The Mentor program encourages a community of practice that provides an opportunity for Information Science (IS) students to communicate with experienced practitioners, and to observe and learn professional standards and behavior. It provides the practical application of theory studied in school library classes.
Every School Librarian Certification (SLC) and/or Master's student must spend time in a school library under the mentorship of a qualified school librarian. It is the student’s responsibility to locate a mentor and reach an agreement with the mentor to provide guidance over the time the student spends on school library program coursework. It is important to begin the process of locating a mentor as soon as the student BEGINS the school library program of coursework. The amount of time spent depends on the Mentor’s assessment of the particular needs of the student. A student is required to spend 160 clock hours or more working with the mentor. 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. This experience can be guided by the student's mentor.
Regardless of the amount of time spent in the mentor’s library, the mentor is responsible for signing off on each item of the official Practicum Checklist. By doing this, the mentor is stating that the student is proficient in each objective and area on the list.
The checklist MUST be completed, initialed and submitted to the IS department. When the checklist is received, we will email your mentor to confirm their endorsement of your work.
If you are working through a District Contact to locate a mentor, both the District Contact and the assigned mentor are responsible for signing the checklist after the assigned mentor has initialed all items.
Completed checklists may be submitted by email to IS-SLC-Practicum@unt.edu (preferred), by Fax to 940.565.3101 or by U.S. Postal Mail. For more information on how to do this, please see the Contact Information page. The completed Practicum Checklist must be submitted and approved to pass INFO 5090.998 or 5090.999.
Requirements to become a Mentor
Unless assignment is through one of the district or regional contacts below, the following requirements must be met to be considered for approval as a mentor:
- 3+ years as a school library professional.
- Certification as a school librarian through an American Library Association (ALA) or the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) approved university school library program.
- Currently working as a school librarian in a school library.
There are several Districts and Regions in Texas where the student is placed with a mentor ONLY by going through one designated contact person. That person determines which librarians in the area can best serve as mentors to students for the completion of the practical requirement of this certification/masters.
Independent School District and ESC Regional - Contact Information
If seeking placement through a District or Regional Contact, please select the appropriate district from the Designated Contact Person to be Assigned a Mentor when completing the form to Request a School Library Certification Mentor.
You must provide the name and contact information of the mentor assigned to you to: IS-SLC-Practicum@unt.edu after completing Request a School Library Certification Mentor form in order to complete the mentor registration process in districts or regions with designated contacts.
Is the mentor you want not on the list?
Ask your mentor to submit the Mentor Application and wait for him/her to be approved. When you see your mentor on the Approved Mentor List, submit your Request a School Library Certification Mentor form. Remember, the mentor you choose will be with you for your ENTIRE program.
When/how does the student register their mentor?
- The student must be officially enrolled and in good standing in the School Library Certification/Masters program.
- Register your mentor as soon as possible, preferably in your first semester of coursework.
- Often required to get a background check from the school district unless you are already working in the same district as your mentor. Typically, the mentee can contact their mentor about who in the school district handles the background checks.
- Must complete the Request a School Library Certification Mentor form.
- Only one mentor can sign off on the Practicum Checklist. To change the mentor, a new application is required.