Liberal Studies/Undergraduate Education K–8 Program

Mission

The liberal studies program equips future teachers and other professionals by integrating coursework and service-learning experiences with the application of a Christian worldview as it relates to life vocation. It promotes awareness of cultural diversity issues and studies multiple curricula with an emphasis in specific subject areas aligned with Common Core standards for subject matter while fostering a holistic understanding of knowledge.

Goals

  1. To establish a strong foundational understanding of subject matter on which to build teachers’ professional preparation, instruction, and development.
  2. To prepare well-educated beginning teachers who understand significant ideas, structures, and values in the disciplines comprising the K-8 curriculum.
  3. To prepare prospective multiple-subject teachers to analyze situations, synthesize information from multiple sources, make decisions on rational bases, communicate skillfully, and appreciate diverse perspectives.
  4. To provide collaboration between education majors and local schools to further their understanding of teaching in an experiential setting.
  5. To produce teachers who are competent, compassionate, and people of character who will ultimately serve students and their families by displaying Christ through their gift of teaching. 

Program Overview

The Liberal Studies/Undergraduate Education K-8 program offers a Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies aligned with California Common Core subject-matter standards in order to prepare undergraduate students seeking careers as elementary school teachers with the breadth of content knowledge needed to teach in a K-8 setting.

The liberal studies degree provides future elementary school teachers with opportunities to teach up to a basic ninth-grade level subject(s), and to take the California Subject Examination for Teachers: Multiple Subject (CSET). Opportunities are available to take additional units toward the Supplementary/Subject Matter Authorization (SMA) if the student desires to teach content up to a ninth-grade level. Please consult the Liberal Studies/Undergraduate Education K-8 Program office for complete information.

During the first two years of college, it is suggested that undergraduate liberal studies majors complete university General Education requirements and prerequisites to upper-division coursework, which is embedded in the program’s four-year plan. Students may want to explore the teaching field by taking EDLS 200 or EDLS 202 as sophomores, juniors, or seniors, along with EDLS 405, EDLS 495, and EDLS 496. Students in this program participate in a minimum of 75 hours of teacher-oriented, service-learning field experience and observation through several core liberal studies/undergraduate education K-8 courses.

Career Opportunities

Though most liberal studies graduates find teaching positions in public and private schools locally, nationally, and abroad, demands exist in the business and communication fields as well because of the increasing need for college graduates with broad and diverse academic backgrounds. Potential teaching careers exist in multiple subject, single subject, and special education.

Additional Preparation

Multiple subject credential candidates seeking admission into the teacher education program must take both the CBEST and CSET. Undergraduate students should plan for successful passage of CBEST during their sophomore year, and the CSET during their junior/senior year (after most core courses are taken) prior to applying to the credential program. Those who pass these tests by graduation may be hired on paid contracts with a school district while completing their fifth-year Multiple Subject Teaching Credential. This qualifies the student to apply for an intern credential.

Concentrations

12-20 units

Concentrations are available in art, English, math, music, physical education, psychology, science, special education, social science, and Spanish. Students must take at least 50 percent of the courses for each concentration through an APU program. A minimum of a C (2.0) is required in each of these classes. For further and updated information regarding a supplement in physical education or subject-matter authorization in the other specified concentration area, please contact a credential analyst within the Division of Teacher Education. Categories and units are subject to California Commission on Teacher Credentialing regulations.

Application to Teacher Education for a Fifth-year Credential

APU candidates prepare to work in schools as teachers, and they must know and demonstrate the content, pedagogical, and professional knowledge, skills, and dispositions necessary to help all students learn. Therefore, the Division of Teacher Education assesses the candidate in these standards from admissions through recommendation of credentials, making APU graduates highly sought-after professionals.

EDLS 200, Introduction to Teaching as a Profession K-12, 4 Units

This course provides an overview to the teaching profession, focusing on the art of teaching at the K-12 level. Issues addressed surround the Common Core standards, the California State Standards for the Teaching Profession, and the California Content Standards, including school organization, curriculum and pedagogical practices, classroom management, and assessment. The service-learning lab requires 45 hours in a K-12 school. Meets the General Education Requirement: Civic Knowledge and Engagement. 

Prerequisite: Sophomore Standing

EDLS 202, Introduction to Teaching as a Profession 7-12, 4 Units

This course provides an overview to the teaching profession, focusing on the art of teaching at the 7-12 level. Issues addressed surround the Common Core standards, the California State Standards for the Teaching Profession, and the California Content Standards, including school organization, curriculum and pedagogical practices, classroom management, and assessment. The service-learning lab requires 45 hours in a 7-12 school. Meets the General Education Requirement: Civic Knowledge and Engagement. 

