Santa Clara University

Liberal Studies program




The Liberal Studies Program provides future elementary school teachers with an education in the Liberal Arts which is broad in scope, excellent in quality, and inclusive of the disciplines which are foundational for elementary school curriculum. Through the Bachelor’s of Science degree in Liberal Studies, we prepare future educators who demonstrate ethical sensitivity, global awareness, and the critical thinking skills needed to evaluate “new” educational approaches in relation to relevant research.  Our graduates have knowledge about and experience with children, are sensitive to their individuality, and will become strong and capable educational leaders.  Faculty in our program are teaching scholars who model the kind of reason based, and yet compassionate and justice-oriented teaching we want our graduates to bring to children.


We will achieve the following goals as indicated by achievement of the objectives listed under each one.


1.  Graduates will have competency in the elementary knowledge and disciplinary methods of all the areas of the Liberal Arts curriculum needed for teaching and for being a liberally educated person.

Objective 1: Graduates will posses an in-depth understanding of the content knowledge areas required for teaching at the elementary (K-6) level. 

These include: Performing / Fine Arts, Language Arts, Mathematics, Health / Physical Education, Sciences, and Social Sciences.

Objective 2: Graduates will have developed a preliminary level of competency in the methodology skills required for teaching at the elementary (K-6) level.  

2. Graduates will develop a understanding of the social, cultural, ethnic and gender differences in today’s urban education settings so as to be able to apply social justice in their assessments of and responses to today’s educational environments.

Objective 1: Graduates will possess a solid understanding of how demographic differences in race, class, gender, abilities, and economic status influence the academic achievement and motivation of students in elementary grades as well as in larger society.

Objective 2: Graduates will engage in community-based service learning experiences to cultivate a commitment toward compassionate and socially just service to children, schools and communities.

3. Graduates will demonstrate that they are excellent problem solvers who can use critical thinking and perseverance born of ethical concern to better the learning environments and experiences for children in their classrooms, neighborhoods and the world.

Objective 1: Graduates will demonstrate competency in applying the principles of sound critical thinking and decision making to educational questions and contexts.

Objective 2: Graduates will be able to evaluate educational problems at several levels (e.g. classroom, school, societal, global) to determine logical and ethical approaches and solutions 


4.  The Liberal Studies Program provides an interdisciplinary program of study in order to maintain a relevant pre-teaching curriculum for future K-12 educators.  

Objective 1:  Faculty will assure that the content delivered in Liberal Studies major courses are in alignment with California state standards and requirements for subject matter preparation of elementary educators.

Objective 2: Faculty will assure that the content delivered in the Urban Education minor courses are in alignment with California state standards and requirements for subject matter preparation of elementary and / or secondary educators.

Objective 3:  The faculty of the Liberal Studies program will stay current in their familiarity and understanding of California state teacher preparation requirements and relevant state and federal legislation.

Objective 4: Faculty in Liberal Studies will support and advise faculty and staff from SCU academic departments who administer subject matter preparation programs for undergraduates wishing to pursue secondary education credentials.


5.  The Liberal Studies Program promotes scholarly research programs germane to the Program’s overarching mission.

Objective 1: Faculty in Liberal Studies will engage in school or community based scholarly endeavors that represent such thematic areas as multicultural education, social justice, critical thinking, curriculum design and evaluation, child development and student learning outcomes, etc.

Objective 2: Faculty in Liberal Studies will involve undergraduates in their scholarly endeavors as research assistants and, where appropriate, co-authors.


6.      Faculty, student and staff members of the Liberal Studies Program and the Office of College Special Programs (OCSP[1])  will actively recruit and support future (i.e. undergraduate) K-12 educators, current SCU pre-teaching students, as well as SCU alumni who are pre-service (in credential program) or in-service (already out in the field) educators.

Objective 1: Faculty in Liberal Studies will serve and academic advisors for undergraduates who pursuing a minor in Urban Education as preparation for a career in K-12 education. 

Objective 2: The OCSP will provide academic, social and financial support to SCU students in the Eastside Future Teachers Program (EFTP).  This includes:

·        Providing $8000 scholarship to EFTP College Scholars (through credential year).

·        Providing quarterly meetings and progress reports for all first year EFTP students.

·        Providing two meetings annually for continuing EFTP students.

·        Providing weekly EFTP seminar to discuss topics and issues affecting teachers working in urban areas.

Objective 3: The Office of College Special Programs (OCSP) will actively will provide college preparatory programs and support to students from underrepresented populations attending local high school districts.  This includes:

·        Annually recruit high school students to participate in the EFTP-High School Scholars Academy (HSSA).

·        Annually recruit high school students to participate in the summer Math Masters Program.

·        Provide annual SAT prep course to EFTP and Math Masters participants.

Objective 4: Faculty, staff and students in Liberal Studies, will recruit and initiate eligible undergraduate and graduate students into SCU’s Phi Omega chapter of Kappa Delta Pi, the International Honors Society for Education.

Objective 5: Faculty, student and staff in Liberal Studies will engage in activities that recognize or supplement the efforts of in-service K-8 teachers such as “Reading is Fun Week” where members of Kappa Delta Pi go to local elementary school classrooms to read new children’s books and then leave the books for the classroom children to keep, and the “TWIX” campus speaker / seminar series put on by the OCSP to highlight practitioners who exemplify excellence in the educational field.

[1]The Office of College Special Programs (OCSP) is a constellation of academic outreach and pipeline programs that is housed in the Liberal Studies Program.  The OCSP is directed by Dr. Brett Johnson Solomon, Assistant Professor of Liberal Studies and Psychology.