Library & Information Science (MS)/School Library Teacher Program
"Entering the Simmons School Library Teacher program as a midlife career-changer was a daunting prospect, and I can't say enough about how positive the experience has been. The professors are simultaneously supportive and challenging, while the students are bright, imaginative, friendly, and passionate about libraries and education. Simmons's reputation also helped pave the way to employment. I couldn't have picked a better place for me than Simmons."
Jennier Dimmick, '11 MS
Library Teacher, Newton South High School, Newton, MA
School library teachers work with students and teachers to provide access to information resources locally and globally, instruction in the use of technology for research and project-based learning, and ignite students' interest in reading. The school library teacher instructs students on how to access, evaluate, and use information. They teach 21st Century skills which encompass inquiry-based learning in which students develop skills, dispositions, responsibilities for learning, and self-assessments. This approach empowers students to take responsibility for their own learning. The school library teacher collaboratively plans units and lessons with classroom teachers to integrate the skills taught in the library with the work in the classroom. They are keenly aware of the Curriculum Frameworks and the Common Core and seek to provide relevant resources for teachers and students to support teaching and learning. In addition, school library teachers assist with professional development in the school especially with instruction in the use of technology. School library teachers are school leaders who participate in curriculum development, technology integration, and literacy initiatives. With these things in mind, Simmons's School Library Teacher Program (SLTP) provides exceptional academic and professional training. In addition to supervised fieldwork in area public schools and a practicum experience at both the elementary and secondary school levels, course requirements include Management of School Library Programs (LIS 406), Curriculum and the School Library Teacher (LIS 426), Instructional Strategies for the School Library Teacher (LIS 431), School Library Programs and Services (LIS 532H), Technology and the School Library Teacher (LIS 460), Children's Literature and Media Collections (LIS 481), and Young Adult Literature (LIS 483).
For individuals who seek licensure as school library teachers, the SLIS School Library Teacher program provides exceptional academic and professional training. The National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification (NASDTEC) endorses our program and external accrediting agencies commend us on the program's outstanding quality.
In addition, the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education cooperates with every state and the District of Columbia through the National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification (NASDTEC) Interstate Agreement which facilitates the movement of educators among the states. This Agreement makes reciprocal licensure/certification possible among states. Specific reciprocal requirements vary from state to state. (Individual state departments of education must be contacted to learn specific state requirements.) As a Master's Degree program endorsed by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, graduates of the School Library Teacher Program can participate in the benefits of this Agreement. If you are from outside Massachusetts, however, please check with your state's department of education.
We also offer three post-master's degree licensure programs:
- For candidates who have already completed a master's degree in library science in another library-related concentration but who would now like to pursue a license as a school library teacher
- For teachers who hold a master's degree in education, or in a related field, and also hold a Massachusetts teacher's license at the initial professional level, who at the time of their application for the school library teacher license will have three years of experience as a teacher in a Massachusetts public school, and who would now like to obtain a license as a school library teacher
- An instructional technology licensure program for students who already hold a master's degree and a Massachusetts teaching certificate at the initial professional level, and who at the time of their application for the license will have completed three years of teaching experience in a Massachusetts public school -- and are now prepared to work toward obtaining the instructional technology license
Check out this interview with Program Director Dr. Fran Zilonis for more information about the program.
Leading the Way for Library Teachers
Under Massachusetts state regulations made effective October 1, 2001, Massachusetts school library teacher candidates who complete a state-approved program need only to qualify for the library teacher license; no prior teacher license is required. This is a unique feature of the Massachusetts licensure/certification program. You do not need to have teaching credentials, prior teaching experience, or a degree in education. A master of science in Library and Information Science with a concentration in the School Library Teacher Program is the only degree required for SLTP licensure.
Obtaining Licensure in a State Other Than Massachusetts
If you are planning on getting a job as a school library teacher in another state it is highly recommended that you take the PRAXIS exam. Because Massachusetts uses the MTEL it is not required in this state, but many other states use the PRAXIS exam in place of the MTEL exam. You can obtain additional information on the PRAXIS exam at http://www.ets.org/praxis. Also, it is wise to check with the department of education in the state you plan on moving to and working in, to see if they have any other special requirements. This will enable you to be prepared and cut down on the amount of time it will take to obtain your license in that state. Some states have some special additional requirements like the PRAXIS exam. Some states have their own requirements. Therefore, it is important to contact the Department of Education in the state that you want to work in to be sure that you will have all of the requirements for licensure completed before you begin the interview process in that state. Additional information can be obtained from the Massachusetts DESE at http://www.doe.mass.edu/edprep/nasdtec.html.
SLIS offers one of the oldest nationally accredited School Library Teacher programs in the United States. Its excellence is widely recognized, and it is accredited by both the National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification (NASDTEC) and the American Library Association.
The master's program at SLIS offers:
- Intellectually rigorous courses emphasizing skills in curriculum development, management, and leadership
- Exceptional faculty
- Instruction in instructional technologies used in today's schools
- Extensive hands-on experience in public school settings
- Mentoring by licensed school library professionals and Simmons faculty
- The opportunity to become a lifelong member of the Simmons community and to benefit from the College's extensive professional network.