides prospective undergraduate teacher candidates with content or what they will teach, and the credential program provides them with methods or how to teach that content.
Since courses prepare students with content for the CSET and eventually for successful recall in their classrooms, prospective candidates can expect to:
- have very few elective courses compared to the General Studies option,
- organize and integrate content from different academic disciplines (e.g., History, English, Kinesiology, and Math),
- assume a great deal of responsibility and discipline for their learning to meet the challenge of a liberal arts education, and
- explore and inquire about social, political, historical and economic institutions and issues that intersect and interact with schools (bigger picture).
Given the university's polytechnic or learn by doing approach, the math, science and intergrated arts courses combine content with methods, and the student-centered classes in LS core courses also provide students with group activities and projects, some of which have service-learning--a high impact practice.
Pre-Credential (Teaching) Options
Currently, there are two Pre-Teaching options. Click on links to see current curriculum sheets.
Pre-credential: Graduate with a Liberal Studies degree then attend a credential program.
Bilingual Pre-credential: Graduate with a Liberal Studies degree then attend a credential program with a bilingual emphasis.
Given issues with graudate salary inequity and changes to the credential program on semesters, our department will discontinue the BA Credential and Bilingual BA Credential options, both of which combine BA and credential program into an undergraduate program. For these reasons, we are no longer accepting students in these options.
To view roadmaps for these options, visit the Academic Advising website.