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Liberal Studies

Program Overview

In the state of California, the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CCTC) awards credentials to teachers upon the recommendation of colleges and universities with approved teacher education programs. The Liberal Studies major is USD’s approved undergraduate teacher education program for elementary and special education teachers. This major fosters a holistic experience in the required multiple subjects and provides students with a strong foundational understanding of these subjects.  The major’s goal is to graduate beginning teachers with the necessary skills to teach in primary areas of instruction, as well as with a continuing intellectual curiosity and desire to learn more themselves. The Liberal Studies major fulfills the standards for program quality and effectiveness in the subject matter requirements for the California Multiple Subject Teaching Credential while fostering the mission and goals of the University.

It is a nine-semester program, including student teaching, consisting of Liberal Studies (LBST) Core courses, a Concentration, and Credential courses. With careful planning, it is possible for USD undergraduate students to earn a bachelor’s degree and a preliminary teaching credential in four years if they carry 18 units per semester and/or take courses during the summer and/or intersession. For students majoring in Liberal Studies, the following credentials are offered:

USD also offers the Single Subject Credential for teaching in middle and secondary education. A major other than Liberal Studies should opt for this credential. A separate Single Subject Handbook is available from the School of Leadership and Education Sciences for students interested in becoming middle or high school teachers.

Declaring the Major

In order to pursue an academic program leading to a degree and teaching credential, students must declare their major as soon as possible, preferably in their first semester. Delay in declaring the major can lead to delay in graduation.

  • File the Declaration of Major form and turn it in to your designated advisor:
    • Dr. Margaret Daley (Chemistry and Biochemistry) – Program Director and Advisor / SCST 440, (619) 260-4781,
    • Dr. Kay Etheridge (Music) - Advisor / Camino Hall 161B, (619) 260-2243,
    • Dr. Lynn McGrath (Mathematics) – Advisor / Serra Hall 144, (619) 260-2932,

Demonstrating Subject Matter Competency

The Commission on Teaching Credentialing (CTC) requires that candidates for multiple subject credentials demonstrate knowledge of the subjects taught in public elementary school classrooms by passing the CSET (California Subject Examinations for Teachers) Subtests I, II and III.  The Liberal Studies Core courses, which are required of all its majors, include specific content to help students prepare for the CSET exams.

    LS Core AND Concentration Academic Requirements

  • LBST Core and Concentration courses may not be taken pass/fail.
  • Only grades of C or higher in LBST Core and Concentration courses satisfy program requirements.
  • LBST majors should save all major assignments and exams completed in the Core courses for possible inclusion in the final project to be created in the capstone course, LBST 400.
  • The capstone course (LBST 400) should be taken within the last 30 units of course work at USD, after completion of ENG304W
  • CSET Requirement:
    • The State of California requires that all elementary school teachers pass the CSET (California Subject Examinations for Teachers) Multiple Subjects Subtests I, II and III.
    • The State of California recommends and many school districts require that all mild/moderate and moderate severe education specialists pass the CSET Multiple Subjects.