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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. The liberal studies major is designed to provide students with a broadly based interdisciplinary degree.

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 California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CCTC) by successfully completing the Liberal Studies BA. The Elementary Subject Matter standards include coursework in English, history, science, math, visual and performing arts, human development, and social sciences.

The Liberal Studies BA can be completed in four years using electives for minors, study abroad, or adding a second major. The accelerated Liberal Studies: Multiple Subjects Credential Option (ITEP) allows students to complete the Liberal Studies BA and the Multiple Subjects Credential in four years.

Elementary Subject Matter Waiver

Because the liberal studies major is a CCTC 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 Department 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 Multiple Subject CSET:

  • BA Liberal Studies: General Option
  • BA Liberal Studies: General Online Option (degree completion)
  • BA Liberal Studies: Bilingual/Cross-Cultural Spanish Option
  • BA Liberal Studies: Multiple Subjects Credential Option

Students who select the Liberal Arts Option (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

On Campus Option

Students who select this option will complete a BA in liberal studies in preparation for a Multiple Subjects Credential program. The major core courses of the Liberal Studies program combined with general education fulfills all of the requirements for establishing subject matter competency for the Elementary Subject Matter Standards. Students may use up to 30 units of electives to complete a minor, a second major, or study abroad. The Liberal Studies BA is designed to be completed in four years.

Online Option (Degree Completion)

Students who select this option must live outside of the city of Chico. This is a degree completion program where lower division pre-approved equivalent courses are taken at community colleges or other four-year institutions. The 45 units of upper division major courses are online from Chico State. A total of 50 units must be taken from Chico State or other four-year institutions. Only 70 units from community colleges will count towards the 120-unit BA degree requirement. Online students are encouraged to contact a Liberal Studies advisor early to have equivalents approved. Some online courses may be offered once a year. Students must contact their Liberal Studies advisor each semester for mandatory advising. 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 Spanish Option

Students who select this option are interested in teaching in elementary bilingual, or dual-immersion, classroom settings. This option prepares students for admission into the Bilingual Multiple Subjects Credential Program at Chico State and includes courses in Spanish, Mexican/Latinx history and culture, and the teaching of English as a second language. This option offers interdisciplinary knowledge and hands on field experiences working with bilingual students and in local elementary school settings.

Multiple Subjects Credential Option (ITEP/MS)

The Integrated Teacher Education Program (ITEP) 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 credential at the same time during their undergraduate degree. This option may be completed in four years as an undergraduate.

Liberal Studies program advisors advise students in the liberal studies core major requirements and verify that the Elementary Subject Matter (ESM) requirements have been met. 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 Multiple Subjects 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. The Multiple Subjects credential option courses are offered through the School of Education. For prerequisites, course lists, and other admission requirements (application to the program, application dates, etc.), see the School of Education website.

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.

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 service 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. See the Career Center for more information.

Catalog Cycle:21