B.A. in Liberal Studies, Elementary Education
As a liberal studies, elementary education major, you’ll be equipped with the academic foundation and practical skills you need to be an effective elementary school teacher. The unique structure of our program allows you to complete the majority of the requirements for earning a California Multiple Subject Preliminary Teaching Credential as an undergraduate student. Student teaching (an additional 12 credits), the final step in your credential program, is usually completed at the graduate level. The 12 credits you earn in student teaching at the graduate level can be applied to the Master of Arts in Teaching or Master of Arts in Education.
In this major, you’ll have the opportunity to choose an academic concentration that will provide deeper training in a specific subject.
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The biology concentration features coursework in biological science, with studies in topics such as environmental science, nutrition and marine biology.
- Early Childhood
The early childhood concentration includes coursework in early childhood curriculum, child development, classroom management and assessment of young children, and can lead to earning a Child Development Permit.
The English concentration includes coursework in grammar, composition, creative writing and classic literature.
- Health and Physical Education
The health and physical education concentration includes coursework in areas such as kinesiology, sports leadership, psychology in physical education and coaching techniques. Students also have the opportunity to enroll in a 1- to 3-credit internship.
- Human Development
The human development concentration includes psychology courses in areas such as human sexuality, marriage and family and cross-cultural issues.
- Intercultural Studies
The intercultural studies concentration includes coursework in such areas as linguistics, intercultural communication, anthropology and teaching English to speakers of other languages (TESOL).
The mathematics concentration includes coursework in areas such as calculus, linear algebra, probability, statistics and number theory.
The Spanish concentration offers two tracks: second language learners and heritage learners. Courses cover Spanish language and culture, conversation and composition, and Spanish applied linguistics and pedagogy.
- Special Education
The special education concentration is composed of coursework on topics such as teaching students with mild to moderate disabilities in inclusive settings, autism spectrum disorders and classroom management for students with special needs. Students can receive a Special Education Certificate and apply this coursework toward a Special Education (Mild/Moderate) Credential at the graduate level.
- U.S. History
The U.S. history concentration features coursework in American government and history from the colonial period to the present day.
- Visual Arts
The visual arts concentration includes coursework in such artistic disciplines as drawing, 2D and 3D design, sculpture, ceramics, painting and photography.
Why Choose Education at Biola?
In addition to its strong curriculum, expert faculty members and biblical integration, Biola’s liberal studies, elementary education, program offers several key advantages:
- This program features biblically centered curriculum that teaches you how to integrate your faith into your teaching philosophy.
- While earning your bachelor’s degree, you simultaneously work toward a California Multiple Subject Preliminary Teaching Credential, starting as early as your sophomore year in the liberal studies program. You can also receive your ACSI Teacher Certification while earning your California preliminary teaching credential by meeting additional requirements.
- Earn a California Child Development Permit by completing coursework within the Early Childhood concentration.
- Biola’s strong relationships with local schools in Southern California facilitate your ability to network with local educators and administrators across the area.
- Choose from over 80 countries in which to do half of your student teaching.
- Over 130 hours of fieldwork in diverse classrooms will prepare you to teach students from a broad range of cultural, linguistic and socioeconomic backgrounds. Serve children with special needs while earning your special education certificate in the special education concentration.
What Will I Study?
In our program you will study:
- Knowledge and skills needed to be an effective teacher
- Educational theories such as psychology of education, classroom management; and concepts of physical, intellectual, socioemotional and cognitive development
- Application of theory to classroom practice (understand how theory informs our strategy choices in the classroom)
- Breadth of knowledge in English language and literature, history, math, psychology, communication, art, music, kinesiology and science
- Strategies to meet the diverse educational needs of today’s learners
- Effective uses of technology in the classroom
- Strategies for teaching students learning English as a second language and students with special needs
I really love the aspect of fieldwork hours in the elementary education major. During these hours you get to observe a classroom and see all of the things you have learned about put into action.
With proper credentials and permits, many career opportunities in education and child development, business and government await future graduates of Biola's liberal studies, elementary education program. As a well-equipped professional, you can expect to impact the world for Jesus Christ in rewarding professions such as:
- Elementary school teacher
- School principal
- Preschool site supervisor
- Educational research analyst
- Curriculum writer and editor
- Government education specialist
- Instructional materials sales representative
- Children's ministry
- Cross-cultural education
It is important to note that the Multiple Subject Credential is primarily appropriate for elementary school teachers (as this is the one credential required for elementary school teaching), but can also sometimes be appropriate for middle or junior high school teachers.
What are Graduates Doing Now?
Some graduates of Biola’s School of Education pursue graduate degrees, while others move directly into rewarding careers:
- Classroom teacher (Some alumni have received prestigious awards, such as the Presidential Award for Excellence in Math and Science; and California and district Teacher of the Year)
- School principal or superintendent (Some alumni have been Principal of the Year honorees)
- County and state government leaders
- Technical writers
- District administrators
- University professors
- Curriculum writers and researchers
- Pursuing doctoral studies at prestigious universities