Courses | Liberal Studies, Multidisciplinary, B.A.

Course Overview

The following documents outline a suggested course schedule.


Below are some of the courses you’ll have an opportunity to take as a student in this program. Note: This list is intended to give you a quick glimpse into the program’s academic offerings, and should not be used as a guide for course selection or academic advising. For official program requirements see catalog for details.

General Education

The major-specific general education courses for the liberal studies, multidisciplinary degree include the following:

An introduction to the history of visual art, art criticism and aesthetics; a visual analysis of works of art; comparative studies on selected paintings and sculptures.

A survey of biological principles including: the cell, zoology, ecology, human anatomy, genetics, and origin of life theories.

Observational and investigative approach to surveying a range of biological organisms and examining selected human systems.

Appreciation of drama through an understanding of the components, terms, personnel, history, styles, and techniques of theatre.

A survey of U.S. History from the time of European settlement, to the colonial period, to independence from Britain, the formation of the republic and the constitution, the issues of the early 1800s, and the Civil War.

Problem solving, set theory, whole numbers, number theory, integers, rational numbers as fractions, decimals, percents, and real numbers. Use of manipulatives.

Elements of music and media of performance in historical perspective. Provides basic background in music literature.

Understanding, planning programs and implementing a range of fundamental movement and fitness activities designed for the elementary child: preparation for the upper-division methods course.

A general introduction to logic covering both deductive and inductive inference, and the analysis of arguments in ordinary language.

A general introduction to the nature, problems, methods, concepts, and divisions of philosophy.

An introduction to philosophy through a study of the principal ethical theories and thinkers; basic ethical problems and related biblical teaching.

A survey of psychology as an empirical/behavioral science with a consideration of underlying philosophical bases in light of a Christian worldview. Topics to be surveyed include development, cognition, learning, motivation, physiology, socialization, personality and psychopathology.

Major Courses

Developing and preparing art assignments suitable for elementary school pupils.

A survey of U.S. history from Reconstruction, to the gilded age and progressive era, to the world wars, the cold war, and the present age. Major Supreme Court cases will be covered as will social and ethnic issues.

Exploration, colonization and geography; indigenous people; the Mexican period; statehood; the social, economic and political developments in the 20th century. Examination of contemporary California diversity and regional issues.

Exploration of the cross-cultural transition process, focusing on healthy adjustment as a sojourner in a new culture. Attention given to understanding and applying grace to oneself and others, discerning cultural values, conflict styles, social stratification and celebration.

A study of non-Caucasian ethnic groups in America in light of their historical and socio-cultural background. Practical field experience in an ethnic community.

A study of specific cultural areas with an emphasis on customs, social structures, religion, arts, and history. May be repeated with different course content. Areas of specialty may include:

  • History, People and Cultures of Latin America
  • History, People and Cultures of Sub-Saharan Africa
  • Peoples and Cultures of China
  • Peoples and Cultures of India
  • Women in Islamic Cultures
  • Peoples of the Islamic World
  • Native Peoples of America
  • Peoples and Cultures of Southeast Asia
  • Peoples of Europe

Principles and processes of communicating from one culture to another. Focus on different perceptions, ways of thinking, values, non-verbal expression, language expression and subgroups within a culture as they relate to the media and the message.

This course examines the structure and function of the school, foundations of education, qualities required for teacher effectiveness, and contemporary issues in education. A 25-hour fieldwork practicum component is required. Successful completion of this course constitutes one of the requirements for admission to the Teacher Preparation Program. CBEST must be taken during this course.

Basic concepts of cognitive development, including psychosocial, moral and language development. Define concepts related to the development of personality and temperament. Examine scope of physical development of children and the connections between health and learning. These theories are investigated in light of classroom implications for identifying and describing individual differences in the development of children. Covers the impact of genetic, sociocultural and socioeconomic factors on the development of children and young adolescents.

Survey of the theories, programs, and instructional practices for English language development, including first and second language acquisition and individual factors affecting language acquisition. Strategies for the application of theory to classroom practice and instruction in content area literacy are emphasized. Principles of educational equity, diversity, and cultural and linguistic responsiveness are examined.

This course is designed to provide an understanding of the historical perspectives on children's literature through picture books and young adult novels reflecting different genres. Literature representative of a variety of cultures and ethnic groups will be analyzed and discussed in order to strengthen cross-cultural understanding. Emphasis will be upon developing responses to literature through art, drama, and writing in order to strengthen children's literacy development in the elementary classroom.

