Jul 22, 2024  
2019-2020 Catalog 
2019-2020 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Liberal Studies, Teaching - Elementary Subject Matter Preparation Option (ESM), B.A.

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SBSB 4-222


(760) 750-4104

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Program of Study

The Elementary Subject Matter Preparation Option offers an excellent curricular pathway to students interested in a career in elementary or middle school teaching (grades K-8). Coursework is selected to address the seven core subject matter areas of the K-8 curriculum (Reading, Language & Literature; History & Social Sciences; Mathematics; Science; Visual & Performance Arts; Human Development; and Physical Education), including all general education and breadth of study requirements. In addition, students choose an Area of Focus module that explores one of these subject matter areas in great depth.

Also see the other two options in Liberal Studies
Liberal Studies, B.A. – Border Studies  (BRS) 
Liberal Studies, B.A.– Integrated Teacher Education Program Option   (ITEP)   

CSET Waiver

The curriculum for the ESM and ITEP options has been approved as a Waiver Program by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing. This means that students who finish all degree requirements for the ESM and ITEP options, earn a cumulative GPA of 2.67 or higher, and graduate, will not need to take the Multiple Subject California Subject Examinations for Teachers (CSETs) I-III.

Program Goals

The goals of the Liberal Studies Program are that all of our graduates:

  • Learn to engage in reasoned thinking.
  • Maintain open, inquiring, and skeptical minds.
  • Know how to access and evaluate information.
  • Develop cultural sensitivity and tolerance for cultural differences.
  • Acquire environmental awareness.
  • Establish a foundation for understanding social issues.
  • Take responsibility for their thinking, actions, and impact on the world.

Program Student Learning Outcomes

Students graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies in the Elementary Subject Matter Option will:

  1. Earn Multiple Subject CSET I-III Waiver.
  2. Articulate their role in the community, with an emphasis on how their educational experience informs their K-8 teaching.
  3. Collaborate with diverse groups and in multiple settings to achieve a goal.
  4. Collect, evaluate, and analyze primary and secondary data.

Career Opportunities

For students in the ESM Option, the B.A. in Liberal Studies is the first step in becoming a K-8 teacher. For students in the ESM Option who do not want to be teachers, the B.A. in Liberal Studies serves as a liberal arts foundation for high school, community college, and university student services jobs, NGOs focused on education issues, most graduate programs in the humanities and social sciences, and law school.

Graduates of Liberal Studies are well-positioned for entry into CSUSM’s Multiple Subject Credential Program. For complete and up-to-date information, please contact the School of Education .

Special Conditions for the Liberal Studies Major

All courses counted toward the Major, including general education, must be completed with a grade of C (2.0) or better. No course counting for Major requirements may be taken for a grade of Credit/No Credit.

Introduction to LBST (3 Units)

LBST 100   An Introduction to Critical Education  (transfer students should take LBST 300   instead) Units: 3 (LDGE D7)

The courses listed below satisfy the General Education  requirements as indicated at the time of publication. Check the Class Schedule for the most up-to-date list of courses satisfying these requirements.

Lower-Division Preparation (54 Units)

Reading, Language, and Literature (RLL) (12 Units)

Visual and Performing Arts (VPA) (6 Units)

Human Development (HD) (3 Units)

Physical Education (PE) (3 Units)

Critical Thinking (3 Units)

  • Any LDGE A3 (PHIL 110  recommended) Units: 3

Breadth of Study Requirements (27 Units)


Courses must be taken in the following areas in order to fulfill the Breadth of Study requirement. In some areas, only a single course can fulfill this requirement; in others, a choice of courses is available. Additional courses may be approved to satisfy these requirements as courses are added to the college curriculum. Students should consult a Liberal Studies advisor in order to obtain an up-to-date list of approved courses.

Linguistics (3 Units)

California History (3 Units)

Integrative Studies (3 Units)

One of the following courses:

Multicultural Studies (3 Units)

One of the following courses:

Science (3 Units)

Arts (3 Units)

Area of Focus Requirements for the ESM Option (15-16 Units)

All students must fulfill an Area of Focus requirement by selecting and completing a 15-16 unit module of coursework clustered around one of the seven K-8 subject areas.  Various modules are offered by faculty in related academic fields.  Each module is designed to provide the student with a more focused and sustained study of a particular subject matter area.

The Area of Focus allows students to gain greater appreciation of the development of a given academic field, from basic concepts and methods to more advanced applications and theoretical horizons.  Prospective teachers may select a module in a given subject area in order to develop a particular classroom specialty, or to pursue an intellectual or creative interest. Courses taken to satisfy the Area of Focus requirement may not be used to satisfy the Integrative or Multicultural Studies requirements; however, Area of Focus coursework may also be applied toward completion of a minor (an official declaration of the minor must be filed with Registration and Records).  Area of Focus modules in each of the six content areas listed below are available. Complete descriptions, including current course requirements for each Area of Focus module, are available from the Liberal Studies Advisors and are posted on the Liberal Studies website.







ESM Total (99-100 Units)

Minimum Total (120 Units)

Graduation Requirement: Students must take a sufficient number of elective units to bring the total number of units to a minimum of 120, including at least 40 at the upper-division level.

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