Liberal Studies is an interdisciplinary program composed of a double major for students interested in teaching grades K-8. Most of the coursework in the Liberal Studies portion of the double major is designed to prepare students for the multiple subjects test in the California Subject Examination for Teachers (CSET; formerly MSAT or Multiple Subject Assessment for Teachers) required under federal No Child Left Behind legislation. Therefore, in the Liberal Studies portion of the double major, students complete coursework in seven content areas to achieve the subject matter breadth that is required to teach at the elementary level. Completion of this coursework also satisfies almost all of the Liberal Arts Foundation requirements for graduation from the University of Redlands. The remainder of the coursework in the Liberal Studies portion of the program is composed of a sequence of LBST classes that introduce prospective teachers to the field, expose them to the various approaches to education from a variety of disciplinary perspectives, and prepare them to undertake research projects in education.
In addition, the Liberal Studies program is designed for students who are pursuing two majors, and thus requires a second major of the student's choosing for disciplinary depth. Interdisciplinary majors are also available to the student. By selecting and completing a second major, Liberal Studies majors develop a strong understanding of the conceptual foundations of at least one subject area in depth, as well as an understanding of how knowledge is created and organized in that subject. Students are encouraged to select a subject area that will provide the foundation for supplementing a multiple subject teaching credential (for teaching a single subject at the secondary level) or open a pathway into a second profession or graduate study. Common second majors include Spanish, Communicative Disorders, English, Math, Psychology, and Environmental Science.
Students do not automatically earn a teaching credential by completing the B.A. in Liberal Studies; however, all current course prerequisites for admission to the teaching credential program in the university's School of Education are satisfied within the Liberal Studies major, and required coursework prepares students for the CSET multiple subjects test. Academic advising for undergraduate students interested in becoming K8 teachers is coordinated through the Liberal Studies program in the College of Arts and Sciences. Students who plan to be K-8 teachers should seek early advising by the Liberal Studies Program, followed by consultation with the School of Education.