Introductory geometry, congruence, symmetry, measurement, algebra and coordinate geometry, statistics, probability. Use of manipulatives.

Instruction in materials for teaching music in the elementary school.

A survey of the basic principles of physics, chemistry, geology, meteorology and astronomy. Designed for the non-science major.

A laboratory experience to accompany the lecture course.



An interdisciplinary approach to the study of the environment using concepts from ecology, biology, chemistry, geology, the social sciences and Scripture to understand the interplay of natural resources, how humans are affecting the environment, and how to deal with environmental problems.

A detailed study of the basic nutritional needs of humans: water, carbohydrates, lipids, proteins, vitamins and minerals, Also included is a coverage of certain nutritional issues such as health foods, megavitamins, obesity and food additives, as well as computer-aided personal diet-analysis assignment.

The study of the organs, tissues, functions and responses to environment of typical flowering plants and the morphology and life history of the major lower plant groups. Some classification of local forms is included, and limited use of the scanning electron microscope is available.

The biology of vertebrates, stressing structure and function. Laboratory dissection of representative vertebrates emphasizes comparative anatomy.

Systematics, distribution, behavior and ecology of the common plants and animals of the selected domestic or international sire or region. Emphasis is on the site's biodiversity, ecology, and associated conservation issues. Trips to domestic sites may occur during Interterm or Summer terms, as well as on Saturdays or weekends during the school year. Domestic sites may include the LA region, the Sierra, the Grand Canyon, and the Channel Islands. Trips to international sites may occur in the Interterm or Summer term and may include studies world-wide. Both domestic and international sites will vary from year to year based on faculty interest and student support and enrollment.

Taxonomy and morphology of invertebrate phyla; laboratory dissection of invertebrates.

Introduction to oceanography, marine plant and animal diversity, and ecological relationships. Lab sessions will include field trips.

An introduction to the general concepts of the ecology of populations, communities and ecosystems, including physiological ecology, speciation and evolutionary theory. Laboratory includes field trips and a research project.

Selected topics of current interest and concern are studied.

Systematics, distribution, physiology, behavior and ecology of birds. Field identification emphasized.

Early Childhood

This course examines ways to create meaningful curriculum that is aligned with the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) program standards, the California Preschool Learning Foundations, and the California Common Core and Content Standards. Teacher candidates develop curriculum plans that integrate language and literacy, mathematics, and play for children ages 3 to 8. Particular attention is given to the key role of adult-child interactions and teaching strategies supporting physical, social and intellectual development for all children.

The focus of this course is to provide an examination of family, community, societal, and cultural influences on children's schooling and learning. It highlights strategies for integrating family members and community resources into the learning process. Emphasis will be given to the exploration of culturally and linguistically appropriate anti-bias approaches that support all children and their families.

This course offers an overview of childhood behaviors and effective strategies for managing these behaviors in the classroom. It includes a review of learning and developmental theories. The course introduces effective strategies that facilitate active learning and differentiated instructional practices that support diverse learning needs are introduced.

This course explores the selection and use of formal and informal assessments to determine initial information for facilitating individual learning strategies and environments. Candidates enhance observational skills, assessment abilities, and communication reporting to families. Particular attention is given to the selection, administration, scoring, and interpretation of results obtained from assessments of young children to determine skills and abilities for the purpose of curriculum planning, learning environment design, and accommodations for children with special needs.


Introductory language course for education students: history of language, grammatical systems, usage/composition; teaching applications.

Study of the theories of writing and rhetorical models. Extensive practice in writing.

Poetry workshop. Students will read and critique each other's work, study selected modern and contemporary poems and investigate the creative writing process.

Fiction workshop. Students will read and critique each other's work, study selected modern and contemporary short stories and investigate the creative writing process.

Specific eras and movements in American literature. Two or more sections offered every year. The sections include American literature from Colonial America, the Constitution to the Civil War, the Civil War to the New Deal, and the New Deal to the present.

Specific eras and movements in literature from the nations of the British Isles: Wales, Scotland, the Republic of Ireland, and England. The sections include: Medieval literature, Renaissance literature, 17th-century literature, 18th-century literature, Romanticism, Victorian literature, Early 20th-century literature, and contemporary literature.

Studies of a selection of Shakespeare's plays, providing an overview of Shakespearean tragedy, comedy, and historical drama.

