FAQ for Prospective Students
Experimental School Library Media Specialist Program
Why is this program being offered?This experimental program seeks to address the critical shortage in Michigan of certified school librarians by building an abbreviated pathway for teachers to earn the ND endorsement outside of the Master of Library and Information Science degree. This Experimental School Library Media Specialist Program can be completed within 15 credit hours.
What is the name of this program? What credential will I receive?The School of Information Sciences created the Experimental School Library Media Specialist Program to allow students to complete course work that will lead to eligibility to apply for the Library Media (ND) Endorsement. Students who complete this program can receive the Graduate Certificate in Library and Information Science or continue taking courses to earn the Master of Library and Information Science degree.
Who is eligible to enroll for this certificate program?This program is designed for Michigan classroom teachers who have an interest in becoming school librarians. Candidates must have a valid Michigan teacher's certificate to be recommended for School Library Media endorsement by the School of Information Sciences. Students outside of Michigan are not eligible for this program.
If I already have a master/s degree outside of library and information science (LIS), do I still qualify for this certificate?Yes, candidates may have another master's degree outside of LIS so long as they also have a valid teacher's certificate in Michigan.
What is "experimental" about this program?
The experimental nature of the program involved waiving Administrative Rule 390.1129 to allow candidates with valid teaching certificates to earn an additional endorsement in Library Media (ND) via a program of fewer than 20 semester credit hours. The Michigan Department of Education approved this waiver request on August 14, 2018.
What are the admission requirements?Students must meet the School of Information Sciences admission requirements and follow its admission process. In addition, they must possess a valid Michigan teacher's certificate. Students should apply for the Master of Library and Information Science degree and indicate within their personal statement that they intend to complete the Experimental School Library Media Specialist Program.
When can students enroll in this program?The Experimental School Library Media Specialist Program launched in summer 2019. Enrollment is ongoing. The two required courses will be offered again in spring/summer 2021 (INF 7310 & 7320) while the remaining three courses will be offered during the subsequent academic year.
Can all coursework be completed online?
All coursework can be completed entirely online, with the exception of the SLM practicum, which requires 135 contact hours in school.
What classes are required to complete the requirements?
The certificate program requires 15 total credit hours - click here for the plan of work. Students will complete the following required classes:
- INF 7310: School Library Media Programs (3 credits)
- INF 7320: The Media Specialist as Teacher and Instructional Consultant (3 credits)
- INF 7980: Practicum: SLM (3 credits)
Students will select ONE Literature course:
- INF 6510: Survey and Analysis of Literature for Children: PrS-Grade 3 (3 credits)
- INF 6520: Survey and Analysis of Literature for Children: Grades 4-8 (3 credits)
- INF 6530: Young Adult Literature (3 credits)
Students will select ONE Technology course
(Advanced technology courses require INF 6080 as a pre-requisite class. SIS strongly recommends that students pursue a course waiver for INF 6080 if they are eligible):
- INF 7410: Software Productivity Tools (3 credits)
- INF 7420: Website Development (3 credits)
- Other technical INF elective with permission of advisor (3 credits)
Is INF 6080 required?
INF 6080, Information Technology, is a required pre-requisite course for all SIS technology electives. The course is not included in the 15 credit hours required to earn the Experimental School Library Media Specialist Certificate. Students have the option of completing the course or they may request a waiver for INF 6080 in order to enroll for the required technology class. Students with strong technology skills are strongly encouraged to submit a waiver request.
Is there a certain time frame in which students must to complete their coursework?Yes, all courses must be completed within 3 years from when a student finishes his/her first class.
Are current students able to pursue this experimental SLM program?Yes, current students are eligible to enroll for this program. Current students will need to complete the Experimental School Library Media Endorsement Plan of Work.
Can I complete this program and finish the full Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) degree at a later time?Yes, students can complete the required courses for endorsement and finish the MLIS later. After endorsement, students may continue taking courses to earn the MLIS degree or graduate with a Graduate Certificate in Library and Information Science. The MLIS degree must be completed within six years from the semester the student first completes a course.
Will there be a job for me after I complete this program?
Anecdotal data suggests that there are a number of retirements pending among certified school librarians in MI that will exacerbate the already limited pool of certified school librarians. Furthermore, this certificate program will be promoted widely throughout MI school districts to help raise awareness among school principals and other district administrators about the accelerated program that WSU is offering leading to ND endorsement.
Self-advocacy remains one of the best tools for identifying and securing a school library position. This curriculum will equip students with tools to advocate for students right to certified school librarians backed by ample evidence of the role school librarians have on student achievement. See MAME's advocacy toolkit: http://bit.ly/MAMEtoolkit.