Liberal Studies Team & Advising

Liberal Studies Coordinator

Estella Chizhik, Ph.D.

Estella Chizhik, Ph.D.

Dr. Estella Chizhik is a Professor of Educational Psychology in the School of Teacher Education and Liberal Studies Coordinator at San Diego State University (SDSU), where she has been on faculty for over 20 years. 

At SDSU, Dr. Chizhik has taught Educational Psychology for the credential, master's and doctoral programs. She has supervised numerous teacher candidates and has served as cohort leader for STE’s multiple subjects program.

Dr. Chizhik has collaborated with many on a number of transformative projects such as the:

  • SMILE (Shared Mentoring in Learning Environments) program associated with the SDUSD cohort.  This project bring supervisors and mentor teachers to work together in supporting teacher candidates.
  • Garden PLOT. A program that brings Special Education and general education elementary teachers to co-Plan, co-Learn, co-Operate and co-Teach) together in inclusive classrooms. This work been recognized by SDSU’s Strategic  Excellence Award as LMSV school bard.  She continues to work collaboratively with Special Education and Dual Language and English Learner department to transform teacher education so that it is culturally responsive to the learners of diverse intellectual, ethnic, language and social backgrounds.  
  • Future Teachers of Color. Dr. Chizhik works with other professors in DLE, STE, and SPED to recruit and retain teachers of color.  Follow this work on Instagram at FTOC_SDSU.

Dr. Chizhik keeps an active research agenda by focusing on evidence-based practices in teacher education. Her research examines student-centered approach to lesson planning, using Lesson Study in university supervision of teacher candidates in their clinical field practice, and effects of co-teaching on teacher candidates’ attitudes toward students with mild-to-moderate disabilities.  Her research has been published in journals such as The Teacher Educator, International Journal of Mentoring and Coaching in Education, and Journal of Technology and Teacher Education.

Dr. Chizhik is a mother of two who are embarking on their higher education studies.

Advising

The College of Education's Office for Student Success provides advising exclusively to all Liberal Studies majors. Students are supported through a series of workshops, email advising, and one-on-one virtual advising. Advising is extremely important because students must make numerous decisions that include choosing their emphasis, focus, and option; selecting appropriate courses; and preparing for the senior-level assessments.

Email your questions to [email protected].
Current students, please include your Red ID# in the body of your message.

Learn more about one-on-one virtual advising for undergraduates.

Meet Your Advisors

Alison Sternal

Alison Sternal, M.A.

Alison joined SDSU as a staff member in 2015, having previously earned her multiple subject teaching credential and master's degree in K-8 Mathematics Education right here at SDSU. She started out as program coordinator for the Joint Doctoral Program in Education and the Math/Science Teacher Initiative. As a result, she is passionate about teacher preparation, STEM education, and educational equity.

Christine Cortez

Christine Cortez, M.A.

Christine joined SDSU as a graduate student and now serves as an Undergraduate Advisor for the College of Education Office for Student Success. She started her career as an English and Special Education teacher in New York City, before transitioning into a role as a college persistence advisor, where she found her passion for helping students succeed in higher education. As a first-generation graduate she’s determined to create a more supportive environment so students are able to reach their academic and career goals.