The Library Media major, Library Information option, is designed according to requirements set forth by the Oklahoma State Department of Education for standard certification as a School Library Media Specialist for grades PK through 12.
Upon completion of this specialized program, students will have developed a theoretical, philosophical, and practical knowledge base and prescribed competencies upon which to enter the common school, private school, and other institutional job markets in librarianship.
The major serves a twofold purpose: it enables students to earn an M.Ed. in Instructional Media that includes all the components for standard certification as an Oklahoma School Library Media Specialist, and students already holding an M.Ed. may complete all or part of the required 24 hours of specialized course work for Library Media Specialist.
Completion of these degree requirements alone will not satisfy certification requirements for the Standard Library Specialist Certificate. Please refer to the certification guidelines in this section.
What is the difference in your program and an ALA accredited Masters?
The Master of Education in Instructional Media-Library Information is specific to those individuals who want to be school library media specialists. A Master of Library Science from an ALA-accredited program is a broader degree, preparing those who might want to work in public, school, academic, or special libraries. UCO's program is specialized, and though it will not prepare those who want to work in other types of libraries, all course experiences, assignments, projects, etc. will be specific to K-12 school library media centers. The program meets all American Association of School Librarians (AASL) guidelines and is accredited through NCATE.
What is required for me to be a school library media specialist?
In the state of Oklahoma, the school library certificate is graduate level. In order to obtain standard, PreK-12 certification, you must have: 1) teaching certification in another field first (i.e. elementary education, secondary English, etc.); 2) successful completion of a Masters degree; 3) all coursework aligned with the standard, K-12 school library media specialist certificate; and 4) successful passage of the State Certification exam in school library media. Note: the UCO Masters of Education in Instructional Media-Library Information includes requirements for #2 and #3 as well as preparation for #4.
Is an alternative certification option available?
Yes, but only if you hold a Masters of Library Science. Call the State Department of Education for that information.
How do I get certification as a school librarian if I already have a teaching certificate and a Masters?
If you already hold a valid teaching certificate and a Masters degree, you are required to take 24 hours of coursework - the 18 hours aligned with State Department requirements and six (6) hours of electives from other Instructional Media courses.
Do I have to take a test to get in the program?
The Graduate Record Exam (GRE) is no longer required prior to acceptance to the program. A minimum of a 2.75 GPA is required, however, and a 3.0 must be maintained once in the graduate program.
Are classes offered in the summer?
Yes, depending on UCO's summer budget, 2-3 program courses are offered per summer session.
Are classes offered in the evening?
Yes, since the majority of students in the program are working educators, all program classes are offered as evening sections. Every attempt is made, based on budget, to "stack" two courses per night so students can take six hours per semester while attending only one night per week.
Are classes offered by distance?
Though the program is not available completely at a distance, every attempt is being made to accommodate those students who must travel great distances to reach the UCO campus. Web courses are currently used to make classes available either totally or partially at a distance. In addition, as time and workload allow, more courses will be transferred into the "total" distance format.
How long will it take me to finish the program?
It depends on your work and home schedule and your willingness to attend multiple nights and summers. Students have completed the program as quickly as one calendar year; some have taken as long as five years, but the average completion time is two years. Note: any coursework older than 5 years will go to half credit.