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Liberal Studies: We Open Minds


Cal Poly’s Liberal Studies Department creates the teachers of tomorrow. Our alumni are high-quality elementary school teachers with a distinctive edge in the arts, science, technology, and mathematics. Liberal Studies students graduate with a bachelor of science degree that puts them on the fast track to a teaching credential.

The Liberal Studies Department’s partnership with Cal Poly’s School of Education means our students can receive a California teaching credential with two additional quarters of study.

Our Mission

The Department of Liberal Studies ensures that prospective elementary teachers have excellent content foundations in all subject matters, deep understanding of effective teaching methods and multiple opportunities to reflect on their learning and teaching. The department does this by providing students the opportunity to develop (1) broad-based proficiencies in multiple fields including, but not limited to: science, mathematics, language arts, social studies, technologies, and the fine and performing arts; (2) a sophisticated appreciation of the inter-relatedness of multiple disciplines as they are brought to bear on large historical and contemporary themes.

Our Learning Outcomes

Upon graduating, Liberal Studies students will:

  1. Demonstrate an understanding of the physical, social and cognitive development of children.
  2. Develop a strong understanding of the conceptual foundation of each of the following subjects as well as how knowledge is created and organized: Reading, Language and Literacy, History and Social Science, Mathematics, Science, Visual and Performing Arts, and Physical Education and Health.
  3. Develop knowledge of best teaching and learning practices specific to each discipline with a focus on metacognition.
  4. Demonstrate effective oral, written and interpersonal communication skills in a variety of contexts including the use of appropriate technology.
  5. Demonstrate the ability to integrate the content of one discipline into another through the development of projects across subject matter areas
  6. Synthesize and integrate information that promotes personal and professional growth in the field of education.
  7. Demonstrate ability to engage in change, tolerance and inclusion, advance principles of social justice, equity and ethical practice.