Prerequisite: Sophomore Standing

EDLS 300, Introduction to Teaching as a Profession, 4 Units

Lecture, 3 hours; Lab, 1 hour and 15 minutes per week: This course provides an overview to the teaching profession, focusing on the art of teaching at the K-12 level. Issues addressed surround the California State Standards for the Teaching Profession and Content Standards including school organization, curriculum and pedagogical practices, classroom management, and assessment. The service-learning lab requires 15 hours in a K-12 school.

Prerequisite: Sophomore Standing

EDLS 302, Introduction to Teaching as a Profession: 7-12, 4 Units

Lecture, 3 hours; Lab, 1 hour 15 minutes per week: The course provides an overview to the art and profession of teaching at the 7-12 level. Issues addressed surround the California State Standards for Content and the Teaching Profession, including school organization, curriculum and pedagogical practices, classroom management, and assessment. The service-learning lab requires 15 hours in 7-12 classrooms.

Prerequisite: Sophomore Standing

EDLS 303, Introduction to Special Populations, 3 Units

This course will provide an overview of educational practices that influence the identification, placement, and teaching of students with mild to moderate disabilities. The basic principles of special education, including its history, legal mandates, and descriptions of various types of disabling conditions will be examined. Learning problems will be addressed in terms of the specific categories related to mild to moderate disabilities.

Prerequisite: Sophomore Standing

EDLS 304, Introduction to Teaching Special Populations, 3 Units

This course will provide an overview of instructional practices and procedures for assisting the prospective teacher in his role as educator of students with mild to moderate disabilities. It will raise awareness of the exceptional child first and foremost as an individual who is influenced by and must cope with the broad contexts or environments of family, peers, school, and society.

Prerequisite: Sophomore Standing

EDLS 405, Diversity in the Classroom, 3 Units

This course focuses on the examination of the interaction of the student's cultural background with ethics, racial, religious, and gender issues, the educational setting, and wider social forces that affect traditional success and failure for students who are linguistically and culturally different. The course evaluates the role that administrators and teachers play in nurturing a spirit of multiculturalism in schools. Includes service learning hours in educational settings, and is an ELL-approved course. Meets the General Education Requirement: Intercultural Competence. 

EDLS 411, Introduction to Assessment, 1 Unit

The course provides an introduction to the California Teaching Performance Assessment with specific focus on principles of content-specific and developmentally appropriate pedagogy. Issues addressed include engaging and supporting students in learning, making subject matter comprehensible, assessing learning, planning instruction, and designing learning experiences for students. Electronic portfolio is utilized.

Prerequisite or Corequisite: EDLS 300

EDLS 495, Foundations of Education Capstone, 3 Units

This is the capstone course for seniors in the Liberal Studies program. In this course, students integrate the concepts and skills they have learned throughout their various Liberal Studies courses, apply their knowledge in a classroom service learning experience, and prepare to transition from college to their teaching careers. Students utilize the California State Common Core Standards for the Teaching Profession to reflect on their growth as educators, synthesize their knowledge and service learning experiences from across multiple courses to develop their personal philosophy of education, and generate cross-disciplinary projects that showcase their skills in curriculum development and pedagogy while preparing for the CSET (California Subject Examination for Teachers). In addition, students develop essential job searching and interviewing skills. Meets the General Education Requirement: Integrative and Applied Learning. 

Prerequisite: EDLS 496, EDLS 200 or EDLS 202, EDLS 405, and senior standing

EDLS 496, Writing 3: Education & Professional Ethics, 3 Units

This writing 3 course prepares students to develop a written thesis which offers a cogent analysis of a complex topic while defending a clear thesis. Students will understand and express a Christian perspective on issues critical to the education profession through a written thesis. Biblical and theological themes relating to education provide a base, while historical biographies and examples supply a context in which students generate a distinctively Christian response to a contemporary problem facing education. Meets the General Education Requirement: Writing 3: Writing in the Disciplines. 

Prerequisite: Junior standing, Writing 2

EDLS 497, Readings, 1-4 Units

This is a program of study concentrating on assigned readings, discussions, and writing arranged between, and designed by, a student of upper-division standing and a full-time professor. An independent study fee is assessed for each enrollment in this class.

Faculty

Professor and Program Director

Paul Flores, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Tolulope Noah, Ed.D.

Adjunct Faculty

Christine Estrada, M.A.

Suzanne Evans, M.Ed.

Dave Hauser, M.A.

Elizabeth Smart, M.Ed.

Celynda Wilder-Kingsby, Ed.D.

Affiliated Faculty

David Landers, M.Ed.