Applying for School Library Media Specialist Certification (SLMS)
According to the NJ Code (NJAC 6A:9B-14.14), a School Library Media Specialist must:
- Possess a master’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university and completion one of the following is required*:
- A Department-approved graduate program that specifically prepares the candidate for the certificate*; or
- A master’s degree in library media studies from a regionally accredited college*; or
- A program of graduate studies consisting of at least 36 semester-hour credits in a coherent sequence of studies*
*Rutgers' MI program satisfies all four of these requirements.
- Fulfill the education requirement. To fulfill the education requirement, you must:
- Be a standard certified teacher (in any subject); or
- Have completed a teacher preparation program; or
- Complete 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.
With MI degree, students qualify for a Certificate of Eligibility (CE) as a School Library Media Specialist in New Jersey. Once students complete a MI degree program and also fulfill the education requirement mandated by the New Jersey Department of Education, each qualifies for a Certificate of Eligibility with Advanced Standing (CEAS) as a School Library Media Specialist in New Jersey.
If you completed your MLS/MLIS/MI at Rutgers
Please download the application materials indicated below and follow the instructions regarding what needs to be sent to our office. We will submit applications and credentials directly to the New Jersey Department of Education on a student’s behalf*.
If you completed your MLS/MLIS/MI elsewhere
Any student that holds a MLS/MLIS/MI degree and focused on an area other than school library media studies during a program of study will need to complete additional coursework to meet the state requirements for School Library Media Specialist. Unfortunately, Rutgers cannot review a student’s academic program to determine which courses may need to be taken, but the NJDOE can. Please send all evaluation questions, along with a cover letter explaining your situation, a copy of your MLS/MLIS/MItranscript, and a copy of the course descriptions from that MLS/MLIS/MI program, to email@example.com. When you receive the evaluation, please send it to firstname.lastname@example.org. Once received, we will be able to determine which courses you need. Upon completion of those courses, Rutgers will submit your completed application to the DOE*.
*Additionally, because we are vouching for students and the MI program, the certification process typically moves quicker than if students were to apply for certification on their own. It can take between 2 and 10 weeks to receive the certification once a student’s application and credentials have been submitted to the MI program, depending on volume at the Department of Education. Students who have been waiting more than 10 weeks should contact our office so we may follow up with the Department of Education. Please download the application materials indicated below and follow the instructions regarding what needs to be sent to our office.
Upon completion of the Rutgers MI program (i.e. when final grades have been received):
Apply for the CE; submit items 1-3 listed.
Apply for the CEAS; submit items 1-4 listed.
- Complete the Certification application Please be sure to complete side 2 where it asks to sign the "oath" and have it notarized. Even if a student already is a certified teacher, this section still MUST be completed. Although the application says NJ certificate holders are exempt, we still urge students to avoid complications and delays and be certain this section is complete with a dated, signed, and notarized oath.
- Include a money or certified check for $170 (made out to Rutgers University)
- Include official Rutgers transcript showing completed coursework. Request your transcript online.
- If students have fulfilled the education requirement, ONE of the following will need to be mailed:
- ONE DOCUMENT: a copy of the standard teaching certificate
- ONE DOCUMENT: proof that a student has completed a NJ State-approved college teacher preparation program with or without student teaching. The Verification of Program Completion form is preferred.
- THREE DOCUMENTS:
- An official transcript from the institution where education course work was completed.
- A letter of support from that institution vouching for the coherent plan of study the student has completed. If a student completed the education courses through our office, please let us know so that we can make that verification.
- Verification of Program Completion form.
Email or Mail all materials to:
Kevin Ewell, School of Communication and Information
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
4 Huntington Street
New Brunswick, NJ 08901-1071