The Certification Program

The Online Blue Ribbon Certification program is designed for educators seeking certification as a school library media specialist. Because the coursework is totally online, it's possible for teachers in even the most remote areas to participate. We're happy to tailor courses to meet the certification requirements of your state.

If you'd like to apply, go directly to the Application Process page. Or, examine the following Frequently Asked Questions for further information.

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For whom is this program designed?

The program is designed to attract teachers with proven leadership and instructional skills who can manage their time and technology access in order to achieve high performance in the online offerings.

Applicants must hold a valid, current teaching license, and be able to demonstrate leadership in team-teaching and technology integration.

Successful students may apply to continue in the masters program to complete the MLS at Indianapolis or Bloomington.

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Is the program totally online?

Yes, all of the courses are available through the Internet. There are no required, face-to-face meetings.

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When will the certification program be available?

Although some online courses toward the certification are already being offered, the Online Blue Ribbon Teacher of Library Media Leadership Certification will be available starting Fall 2006.

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What professional requirements will the certification program meet?

The program is designed to meet the Indiana Professional Standards Board requirements, NCATE certification requirements and AASL requirements.

The program provides a foundation for constructing a portfolio to gain national certification in school media.

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Does the program meet the certification requirements of states outside Indiana?

Our SLIS IUPUI advisors will work with any of the 50 state certification departments to help students in our Blue Ribbon program meet any individual state school media certification requirements. Learn more about requirements for each state at the School Library Media website.

Participants can transfer courses to meet the certification requirements for school media specialist in ANY of the 50 states.

Courses such as S601 and S605 (Formerly L596) may be modified to meet unique state requirements for school media in states other than Indiana.

Students have the option to complete fewer than 27 credits if a shorter program will meet their local state certification requirements. To seek more than 27 credits from this program will require admission to the IU MLS program at Indianapolis.

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Can some courses be transferred?

Student may transfer up to 9 graduate credits from another accredited institution (ALA or NCATE approved programs); 6 of which can count toward the MLS if from an ALA-accredited program.

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How many graduate credits are involved in this certification program?

The program involves up to 27 graduate credits. Students have the option to complete fewer than 27 credits if a shorter program will meet their local state certification requirements. To seek more than 27 credits from this program will require admission to the IU MLS program at Indianapolis.

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What is involved with the admission process?

Admission and delivery of the certification program is through the Indiana University School of Library and Information Science at Indianapolis.

The following admission criteria is used to determine eligiblity for the certification program:

  1. 3.0 grade point average (on 4.0 scale) or higher for a completed undergraduate degree from accredited university program. Or 3.2 or higher for a completed master’s degree. Or Graduate Record Exam scores at these levels or higher: 500 verbal, 500 quantitative, 4.5 analytical writing.
  2. Meet requirements for L401 Computerized Information Tools; waiver can be based on proven experience or completion of similar course or training locally.
  3. Three letters of recommendation that judge the candidate’s potential for graduate work and teaching abilities.
  4. Current valid teaching license from any state.
  5. A portfolio that documents the following professional experiences:
    1. High level of successful collaborative teaching.
    2. Knowledge of and use of multiple resources for purposes of instruction.
    3. Advocacy for literacy education and promotion of reading.
    4. Leadership in application of computer-based technologies for enhancement of the applicant’s local educational environment.

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How do I apply to the program?

To apply to the program, follow the admissions procedures on the SLIS>Admissions page. If you need additional information about SLIS or assistance with the application process, please contact our admissions administrator, Melanie Hollcraft, directly by phone (866-758-6254/317-278-2375) or email (meacole@iupui.edu).

How do I register for online classes?

Students follow the same procedure for both on-campus and online courses. To register for courses go to the SLIS>Registration page.

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How is the certification program related to the MLS program?

The successful certification program applicant is not automatically admitted to the MLS program, but may seek that option upon completion of the online certification.

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What does it cost?

Current in-state and out-of-state graduate tuition rates and fees are found at the IUPUI>Financial page.
Students who meet Blue Ribbon admission are eligible for partial tuition remission scholarships.

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Is any financial support available for people seeking certification?

The successful applicant may be eligible for partial tuition fee remission if their admission portfolio illustrates exceptional promise for future service as a school library media specialist. Contact Marilyn Irwin, Director of Library Media Education, irwinm@indiana.edu, for details.

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What faculty are involved?

Faculty for this program include both full-time tenure track faculty and visiting instructors in the SLIS program at Indiana University at Indianapolis. Learn more about faculty on the SLIS>People page.

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Where can I find additional information on the full Master of Library Science and IUPUI?

Go to the School of Information and Library Science page.

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What are the course requirements?

9 graduate credits from another accredited institution may be transferred in; 6 of which can count toward the MLS if from an ALA-accredited program.

Courses such as S601 and S605 (Formerly L596) may be modified to meet unique state requirements for school media in states other than Indiana.

Students have the option to complete fewer than 27 credits if a shorter program will meet their local state certification requirements. To seek more than 27 credits from this program will require admission to the IU MLS program at Indianapolis.

Portfolio Requirement: A required element in each of the courses completed from those offered from IU will be an electronic document suitable for compilation in an overall electronic portfolio.  This portfolio may be used to seek promotion, appointment or eventually to seek national certification in school media.

Required: 9 credits (all 9 can transfer to MLS)

S571 (Formerly L553) Library Materials for Children and Young Adults.  3 credits.

S574 (Formerly L551) Information Inquiry for School Teachers.  3 credits.

S671 (Formerly L553) The School Library Media Specialist.  3 credits.

Electives: 12 credits (9 credits can transfer to MLS, a limit of 6 workshop credits can transfer to the MLS)

Four classes from S603 Workshop (Formerly L595)

S629 (Formerly L620) Library Resources and Services for Patrons with Disabilities. 3 credits.

S621 (Formerly L552) Audio and Video Information Sources. 3 credits.

S601 (Formerly L600) Readings in Library and Information Science. 3 credits.

Field Experience: 6 credits (3 credits can transfer to MLS)
S605 (Formerly L596) Internship in Library and Information Science. 6 credits.

  1. One 3 credit internship in library management, local area networks, reference, acquisitions, collection evaluation, materials classification.
  2. One 3 credit internship in instructional inquiry, standards and student academic evaluation

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How often will courses be offered?

At least four online courses will be offered each semester (Fall, Spring, Summer plus Internship option).

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How many courses will be offered each semester?

At least four online courses will be offered each semester plus Internship and Independent study options that can be completed in your geographic area.

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How soon can I finish the certification?

You may take as many as four courses per semester or only one. There may be some semesters when you don't have time to take any. You may move through at your own pace understanding that the sooner you complete the credits required by your state's school library media certification standards, the sooner you can secure that new job. If you can take courses fulltime and if you need all 27 credits to meet your local certification requirements, you should easily finish in one year. All course credit that might transfer into the master of library science program will need to be no older than five years at the time the MLS is granted.

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What have students who have complete online courses through you program had to say about content and quality?

Read comments from students who have completed online courses from our program.

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