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School of Teacher Education

School of Teacher Education

Liberal Studies
SDSU Liberal Studies

Caitlin Roth: Future High School Teacher

On this page: Read the story of Liberal Studies major Caitlin Roth, whose journey has taken unexpected turns as her educational goals have changed and grown.


When I transferred to SDSU from Grossmont College, I intended to complete a double major in Liberal Studies and History and attain a Multiple Subject Credential. I was taken aback when I realized that doing so would take a full 4 more years of schooling before I even reached a credential program!

Everything Under the Sun

In addition, I was surprised to learn that I would need to choose a focus for my Liberal Studies degree and even more surprised when I realized that I was most interested in gaining more expertise in teaching mathematics to children. Though I was interested in working with students in upper elementary, I was also drawn to middle school. I felt as though I wanted to do everything under the sun and had no idea where to begin pruning! Luckily, the Liberal Studies degree gave me the opportunity to do everything I wanted to and more.

A Change in Plans

After many meetings with the wonderful advisors for the program, I had a plan in place that gave me the flexibility to teach the subjects I was most passionate about. Because I had prepared for a degree in History during my general education, I was able to take upper-division courses in the Social Sciences that allowed me to add a Middle School Authorization in Social Sciences. But that wasn’t all I added.

As I became more and more passionate about quality mathematics instruction, I decided to deepen my understanding of it and follow the Middle School Authorization pathway for Math as well. Although it necessitated plenty of caffeine and a terrifyingly detailed planner, I succeed in my goals and graduated in 2016 as the Outstanding Student in Liberal Studies. But my journey had only just begun!

A New Passion

I had innumerable opportunities to work with children as I worked through my upper division coursework. I traveled to Granada, Spain with the Liberal Studies study abroad program and was blessed with the chance to work as a classroom assistant at a local elementary school.

Photo: Caitlin Roth in Toledo Spain with cathedral in distance

I worked at a local K-8 school for 2 years and have facilitated learning for students with special needs and their typically developing peers in every classroom on the campus.

I observed high schoolers deepening their understanding of the Pythagorean Theorem, exploring the tactics employed by propagandists and generals during World War 1, dissecting the connections between the American and French Revolutions, and furrowing their brows as they muttered SOH-CAH-TOA under their breath in Pre-Calculus.

And as I watched excellent teachers practice their craft with students from ages 5 to 18, I came to realize that my passions did not lie in elementary education.

Exciting Final Outcome

Though I was terrified by the prospect of yet again changing my path, I found myself drawn to the older grades. I spoke with the Liberal Studies advisors and to the advisors at the College of Education and made my choice: I would pursue a Single Subject Credential rather than a Multiple Subject Credential.

Once again, I put my nose to the grindstone and began to prepare for the Single Subject CSET in Social Sciences and, after passing it and the interview process for the program, was accepted into the 3-Semester Block cohort for Single Subject.

I am now planning on completing my Single Subject Math CSET and obtaining my credential in 2 subjects that I am deeply passionate about.

I am so thankful for the Liberal Studies program and the flexibility it offered because it allowed me to continue to follow my educational goals even as they changed and grew!


Photo: Caitlin Roth posing on balcony overlooking Mediterranean Sea

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