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Thank You to Our Generous Donors - 2017

Oct 13, 2017

Private support helps provide exceptional Learn by Doing opportunities for today’s students. We are grateful for the support of all the alumni, parents, friends and organizations that donated to the Liberal Studies Department.

Letter from the Chair - 2017

Oct 12, 2017

The 2017-18 academic year, my ninth as chair of the Liberal Studies Department, is off to a strong start. As always, it’s a privilege to serve our enthusiastic students alongside such dedicated, knowledgeable faculty and generous community partners.

It’s also an honor to have alumni like you who are leading the implementation of the Next Generation Science Standards and bringing STEM and Learn by Doing into your classrooms. We’d love to see you in person during Mustang Family Weekend.

On Friday, Oct. 20, we hope you’ll share the excitement at our second annual Liberal Studies Reunion. The reunion is a great time to connect with other alumni, meet credential candidates, share ideas and of course relax with a glass of wine and a rooftop view of San Luis Obispo. Check our website for more information or register now.

Taking a quick look back, we want to congratulate our graduating class of 2017. We are so proud of these future educators! Most of them continued on to a multiple subject credential program. A few are pursuing a master’s degree in special education or a single subject credential. We wish them a brilliant career.

We’re excited to have welcomed Dean Wendt, the new dean of the College of Science and Mathematics, in July. The students are getting to know him as Dean Dean. We also want to thank Phil Bailey — who retired at the end of June after 34 years as dean and 48 years at Cal Poly — for his long-running support of our majors and of primary education.

Last summer we launched a new study abroad program in San Miguel de Allende. Twenty students studied Spanish and the cultural and history of Mexico, including five liberal studies students, a couple of students considering a single subject credential, and one bilingual educator from our community.

The group enjoyed field trips to Teotihuacán and Guanajuato, homestays and Learn by Doing activities with local school children. We are planning to offer this opportunity every year and hope that our students take advantage of one of the study abroad opportunities that Cal Poly offers.

Thank you for your continued support and for helping us offer our students excellent educational opportunities inside and outside the classroom.


Wishing you all the best,
Lola Berber-Jiménez, Chair
Liberal Studies Department

Continue reading Letter from the Chair - 2017...

Alumni Mentorship Program Pays It Forward

Oct 11, 2017

By Jeanne Stone (Liberal Studies, ‘78)

All liberal studies alumni benefitted from Cal Poly’s Learn by Doing philosophy. Once we graduate, there is still a way to be an active part of the Learn by Doing part of the Liberal Studies Program. Become a mentor to a current liberal studies student and share your real-world experiences — in teaching or any other field — and support them as they engage in coursework and fieldwork at Cal Poly.

When you volunteer to be a mentor, you will be connected with a Cal Poly student from your geographic area if possible. The student will email you to introduce herself, and the two of you take it from there. Your exchanges will allow you to share those heart-warming moments that teaching brings, answer questions about fieldwork, provide suggestions about classroom situations, or just talk about the daily life of a teacher.

Mentoring can be what you want it to be:

  • A monthly (or whatever frequency works for both of you) email exchange with your student
  • An occasional phone conversation
  • A student visit to your classroom when Cal Poly is on break
  • Extra help in your classroom when you are setting up in the fall, or possibly dismantling your classroom in June
  • A visit with the student when you are in San Luis Obispo if you visit or live nearby.
  • A meeting at the Liberal Studies Reunion on October 20 from 5-7 p.m. or at event in April (open house) or May (conference) of 2018.

The goal of the mentoring program is two-fold:

  • provide our students with a connection to the real world of teaching or other fields
  • build connections with liberal studies alumni across the state and country to provide feedback and support for the Liberal Studies Program at Cal Poly.

Register now to become a Liberal Studies Alumni Mentor 

Once matched you will receive an email with your Cal Poly student’s name and email, and you can expect an email from her shortly afterwards. If you have any questions about the mentoring program, please contact Lola Berber-Jimenez at or Jeanne Stone at

2017 Newsletter

Oct 11, 2017

Featured Articles

Liberal Studies Graduate Beats Cancer Twice to Graduate with Her Class

Two weeks before the start of her sophomore year, liberal studies major Camille Chabot was diagnosed with Stage IV Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Through everything that followed, she remained determined to graduate in four years.

Continue reading 2017 Newsletter...

Volunteer Abroad

Jan 20, 2017

Village Volunteers is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that works in partnership with NGOs in Africa and Asia to support the development of community-led and community-owned sustainable development projects.  

Internship and Volunteer Placements

The Village Volunteers experience is true immersion done safely and responsibly. Village Volunteers works with students to create a safe and meaningful internship or volunteer experience that will meet your goals and academic requirements. Build your skill set and broaden your future career opportunities through a variety of projects during your time abroad with Village Volunteers. 

Continue reading Volunteer Abroad...

Teacher Education Fellowship

Jan 20, 2017

MA in Education and Teaching Credentials

Math & Science Education

Claremont Graduate University (CGU), with support from the National Science Foundation, is launching the Claremont Colleges STEM Initiative (CCSI) to increase the number of highly qualified STEM educators working in area public schools.

Continue reading Teacher Education Fellowship...

2016 Newsletter

Jan 19, 2017

Featured Articles

Join Us for the First Liberal Studies Reunion Oct. 21

Come and meet other Liberal Studies alumni and current faculty, learn what’s happening in the program today, and share ideas for future alumni activities, such as a lecture series or summer workshops on campus.

Continue reading 2016 Newsletter...

Liberal Studies Department to Hold Pancake Breakfast

Jan 9, 2017

Current Liberal Studies students are invited to a networking event later this month with faculty and staff that includes free breakfast. 

The event, a pancake breakfast, will be held from 7 a.m to 8:30 a.m. Jan. 24 in the Learn By Doing Lab, Building 38, room 131. 

All LS students are welcome to attend the event. 

For questions, call 805-756-2935 or email

NASA Research Internship Yields Real-World Experience at Home and Abroad

Oct 7, 2016

Zoë Sharp, NASA Armstrong, SOFIA Program and STEM Teacher and Researcher Program

My passion for relationships, leadership and learning align when I am working in a classroom with 30 pairs of eyes staring at me. 

For as long as I can remember, I have wanted to pursue a career in elementary education. Yet, before my undergraduate career, I was not strong in any STEM disciplines and lacked the confidence to explore them, let alone teach them.


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