Frequently Asked Questions
Q: I want to be an elementary school teacher. What should I major in?
A: You should major in Liberal Studies. The major provides multiple subject matter courses appropriate for teaching at the elementary school level.
Q: I want to teach in high school. What should I major in?
A: You will need to major in one of the approved single subject majors on campus. We offer several approved single subject programs at CSUDH such as Art, English, Mathematics, Kinesiology, etc.
Q: What if I am a Liberal Studies major and obtain my Multiple Subject credential and then I change my mind and decide I want to teach high school?
A: You may be able to take the coursework required for single subject content competency or you may be required to pass the exams for subject matter competency.
Q: I want to teach middle school. What should I major in?
A: Generally speaking, students intending to teach at the middle school level should major in one of the approved single subject degrees. If you want flexibility or want to teach 6-12th grades, you should study a single subject program.
Q: I want to teach special education at the high school level. What should I major in?
A: Again, you probably want to major in Liberal Studies (in order to teach multiple subjects), but you could also major in a single subject field. The special education credential is now a separate credential and you are required to take a core of methods classes in either multiple or single subject.
Q: I don't want to teach, but I do want to be a school counselor. What should I major in?
A: You should first get credentialed and teach. Therefore, you can do either a multiple subject or a single subject credential. If you do multiple subject (Liberal Studies), you might be interested in taking the Human Development option.
Q: If I graduate with a major in Liberal Studies, does this mean I can teach?
A: It means you will have earned your degree and completed the appropriate subject matter requirements to help you pass the CSET. Next, you will need to take TED (Teacher Education) courses and student teaching before obtaining your credential.
Q: My friend majored in Spanish. Can s/he become an elementary school teacher?
A: Yes, s/he can, but only if s/he passes the CSET. This test covers all the subject matter areas covered in the Liberal Studies degree, so it is very comprehensive (unlike the CBEST test). It is also an expensive test and if you fail the test, you will need to take the whole test over again (unlike the CBEST where you can pass certain parts).
Q: How often must I come in to see an advisor?
A: It is highly recommended that you seek advising at least once per semester. And, it is to your advantage to have your file up-to-date, particularly when you are about one year away from graduation.
Q: Do I need to make an appointment?
A: It is not necessary to make an appointment. Advising is on a "walk-in" basis. However, if you have a personal issue to discuss or on probation, you may schedule an appointment. We encourage students to seek advising via email. You will receive a response within 24 hours. Remember to include your full name along with your Student ID.
Q: What are your advising hours?
A: Check the main page for office hours.
Q: Where should I go to see an advisor?
A: Come to the Liberal Studies office, room SCC 540 and sign in on the clipboard. You will be seen in order you signed in.
Q: Can I email questions to the Liberal Studies Program?
A: Yes! We certainly encourage you to post your question(s) to email@example.com. You will receive a response within 24 hours.
Q: I got a "C-" in one of my Liberal Studies classes. Do I have to take it again?
A: Yes. The California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CCTC) requires grades of "C" or better.
Q: I got a "C" in ENG 350. Do I have to repeat it?
A: Look at your Liberal Studies Worksheet. If it stipulates that you must pass ENG 350 with a "B -" or better, you must do so.
Q: How can I get a bad grade off my record? How about a bad semester (because of a death in the family, illness, etc.)?
A: Try to avoid this situation in the first place. If you have a serious problem, withdraw from your classes or arrange for an "incomplete" grade prior to the end of the semester (the earlier, the better). However, if you did not do this, you may still petition the university to consider eliminating a semester from your records. Be sure to provide documentation to support your request.
Q: The financial aid office informed me that I won't be able to receive any more aid due to my grades. What can I do?
A: You can petition the financial aid office to re-consider your case.
Q: How many units do I need to graduate?
A: You will need a minimum of 120 semester units to graduate. However, you may end up with more units in order to complete all your General Education and Liberal Studies requirements.
Q: What does it mean to "file for graduation"? When should I do it?
A: It means you will need to fill out an application to graduate, have an LBS advisor sign the application, and pay a fee at the cashier's window. See the Liberal Studies web page related to graduation for information on filing dates and procedures.
Q: I was not a good student at the community college, but I've turned my life around since coming to CSUDH. Are there any honors I can still receive at graduation?
A: Yes, you may still qualify for "Honors in the Major" if you have a 3.5 GPA in your upper division coursework. See the page related to graduation for more information.
Q: What courses can I take at the community college to prepare for Liberal Studies?
A: CSUDH Liberal Studies courses that can be completed at the community college are listed on www.ASSIST.org. You should finish your general education requirements and request GE Certification from you community college. [You are eligible to apply if you have completed at least the CSUDH General Education "AREA A" section, have 60 transferable units, and a GPA of at least 2.0 to transfer to CSUDH.]
Q: How many units can I transfer from a community college?
A: The maximum number of units that will be accepted towards graduation at any CSU is 70.
Q: Can I still take courses at a community college even if I have already transferred 70 units?
A: Yes, you may still be able to take courses at the community college and they will still meet course requirements. The problem is that the units won't count for graduation. If you have already completed 70 transferable units at the community college, that means you will need at least 50 units (of which 40 must be upper division units) at CSUDH in order to graduate. If you're not sure, see a Liberal Studies advisor.
Q: Do I have to take an option?
A: Yes. You must choose one and complete the coursework—it is part of your major.
Q: What is an option?
A: It's a selected set of courses (usually 12 units of upper division work) in a particular field of study that is intended to provide you with more depth of study in a given area. Options have been designed for future teachers by faculty in the subject matter fields.
Q: Which option should I take?
A: Take one that interests you. Teachers with expertise in math and science are particularly valued in the schools.
Teaching Credential Questions
Q: How do I obtain a teaching credential?
A: You take TED courses (methods, etc.) and do student teaching or fieldwork (practice teaching or internship) in the schools. For further information on the various TED programs, call their general information number (310) 243-3496 to arrange an appointment and obtain information about the program.
Q: How long will it take me to become a credentialed teacher?
A: If you take all the right classes and an average of 15.5 units each semester, it will take you 4 years to get your Liberal Studies degree. Then, it will take you approximately 1 ½ years to complete the credential.
Q: What is the CBEST test? What does it cover? When should I take it?
A: The CBEST (California Basic Educational Skills Test) is a statewide exam which covers three areas—reading, writing, and math. You should take it when you have prepared for the test and not before then. Students should plan to take the CBEST as soon as they think they are ready. All students need to have taken the CBEST (as well as other requirements) before they can enroll in LBS 300.
Q: Should I take any teacher education courses while I'm working on my degree in Liberal Studies?
A: No. The Teacher Education Credential Program has just been changed. New requirements do not allow undergraduates to enroll in TED prefix courses before the last semester as a Liberal Studies major.
Q: What are the different teaching credential programs at CSUDH?
A: There are 2 basic teaching credentials offered at CSUDH: multiple subject (usually grades K-6) and single subject (usually grades 7-12) and students take student teaching to complete their credentialing requirements. For more information, please contact (310) 243-3525.
Q: Where do CSUDH students do their student teaching?
A: Usually in LAUSD, Lawndale, Hawthorne, Torrance, or Long Beach.
Q: Is student teaching available in the summer?
Q: Can you request a certain grade level, school, and/or teacher for student teaching?
A: No, but you will be assigned to 2 different grade levels at a school as close to your home as possible and with a qualified master teacher.
Q: I am a teacher's aide in a local school district. Does this mean I won't have to do student teaching.
A: No, you will still need to complete the fieldwork involved with the student teaching option.