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School of Teacher Education

School of Teacher Education

Liberal Studies
SDSU Liberal Studies

How to Become a Teacher

Congratulations on choosing to pursue a career in teaching!

With both national awareness of the importance of education and classroom enrollments steadily increasing, teachers at the elementary level will be in demand in the coming years and will continue to play a vital role in society.

In California, individuals who wish to be elementary teachers satisfy subject matter competency by passing the California Subject Examination for Teachers (CSET). The Liberal Studies major is specifically designed to match the standards that are taught in the elementary school and that are tested in the CSET.

Dr. Chizhik

“I am excited to create a program that is strong, rigorous, supportive and culturally relevant. I will endeavor for students to feel safe and be able to thrive in the Liberal Studies program.”

Dr. Stella Chizhik
Liberal Studies Coordinator

Single or Multiple Subject?

While you don’t need to make a firm decision right away, by the end of your freshman year you need to decide whether you are primarily interested in teaching all subjects or definitely only one subject.

Consider "Hirability"

In a competitive job market, candidates for any kind of job, including teaching jobs, should think about ways to enhance their resumé. Some areas such as mathematics, science, and special education, are experiencing teacher shortages, and teachers trained in these areas are in heightened demand. As you consider your pathway to teaching, be sure to consider various "hirability" factors that might guide your choices.

Pathways to Teaching

Numerous pathways are open to you as you consider the possibilities available in the teaching profession. You might choose to pursue an elementary education emphasis with a literacy focus and a Special Education option. Or you might choose to teach English, math, or science at the middle school level. Learn about the elementary education emphasis, generalist emphasis, middle school math or science emphasis, and the new ITEP emphasis.

Credential Programs

Be aware that the process of transitioning from the undergraduate Liberal Studies major to a credential program needs to begin at least 1 year before you plan to graduate. The process involves several steps and costs money. In addition, you may need to complete prerequisites before admittance to a credential program. Teacher preparation in California is different from most states. In California, teaching candidates acquire content knowledge before entering a credential program. In the credential program, students learn how to teach.

Photo: Children in foreground and teacher holding book in background
Interested in the SDSU Liberal Studies program?
Here's how to apply

A Simplified Step-by-Step  

Use the steps below to guide your progress through the major: 

  1. Begin as a pre-major and meet all impaction criteria
  2. Declare the major.
  3. Choose a focus.
  4. Choose an option within your emphasis (does not apply to Education Generalist emphasis).
  5. Complete all upper-division coursework and requirements.
  6. Apply for graduation.
  7. Enter a credential program.

"Teachers, I believe, are the most responsible and important members of society because their professional efforts affect the fate of the earth."

— Helen Caldicott, author and peace activist
School of Teacher Education

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