School Library Certificate FAQs

I already have a master's, why get this one?

While there are a great many NCATE accredited programs, there are only about 50 ALA accredited programs in the country. If you ever want to work in a library type other than early childhood–12th grade schools, it usually requires an ALA accredited degree. ALA participates in establishing NCATE standards; but do not confuse NCATE accreditation with ALA accreditation.

If you already have a master's, you may not be required to take entrance exams even if you have never taken them. We recommend you apply for your master's—rather than certification only, and take the certification course work first. It allows you to decide later and still have the opportunity to complete a master's without loss of credit hours.

UNT allows you to transfer only nine hours of "certification only" course work into the master's. If you start out in the master's program it costs you nothing more and gives you flexibility to complete it if you choose. You may do certification first and then walk away without completing the master's without penalty. If you complete your application for "certification only," you lose any hours taken beyond 12 if you decide later to complete the master's. So check the box for "Master's" on the application!

Will I need to do a practicum in a school library?

Every School Library Certification, SLC, and/or master's student must spend time in a school library under the mentorship of a qualified school librarian. Visit the Mentor Program page for more information. The student will complete a  Checklist under the mentor's guidance. The completed checklist is then submitted in the practicum course for school library program students.

What courses get you started?

We request that you begin with INFO 5001. If you feel you are able to manage two courses, then also enroll in INFO 5720.

If you are an in-state student, select section 001; for out-of-state students, select section 005. Day/Time/Location is online. We recommend only one course your first semester if working on a full-time basis.

Do I have to attend class at a specific time?

Online classes follow a regular semester schedule, just like traditional classes. You will have deadlines and assignments in a traditional manner. However, you may accomplish those assignments on your own timetable within the timeframe established by the course. Each class is managed differently by the professor in charge. Sometimes guest speakers may be present in chat areas of the courses at a specific time. Class members working on a group project may decide to convene at a specific time in the chat room. Generally speaking, the time of day that you access and interact with course materials is your own choice.

Is a teaching CERTIFICATE required to take SLC classes?

No, a certificate is not required to take the classes. Classroom teaching experience is required to actually receive the School Library Certification in Texas. Other states vary in their requirements.

Is teaching EXPERIENCE required to take SLC classes?

No, teaching experience is not required to take School Library Certificate classes. But two years of teaching experience in an accredited school are required to receive School Library Certification in Texas. Other states vary in their requirements.

How do I get a deficiency plan in Texas?

You may apply for an official deficiency plan after you complete 12 credit hours of school library certification courses.  Most districts require a deficiency plan to grant you emergency certification. If you are a current student, you can find the instructions for applying for a deficiency plan listed in the certification cohort in Canvas, under the content folder "Getting Certified in Texas". 

How do I get emergency certification?

This is granted by the district, not through UNT. The district requires at least 12 credit hours completed and an official deficiency plan showing you are enrolled in a certification program.

How do I apply for certification from the State of Texas?

The UNT Certification office has an online site to assist you with this process. Applying directly to TEA may delay or negate your effort to receive your certificate.

Is there anything I can work on prior to starting classes?

INFO 5720 requires you to complete the A-V Checklist and you are encouraged to begin this with your mentor ahead of time. Contact the course instructor, Dr. Smith, for a current copy of the A-V checklist.

Is there scholarship money?

The University Financial Aid Office has many sources of scholarship money. In addition, the following organizations provide scholarships for those seeking to become school librarians.

Consult professional organizations within your state for other opportunities.