UNT’s School Library Certification program adheres to the rules set forth in the Texas Administrative Code, which governs educator preparation and certification. Rules concerning practicum requirements for professional certifications can be found in TAC §228.2 and §228.35.
The practicum for school library certification students is an ongoing process that begins with INFO 5001, the first course in the prescribed sequence of school library program coursework, and continues throughout the program of coursework. The practicum experience is completed after students pass INFO 5090, the official practicum course, and fulfill the practicum requirements: ePortfolio, Practicum Checklist, Record of Time with Mentor, and passing score on the TExES certification exam.
To be approved for certification, Texas students must provide evidence of:
- Two years as an early childhood-12th grade classroom teacher in a public or accredited private school.
- A Master's Degree (in most any area).
- Completion of a state-approved program in librarianship (courses taken from the prescribed list must be no more than six years old when the application is made for school library certification).
- A passing score on the TExES School Librarianship exam (exam administered by the state).
Out-of-state students must meet certification requirements for their state; a passing score on the Texas state certification exam is waived for out of state students but all other requirements for Practicum must be met.
- Students must choose a mentor at the beginning of their school library certification program and work with this mentor throughout their program to complete the Practicum Checklist. (See the list of approved mentors and information about choosing mentors.)
- Students must spend a minimum of 160 hours working with their mentors to complete the Practicum Checklist.
- Students will create and maintain an ePortfolio to collect assignments and demonstrations of proficiency.
- Students must record their practicum hours and activities (day, time spent, and activity) in a Record of Time with Mentor spreadsheet (xlsx) to be included in their ePortfolio for the completion of the Practicum.
- Students will write reflections both during and upon conclusion of the Practicum.
- Students must meet with their mentors throughout their certification process, working with their mentor on the Practicum Checklist throughout their course of study, as many course assignments fulfill checklist requirements.
- Students must be observed completing a lesson by a certified Field Supervisor 3 times during the course of their studies. These formal observations will take place in INFO 5405 - Collection Development, INFO 5420 - Youth Literature, and INFO 5090 - Practicum.
- Practicum activities must be aligned with the educator standards listed on the Practicum Checklist.
- Students must spend time in a 70-30 ratio across at least two of the three levels of libraries or a ratio of 60-20-20 across three levels of libraries—elementary, middle, and high school, as the activities and jobs are very different in each of the levels.
- Attendance at conferences such as the Texas Library Association (TLA) or American Library Association (ALA) may be used to complete elements of the Proficiencies Checklist (Standard 4), with documentation of sessions attended and approval of the students' mentor and the UNT Field Supervisor.
- Mentors must “sign off” on all elements of the Practicum Checklist for the practicum to be accepted as complete.
- Completion of the practicum is a requirement for graduation and certification.
Students who are already working in school libraries may not waive the Practicum requirement and must choose a mentor, although the actual time spent in the mentor’s library may be less than the 160 hours. Contact with the mentor must meet the 160 hour requirement. The four observations, Practicum Checklist, and ePortfolio must be submitted.
The ePortfolio project is required for students pursuing the Master’s degree with school librarian certification and students pursuing school librarian certification only. The project will begin in the student's first course, INFO 5001 and students should plan to add content to their ePortfolio as they take their courses.
ePortfolio must be created in INFO 5001 and maintained throughout the program of coursework.
Completed ePortfolios are submitted in INFO 5090 Practicum.
To access the proficiency checklist please click here.
The complete Practicum Checklist must be submitted and approved to pass INFO 5090.
Mentors can be identified:
- Through a Regional or District Contact if specified in the mentor database.
- As willing to be a mentor if included in the mentor database.
- By locating a school librarian in a convenient location to the student, and requesting that the mentor be added to the mentor database.
The student is responsible for identifying an eligible mentor, contacting the mentor to obtain agreement for mentoring the student, and updating UNT with the name and contact information of the mentor.
Mentors will be selected in your first course, INFO 5001- Introduction to School Librarianship. For more information, please see the mentor program page.
To change a mentor, a new application is required.