Human Development

An introduction to the nature and process of the application of Christian thought to the study and practice of psychology.

An examination of human sexual functioning, behavior, relationships, and feelings. Issues of sexuality are discussed within spiritual, psychological, cultural, and medical/health related perspectives.

An examination of the nature and scope of religious experience including such issues as the development of religious concepts and values, conversion, the experience of prayer and spiritual maturity. Attention is also given to issues in the integration of psychology and theology.

Covers significant contemporary theoretical and clinical literature of marriage as a social and religious institution and an intimate, committed interpersonal psychological relationship. Includes topics such as the neurobiology of emotions and adult love, the psychology of interpersonal communication, conflict and problem solving, marital sexuality, gender issues, the developmental course of the marital relationship, emotional abuse and violence, and spirituality in marriage.

This course is designed to increase student awareness of the historical treatment of cross-cultural issues within a psychological context and to explore psychological issues in various cultural contexts within the American culture and worldwide. Attention is paid to the psychological dynamics involved in the formation and reduction of prejudices, discrimination, and stereotypes.

A study of the theory and research concerning lifespan development. Consideration will be given to the physical, emotional, cognitive, social and moral aspects of human development across the entire span from conception to death. Discussion will include timely issues of personal relevance to the student's own developmental pathway.

An examination of family from three different perspectives: Scriptural, cultural and clinical. A major goal of the course is to stimulate thinking regarding the integration of these perspectives. Particular emphasis will be placed on the study of family purpose, roles within the family, and psychological processes leading to healthy and unhealthy outcomes.

Intercultural Studies

The nature of people in culture; worldview and perception; culture change; a study of the subsystems of cultures, including social organization, religion, language and related topics. Includes practical applications to global problems such as AIDS, human rights, etc.

Introduction to the basic concepts in the scientific study of language, major areas of linguistic analysis, and several subareas of the field, including language in society. Material from English and a variety of other languages is used to provide a broad perspective.

Exploration of the cross-cultural transition process, focusing on healthy adjustment as a sojourner in a new culture. Attention given to understanding and applying grace to oneself and others, discerning cultural values, conflict styles, social stratification and celebration.

A study of specific cultural areas with an emphasis on customs, social structures, religion, arts, and history. May be repeated with different course content. Areas of specialty may include:

  • History, People and Cultures of Latin America
  • History, People and Cultures of Sub-Saharan Africa
  • Peoples and Cultures of China
  • Peoples and Cultures of India
  • Women in Islamic Cultures
  • Peoples of the Islamic World
  • Native Peoples of America
  • Peoples and Cultures of Southeast Asia
  • Peoples of Europe

Principles and processes of communicating from one culture to another. Focus on different perceptions, ways of thinking, values, non-verbal expression, language expression and subgroups within a culture as they relate to the media and the message.

The distinctive features of the historical ethnic religions, with special emphasis on their comparison and encounter with Christianity and their bearings upon missionary strategies.

Study of major features of standard American English structure, with applications for ESL/EFL teachers.

A practical course giving the skills and knowledge needed to gain foundational competence in teaching the English language. Includes methods and techniques, English pronunciation and grammar, teaching materials, culture and communicating values.

Basic concepts, methods and techniques of teaching English (ESL or EFL) to speakers of other languages. Introduces principles of second language learning along with techniques for teaching both separate and integrated skills to adult or post-secondary students.

Principles of ESL/EFL materials design to enable teachers to (a) evaluate and adapt published materials and (b) prepare their own materials.

Study of cultural contexts of English as an international language, culture in the language class and intercultural communication with the goal of increasing intercultural understanding and teaching effectiveness.

Exploration of ways in which TESOL may be used to promote cross-cultural understanding through the communication of different worldviews and values. Includes ethical considerations.

Structured practice teaching in an ESL classroom under the supervision of a master teacher, plus weekly group discussion of issues in language pedagogy.


Sets, the real number system, relations, functions, graphs, algebraic processes, inequalities, trigonometric functions, exponential and logarithmic functions, introduction to sequences.

Fundamental principles of differential and integral calculus. Applications chosen mainly from the management sciences.

Limits, differentiation and integration of rational and trigonometric functions, with applications.

Elementary properties of sets, discrete probability and combinatorial analysis, graphs, relations, orderings, functions, simple algebraic structures, binary arithmetic and other bases, methods of proof.

Set theory, Cartesian products, equivalence relations, images and inverse images, induction, recursions, inequalities, and field axioms. Emphasis on how to discover, write and present proofs.

