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Letter from the Chair - 2016

Oct 7, 2016

Greetings from the Cal Poly Liberal Studies Department. The 2015-16 academic year was exciting for us in many ways.

We hope you’ll share the excitement at the first Liberal Studies Department Reunion during Mustang Family Weekend on October 21. The reunion will be a great time to connect with other alumni, 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.

Last year we had the largest graduating class in the last 10 years — 107 students, many of whom are now pursuing a multiple subject credential. We are so proud of our graduates!

Continue reading Letter from the Chair - 2016...

Summer Liberal Studies Program Brings Development Opportunities to Future, Current Educators

Oct 7, 2016

Liberal Studies major Megan McBrien immersed herself in rich learning experiences this summer at Cal Poly. Joining  seasoned teachers in the Liberal Studies-led California Math and Science Project’s professional development program, she poured over curriculum and familiarized herself with the Common Core Standards.  

Heading into her senior year, she jumped at the opportunity to spend two weeks as both an assistant and a participant in the workshop.

The program helped her bridge the knowledge gap between her understanding of curriculum and standards and the practical teaching skills she’d learned over the years while working in classroom settings and as a camp counselor.

Why Field Trips? Liberal Studies Students Visit the Broad, LACMA

Oct 6, 2016

By Juleen Packard, instructor, Liberal Studies Department

Photo credit: Juleen Packard

In April, students in the Liberal Studies Department’s Visual Arts for the Elementary Classroom course spent the day exploring two of Los Angeles’s most renowned art museums.

The first stop was at the recently opened Broad, located in downtown LA. The museum was designed by the architectural firm Diller Scofidio & Renfro and is located next door to the Disney concert hall — a structure of smooth, slick, shiny undulating lines, which runs counter to the Broad, a boxy, angular, porous building that you want to peek in and out of. Philanthropists Eli and Edythe Broad own the collection of contemporary art inside of the Broad.

Cal Poly Alumna Launches Bilingual Program, Named Teacher of the Year

Oct 6, 2016

A Liberal Studies graduate who helped launch a bilingual program at a Sunnyvale, Calif. elementary school was recently named the district’s Teacher of the Year.

Colleen Espinoza (B.S., Liberal Studies, 2008) works as a kindergarten teacher at San Miguel Elementary School where she helped introduce the Juntos Dual Immersion Spanish Program at San Miguel Elementary School.

"That experience just cemented the fact that it was what I wanted to do," she said in an interview with the San Jose Mercury News.

Read more about Espinoza in the Mercury News.

Thank You to Our Generous Donors - 2016

Oct 6, 2016

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

Cal Poly Invites Local Teachers to Participate in Statewide Summit

Jun 22, 2016

Image of three people looking at large instructional board Free day of learning and networking celebrates the profession and equips teachers
with tools to better implement new California standards 


SAN LUIS OBISPO — Cal Poly will host the local gathering of the second annual Better Together: California Teachers Summit, a free statewide day of learning on July 29 that is open to all California preK-12 teachers, teacher candidates, school administrators, and other educators.

Teachers will come together at nearly 40 locations across the state to share ideas, build networks, and learn the latest strategies for implementing the new California standards in their classrooms. Building on momentum from last year’s event, which drew 15,000 teachers, the summit will feature nationally renowned speakers, TED-style EdTalks highlighting local teachers, and discussions led by teachers, for teachers.

Cal Poly Program Could Help Reduce Math Anxiety, Close Gender Gap with NSF Funding

Oct 8, 2015

SAN LUIS OBISPO — Thanks to a $3 million grant from the National Science Foundation, Cal Poly’s Academy of Inquiry Based Learning will lead an effort to increase active learning in college math classes across the nation, with research support from the University of Colorado, Boulder’s Evaluation and Ethnography Research unit.

Active learning — also known as inquiry-based learning (IBL) — has been shown to reduce math anxiety and close the gender achievement gap in math classes.

Three Education Graduates Hail from Same Family

Aug 19, 2015

From left to right: Nancy, Malinda and Hailey Maytubby


A family of Cal Poly graduates put a dent in the nation’s STEM teacher shortage this spring. Mom Nancy Maytubby (B.S., Liberal Studies, 2015) and her daughters Malinda Klinchuch (B.S., Liberal Studies, 2011; Single and Multiple Subject Credentials, 2012; M.A., Education, 2015) and Hailey Maytubby (B.S., Liberal Studies, 2014; Multiple Subject Credential, 2015) all received education degrees or a credential in June.

Nancy worked as a teacher at a private school in Bakersfield, Calif., while her daughters were growing up. Her example instilled a love of education in them. “I think teaching was a destiny for me and my sister,” said Malinda, who now teaches math at Mt. Whitney High School in Visalia, Calif. “Watching so many wonderful teachers, including my mom, impact students' lives created a shared passion in us.”

Malinda was the first Cal Poly graduate in the family, completing her bachelor’s degree in 2011. This spring, she earned her master’s in educational leadership and administration.

