School Library Certification – Introduction
Navigating the road to certification can be a bit confusing. We aim to provide you with all the relevant information about New Jersey certification and how to apply for certification. The process will differ depending on your circumstances, such as your education, current certifications and goals.
In New Jersey, there are two ways of gaining certification to work in a school media center:
- School Library Media Specialist certification (SLMS)
- Associate School Library Media Specialist certification (ASLMS) At this time, the School of Communication and Information no longer offers the ASLMS certification program.
Each school district may determine which type of certification they require for a given job. School Library Media Specialists may work independently in a school media center, whereas Associate School Library Media Specialists must be supervised by a certified school administrator, principal or supervisor.
At Rutgers University, School Library Media Specialist certification (SLMS) is offered through the Master of Information program and the School Library Studies specialization (ranked #1 nationally, tied with Florida State University). It is a state-approved, ALA-accredited degree program consisting of 36 credits (12 classes) and three non-credit courses (501, 502, and 503) that you must complete within three years. The school library plan of study has been approved by the New Jersey Department of Education for state certification as a School Library Media Specialist.
In addition to the courses required for the degree, the SLMS certification by the Department of Education in New Jersey also requires students to satisfy an education component that can be fulfilled in any of the following three ways: by possessing a standard teaching certificate, by proving that you completed a NJ State-approved college teacher preparation program, or by completing a cohesive plan of study of at least 9 credits that covers the education content areas mandated by the state. The three online education courses we offer at Rutgers fulfill this education requirement.
This LibGuide has more information regarding the field experience requirement for students on the school media specialist track.
Send all questions regarding certification to Jay Stefanelli.