Nature of statistical methods, description of sample data, fundamental concepts of probability, probability distributions, sampling, estimation, correlation and regression, application of same.

Topics from matrices, determinants, linear transformations and vector spaces.

The real number system, elementary topological concepts in Cartesian spaces, convergence, continuity, derivatives and integrals.

Introduction to abstract algebra with topics from elementary ring, field and group theories. Emphasis on ring of integers, congruences, polynomial domains, permutation groups.

Samples spaces, axioms and elementary theorems of probability, combinatorics, independence, conditional probability, Bayes' Theorem, one and higher dimensional random variables, special and multivariate distributions.

Estimation: consistency, unbiasedness, maximum likelihood, confidence intervals. Hypothesis-testing; type I and II errors, likelihood ratio tests, test for means and variances; regression and correlation, Chi-square tests, decision theory, nonparametric statistics; application of statistical methods.

Theorems of Pythagoras, incenters, circumcenters, circles, Euler line, Fermat center. Compass constructions. Solid geometry. Spherical geometry of arcs. Coordinate geometry.

The history of mathematics from Euclid through the 19th century as seen by exploring developments in number theory including congruences, Diophantine equations, divisibility, theorems of Fermat and Wilson, primitive roots, indices, quadratic reciprocity and the distribution of prime numbers.

Physical Education

A historical review of physical education and kinesiology; objectives of physical education; development of a basic philosophy and background for professional development.

Lecture, laboratory and field experience in the development, evaluation and application of tests in kinesiology and physical education; use and interpretation of elementary statistics.

Physical fitness and disease; nutrition and obesity; mental health and stress management; substance abuse (drugs, tobacco and alcohol); human sexuality. Supports the teacher certification requirement in health for physical education majors.

The theory, fundamentals, strategies, and techniques of teaching and coaching basketball.

The theory, fundamentals, strategies, and techniques of teaching and coaching soccer.

The theory, fundamentals, strategies, and techniques of teaching and coaching tennis.

The theory, fundamentals, strategies, and techniques of teaching and coaching volleyball.

Overview of significant factors that influence and determine the learning and control of motor skills. Motor learning issues are examined from a behavioral perspective, and applications are made to teaching, coaching and rehabilitation settings.

The study of people, activities, businesses, and organizations involved in producing, promoting and organizing any sports related business, event, or product.

This is an introduction to sociological and psychological aspects of physical education and sport. Within these contexts, sociological considerations include issues of access, culture, gender and power in the community and society. Psychological considerations include issues of behavior, stress, goal-setting and motivation and competitive contexts.


Intermediate grammar, listening, speaking, writing, reading. Course develops communication in various contexts with increasing proficiency. Learners will acquire greater command over basic and intermediate level structures. They will be equipped to use the linguistics sociolinguistic and pragmatic competencies in broader domains. At this level, the learner can perform the activities of the language perception (e.g., can understand the main ideas of complex texts on various topics, including semi-specialized language), of production (e.g., can express oneself clearly and in detail on a wide range of topics), in interaction (e.g., can maintain a conversation and interact with a certain degree of fluency and spontaneity).

This course will build upon and further develop the informal knowledge of Spanish that heritage learners bring to the classroom—usually from family and neighborhood exposure to the language—and cultivate formal speaking, reading, and writing abilities.

The learner will acquire a more solid command of linguistic, sociolinguistic and pragmatic competencies; she/he will develop a stronger command of grammar structures, broader lexical repertoire, good command of idiomatic expressions and colloquialisms. The learner will be trained to activate the strategies she/he needs in order to understand a wide range of complex and longer texts, express him/herself with fluency and spontaneity that makes conversation possible with a native speaker. Produces well structured text, makes good use of connectors and cohesive words.

Course covers a variety of authors and topics in literature in Spanish, including a variety of Hispanic texts from Spain and Latin America. Literary genres will include narratives, poetry and drama. This course is taught in Spanish.

Learners will develop a much stronger command of the linguistic, sociolinguistic and pragmatic competencies of the language. At this level, learners will be able to understand without difficulty almost everything heard or read. Learners can express themselves in a fluent, precise and spontaneous way, and differentiate various connotations and levels of meaning in complex texts. Learners will produce well structured written texts on a wide variety of topics.