Hailey followed Malinda both to Cal Poly and into the math minor. She finished the Cal Poly credential program in June and will begin teaching seventh grade math at Judkins Middle School in Pismo Beach, Calif., in the fall. “They've always liked math,” Nancy said.

“And in general liked kids,” Hailey added. “Teaching is something I’ve always loved to do.”

When Hailey was a freshman, her dad was transferred to Templeton. Nancy hadn’t needed a bachelor’s degree at the private school she’d taught at for years, but the requirements were different on the Central Coast. She missed teaching and so applied for the liberal studies program and enrolled in 2013, Hailey’s senior year.

“I didn't want to infringe on Hailey’s college experience,” Nancy said. “I thought, when I see her on campus, do I say, 'Hey Hailey?’ I didn’t want to cause that awkward that's-my-mom moment.”

“At first it was like, uh oh, my mom’s coming to campus, but this is something she wanted and teaching is her passion,” Hailey said.

All three are excited about how Learn by Doing in the liberal studies and credential programs prepared them for the classroom. “At Cal Poly, you're not just memorizing things, you're experiencing them,” Nancy said.

“In so many classes, we actually go out to the schools and put what we've learned into practice, even before the credential program,” Hailey said.

Malinda confirmed what her mom and sister are looking forward to. “Cal Poly's Learn by Doing approach enabled me to start my career teaching with confidence and excitement.”

And these three have something not every teacher has — a built-in support network. “I love having a family full of teachers,” Malinda said. “We know exactly what joys and frustrations teaching brings to our lives and are able to understand one another.”

Newsletter 2015

Aug 19, 2015

Featured Articles

Cal Poly Leads Preparation for Next Generation Science Standards

In May, Cal Poly hosted 130 teachers from local school districts for Super STEM Saturday, a conference designed to give teachers tools for applying new science standards in their classrooms.

Three Education Graduates Hail from Same Family

A family of Cal Poly graduates put a dent in the nation’s STEM teacher shortage this spring. Mom Nancy Maytubby and her daughters Malinda Klinchuch and Hailey Maytubby all received education degrees or a credential in June.

Read more about the Maytubby graduates ›

Cal Poly Liberal Studies Alumna Awarded Fulbright in Malaysia

Cal Poly alumna Trisha Huynh was awarded a Fulbright student grant to serve in the English Teaching Assistant Program in Malaysia during 2015. She assisted local seventh, eighth and 10th grade English teachers in the rural town of Setiu.

Read more about Trisha Huynh ›


More News

Letter From the Department Chair

We are so proud of our liberal studies students, who not only do it all but truly do it all well. On behalf of these talented students and the department faculty, thank you for so thoughtfully supporting the department.

Read the letter ›


Thank You to Our Generous Donors

Private support from alumni, parents, friends, businesses and agencies enables the department to continue to provide exceptional Learn by Doing projects and opportunities for today’s students.

View the list of donors ›

Continue reading Newsletter 2015...

Cal Poly Leads Preparation for Next Generation Science Standards

May 12, 2015

SAN LUIS OBISPO — In May, Cal Poly hosted 130 teachers from local school districts for Super STEM Saturday, a conference designed to give teachers tools for applying new science standards in their classrooms.

Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) are coming to K-12 schools in 2016, and Cal Poly is helping the Central Coast get ahead of the curve in putting them into practice. NGSS is a set of education benchmarks establishing what K-12 students need to know and be able to do.

Cal Poly faculty and industry and educational partners conducted a variety of workshops showcasing ideas for incorporating technology, math and literacy into science classes. These include: methods for teaching sustainability, led by local company iFixit; active learning science kits produced by the Cal Poly Liberal Studies Department; and digital media demonstrations by the YMCA Youth Institute Tech Teach/Film Crew.

“We’re giving teachers the opportunity to be well-trained in the Next Generation Science Standards before they have to implement them,” said Lola Berber-Jimenez, chair of the Liberal Studies Department.

The conference, the only one of its kind on the Central Coast, closed the first year of the Math and Science Teacher Leadership Collaborative. Funded by a $1.5 million grant from the state Department of Education, the program offers three years of intensive training for 60 third- through fifth-grade teachers from the Atascadero Unified, Lucia Mar Unified, San Miguel Joint Union, Paso Robles Unified and Templeton Unified school districts.

Teachers in the program have been working together to develop groups of lessons — called modules — that address the new standards and include hands-on activities. They also test these modules in the classroom, refining them to improve student learning. These teachers instruct other teachers how to implement the new standards and serve as leaders in the teaching community.

"By participating in this program, I'm gaining a huge amount of content knowledge that will help me better convey scientific concepts to my students," said Charlie Berry, a fourth grade teacher at Kermit King Elementary School in Paso Robles. "The students in my class have been able to do a variety of hands-on STEM activities and put their ideas to work by developing new inventions."

“We’re excited to provide a platform for teacher collaboration and leadership,” Berber-Jimenez said. “It’s so important for the people who will be teaching the next generation of scientists to have the resources they need to become experts. This group is at the forefront of a tremendous reform in science education.”



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