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Liberal Studies

The Liberal Studies Program educates high-quality professionals to have a strong knowledge base of multiple disciplines and the experiential background in order to teach in the following school settings: elementary, bilingual Spanish elementary, self-contained classrooms, and special education K-12. It is designed to provide students with a broadly based interdisciplinary degree which includes coursework in English, history, science, math, visual and performing arts, human development, and social sciences.

The program is built upon four cornerstones of social and eco-justice, scientific thinking and integrative reasoning skills, best practices in teaching, and field experiences. All students will master the content of the Elementary Subject Matter Standards required by the Calfornia Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CCTC) by successfully completing the Liberal Studies BA.

The Liberal Studies BA can be completed in four years using electives for minors, study abroad, or adding a second major. The accelerated Integrated Teacher Education Program (ITEP) allows students to complete the Liberal Studies BA and the Multiple Subjects Credential in four years using electives to complete the School of Education elementary teaching credential program.

Elementary Subject Matter Waiver

Because the liberal studies major is a CTC approved elementary subject matter waiver program, liberal studies majors who successfully complete the following teaching options may not be required to take the California Subject Examination for Teachers (CSET): Multiple Subjects to enter a credential program in California. Contact the Liberal Studies Office and/or visit the Liberal Studies website for requirements.

A student who completes the Liberal Studies BA in one of the following options may be waived from taking the MS CSET:

  • BA Liberal Studies: general/online option
  • BA Liberal Studies: bilingual/cross-cultural Spanish option
  • BA Liberal Studies: multiple subjects credential option

Students who select the liberal arts options (non-teaching, non-credential) will be required to take the Multiple Subjects CSET exams if they choose to enter a multiple subject credential program.

General Option

Offered on campus and online

This option is for students who wish to complete a BA in liberal studies in preparation for a multiple subjects credential program. The Liberal Studies BA is offered on campus, face-to-face, or can be completed as a degree completion program fully-online for distance students who reside outside of Chico. The Liberal Studies BA is designed to be completed in four years.

In order to get a teaching credential, a liberal studies graduate is prepared to apply for a multiple subjects credential program which is usually a one-year graduate level program, depending upon the university and prerequisite requirements.

Online Degree Completion

Students living outside of the Chico area are able to complete the Liberal Studies BA online. This fully online degree completion program offers the upper division core courses and the nine units of upper division GE online. Online students must complete their General Education courses required for the Liberal Studies program at an accredited community college or other university.

Although not required, community college students are urged to complete an Associate of Arts in elementary teacher education at their community college to ensure a seamless transfer to CSU, Chico. Current Chico State students may transfer into the online program if they move out of the area and want to complete their degree. For more information, contact a liberal studies advisor.

Bilingual/Cross-Cultural Option

The bilingual/cross-cultural option includes course in Spanish, Mexican/Latinx history and culture, and the teaching of English as a second language. Students entering the Bilingual Multiple Subjects Credential Program at Chico State must take the liberal studies core courses and the bilingual/cross-cultural option requirements.

Multiple Subjects Credential Option (ITEP/MS)

The Integrated Teacher Education Program (ITEP/MS) is a collaboration between the Liberal Studies Program and the School of Education. The Liberal Studies Program provides the Elementary Subject Matter courses approved by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing. The School of Education provides the Multiple Subject Credential courses approved by California Commission on Teacher Credentialing.

This credential option is for students who wish to complete their BA in liberal studies and receive a multiple subjects teaching credential at the same time during their undergraduate degree. This option may be completed in four years as an undergraduate.

The multiple subject credential option courses are made available through the School of Education. For prerequisites, course lists, and other admission requirements (application to the program, application dates, etc.), see the Education chapter of this catalog.

Liberal Studies program advisors are responsible for advising students in the major and verifying that the subject matter preparation program has been completed. The major core courses, completed with a minimum GPA, leads to a waiver letter verifying elementary subject matter competence. For more information, see the Liberal Studies Department.

Upon the completion of the core courses required for the major, students are directed to apply to the credential program in the School of Education. Credential advising through the School of Education will ensure the necessary courses required to receive a teaching credential are offered and completed successfully.

Elementary Subject Matter preparation as well as credential requirements are governed by state legislative action and approval of the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing. Requirements may change between catalogs. Please consult with your advisor for current information.

Multiple Subjects Credential (ITEP/MS), plus Education Specialist Post-Baccalaureate Program (ITEP/MS+SPED)

This integrated teacher education program (ITEP/MS+SPED) is for students who wish to complete their Liberal Studies BA and receive a multiple subjects teaching credential and an educational specialist credential to teach special education in four and a half years including some summer school.

Units beyond the multiple subjects credential courses will be posted as post-baccalaureate. Please see the School of Education for information about this program.

Liberal Arts Option

This is a non-teaching option. This option is for students who decide teaching is no longer their goal but do not want to change majors. Contact a Liberal Studies advisor for more information.

Career Outlooks

The projected need for elementary educators in California is high. See a Liberal Studies advisor for information on subject matter authorizations and minors to develop even broader teaching opportunities. Businesses and the helping professions are commonly interested in hiring competent people with a multidisciplinary background. Students should consult with their advisor or a career counselor concerning the range of opportunities.

Catalog Cycle:20