The emphasis of this course is to examine and analyze specific authors and topics in Hispanic literature. The course will cover a variety of texts from Spain and Latin America composed of sections that correspond to the four main literary genres: fiction, poetry, drama and essay. The majority of each class session will be dedicated to readings, textual analysis, and writing on a broad selection of texts from different genres and periods.

Selected readings from recognized Latin American writers. Emphasis on developing a high level of reading and speaking proficiency covering all genres. Culture, history and social structures will become central issues for discussion as students learn to understand another culture through its literature.

This course seeks to help the student synthesize an understanding of the cultures of Latin America. Both unconscious and conscious levels of culture will be examined, as well as the impact of social class on culture. Attention also will be given to the fine arts as expressions of culture.

Special Education

This course provides a basic introduction to the history and educational philosophy of special education. It includes study of mild/moderate disabilities (specific learning disabilities, cognitive impairments, and emotional and behavioral disturbances). The course examines legal issues and laws pertaining to special education giving attention to school compliance and student and parent rights.

This course introduces the types and uses of assessments to identify the strengths and needs of exceptional learners and evaluate results to develop meaningful educational practice. It provides knowledge and skills necessary for selecting, administering, interpreting and reporting results of tests related to cognitive, affective, psychomotor and social development. Emphasis will be given to translating assessment data into making informed educational decisions.

The focus of this course is to provide teacher candidates with knowledge of learning disabilities including definitions, causes, and characteristics of learning disabilities in children. The course will provide students with the knowledge and skills to make accommodations and modifications (including adaptations with technology) for individuals with mild to moderate disabilities. Particular emphasis will be given to working on Student Study Teams to design instruction to meet the individual needs of underperforming students, to making referrals with appropriate documentation and to writing Individual Education Plans for students with identified learning disabilities.

This course focuses on principles and procedures for modifying behavior in the classroom with emphasis given to the identification of factors that contribute to behavioral problems, systematic data collection, objective reporting, and implementation of various methods of reinforcement.

This course offers an overview of student characteristics, theory and teaching applications for students with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). Major theories, teaching approaches, trends, etiological and diagnostic issues, classroom structure and environmental arrangements, research based instructional strategies, and family involvement will be discussed.

U.S. History

Settlement and growth of the Anglo-American civilization; the American Revolution; growth of political, economic, social and religious institutions to 1800.

Nationalism and the growth of sectionalism reform movements; Manifest Destiny; disruption of American democracy, Civil War and political reconstruction to 1877.

Historical development of the office of the presidency; formal and informal powers of the President in executive, legislative, judicial, military, diplomatic and political areas.

Post-Civil War economic growth, immigration, trans-Mississippi settlement, industrialization, urbanization; America's rise to world power, Progressive Era and World War I.

Shaping of American social, economic, political, religious and intellectual life and foreign policy in the era of the twenties, New Deal, World War II, Cold War; emphasis on America's new role in a world of global interdependence.

The history, organization and function of the legislative, judicial and executive branches of the American government. Includes one hour per week involving students in a local government civic service or life experience activity. Satisfies the state requirement in institutions in American history.

Visual Arts

An introduction to drawing, perspective, line, shape, value texture and composition.

An introduction to the fundamentals of drawing the human figure from gesture to finished work. This course focuses on the structure and dynamics of the human body and its expressive potential.

An introduction to the terms, tools and techniques of visual computing for artists using the Macintosh platform. This course is designed to train students with basic computer skills and programs such as Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator and to insure digital literacy.

A foundational course devoted to examining, exploring, and applying two-dimensional design concepts, including color theory and composition.

A foundational course devoted to examining, exploring, and applying three-dimensional design concepts, construction and composition.

Introduction to the methods, materials, and tools of sculpture and general concepts of sculptural form.

An introduction to basic hand building and wheel throwing techniques. Formulation of basic glaze applications and ceramics firing processes are emphasized.

An introduction to basic color theory and oil painting techniques. Emphasis on observational representation including still-life, landscape and figure.

A survey of contemporary art photography, introducing the practices of darkroom, digital, black and white, and color photography, with an emphasis on technical and conceptual aspects.

Continued individual development in all areas of ceramics. Introducing vessel construction from hand-built techniques, low fire glaze applications and an introduction in firing the kilns.

Emphasizes sculptural aesthetics and appropriate technology. Focus on formulating a conceptual and technical basis for work.

A studio exploration of color photography using digital and film techniques. Emphasis placed on color theory, contemporary issues, and the technical skills of artificial lighting and professional digital printing workflow.