P. Sven Arvidson, Ph.D.Program DirectorCasey 4E206.firstname.lastname@example.org
Kate ReynoldsAdministrative Assistant Casey 4E206.email@example.com
The B.A. in Liberal Studies is the preferred degree program in the College for any student wishing to teach at the elementary level. Recent graduates are teaching in Seattle, the West coast, and Europe. They have been accepted to a range of graduate teaching and certification programs, from the prestigious Teacher’s College at Columbia University in New York to the highly regarded Masters in Teaching (MIT) program at Seattle University.
Flexibility and Endorsements.The B.A. in Liberal Studies is designed so future teachers can complete most or all of the preliminary requirements (called "endorsements") for State certification programs, such as the SU Masters in Teaching.
Changes in teacher assessment dovetail with Liberal Studies coursework. According to the Director of SU’s MIT program, upcoming statewide and national teacher assessment will stress communication skills, collaboration and reflection. The list of skills and traits below shows how the Liberal Studies curriculum has anticipated these changes.
The Liberal Studies program allows students to attain a broad intellectual experience and satisfy many specific course selections needed to prepare for application to a Master in Teaching (MIT) program in K-8 education. But students should keep in mind that such programs are highly competitive. To be a viable candidate you should have experience working with children in the classroom, you must have a cumulative 3.0 GPA or better, and you must write superbly. There are other expectations as well.
Get Experience. The single most important preparation you can make beyond your Liberal Studies degree is to get experience in the classroom. Such applicants get priority standing. You can volunteer at a local school through SU’s Center for Service and Community Engagement. Keep in mind that public schools begin several weeks before we start classes. Use that time to volunteer full-time at one of the local elementary schools near your home. Or you can volunteer for after-school tutoring options at these schools. The key? Get as much experience with children as you can.
Contact a College of Education Now. If your target is the SU MIT program, make an appointment with the pre-education MIT advisor, John Green (206-296-5796 or firstname.lastname@example.org). Students who make last-minute decisions to apply tend not to be accepted into certification programs, since they are not prepared. The College of Education has offered this advisor to all Liberal Studies majors who want to become teachers. John Green supplements the advice you get from your Liberal Studies Director and our Pre-Education Advisor (Tonja Brown email@example.com) to help you walk through the shifting minefields of Washington State’s educational requirements.
GPA of 3.0 or better. Most graduate programs (such as SU MIT) will not consider students whose cumulative GPA is under 3.0. If your GPA has dropped below 3.0, you will need to work especially hard to improve it to that minimum level before you apply for admission.
Write Superbly. Use your Seattle University courses to hone your writing skills. Since effective writing is such an important part of the teaching profession, most Schools or Colleges of Education use submitted writing samples to screen out people who can’t write well. Make certain that your application materials to a College of Education are grammatically clean.
Choose References Carefully. Graduate education programs are especially looking for letters of reference from at least two people who have seen you work with children. References from professors are much less important.
For more information, students planning to become teachers must consult the College of Arts and Sciences Pre-Education Advising Website.