Non-Degree Study | Maryland's iSchool - College of Information Studies - Graduate School - University Of Maryland

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Graduate Program

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Non-Degree Study

Advanced Special Student

Advanced Special Student (AdSS) status, also known as non-degree seeking status, is administered by the Graduate School. For more information on this status, please see: http://www.gradschool.umd.edu/prospective_students/non-degree_seeking_advanced_special_student.html.

The Advanced Special Student status is particularly useful for continuing education and is not intended to be used as a preparatory status for later admission to the master's or doctoral program. AdSS who wish to apply later for admission to one of the iSchool's degree programs should be advised that only six credits earned while in the non-degree seeking status may be transferable to a degree.

Advanced Special Students may register for Information Studies courses in accordance with iSchool policy and iSchool approval on a space-available basis. AdSS who have not previously earned the Master of Library Science or Master of Information Management degree are limited to taking the core courses only. Please be aware that permission to register is not given by the iSchool's Student Services Office until a business day before the semester starts.

Jewish Studies

MLS candidates may pursue a non-degree graduate certificate in Jewish Studies and may apply the 12 credits of the certificate toward their MLS degree.

Special Category of Advanced Special Students:

MLS Holders Seeking School Library (SL) Certification Courses

The School Library (SL) specialization was designed to ensure that graduates meet the requirements for certification as a school library specialist as outlined in Section 13A.12.03.03 of the Code of Maryland Regulations (COMAR). According to COMAR, there are two routes to school library certification in the State:

  • Completion of a State-approved program, such as the MLS with SL specialization, and recommendation by the iSchool to the Maryland State Department of Education.
  • Completion of a number of specialized courses within or beyond a master's degree as determined directly by the Certification Division of the Department of Education.

MLS-holders can become eligible for certification under the second option (sometimes called the "credit count" option) by completing certain courses at the iSchool as Advanced Special Students. These courses are listed below. Please note that only holders of ALA-accredited MLS degrees may pursue this option, and these students must meet SL specialization requirements, as well as those of the State. Those who complete the requirements listed below are eligible for recommendation by the College to the State as having mastered the same knowledge and skills as those regularly enrolled in the iSchool MLS program with SL specialization.

The School Library required courses are as follows:

  • The MLS Core commong to all iSchool MLS degree students:
    • LBSC 602 - Serving Information Needs 
    • LBSC 631 - Achieving Organizational Excellence 
    • LBSC 671 - Creating Information Infrastructures
    • LBSC 791 - Designing Principled Inquiry 
       
  • Eight specialized courses related directly to the roles and responsibilities of the School Library Specialist:
    • LBSC 640 School Librarians as Information Professionals
    • LBSC 641 Selecting and Evaluating Resources for Learning
    • LBSC 642 Integrating Technology into Learning and Teaching
    • LBSC 645 Literature and Materials for Children
    • LBSC 646 Literature and Materials for Young Adults
    • LBSC 741 Seminar in School Library Administration
    • LBSC 742 Collaborative Instructional Design and Evaluation
    • LBSC 744 Internship in School Library
       
  • For those students without a previous degree in education, one 3-credit course in learning theory/educational psychology and one 3-credit course in classroom methods/management. These courses may be at the graduate or undergraduate level.

Generally, MLS-degree holders meet the requirements of the core courses noted above. Sometimes, they meet the requirement for knowledge of children's or young adult literature as well. If they have successfully taken courses in any of the other topics noted above, they are also considered to meet those requirements. On-the-job experience is not considered a substitute for academic work in any of these areas.

MLS-holders who wish to pursue School Library certification through Maryland’s iSchool should take the following steps:

  • Make an appointment with the Student Services Office to review his or her MLS-degree transcript and develop an individualized plan of study. This plan ensures that the prospective student meets SL specialization requirements as well as those outlined in COMAR.
  • Apply to become an Advanced Special Student with the University of Maryland’s Graduate School. For more information on this status, please see: http://ter.ps/2xm
  • Once admitted as an Advanced Special Student, contact the Student Services Office (ischooladmission@umd.edu) to request permission to register for a particular course. Please be aware that permission to register is not given until a business day before the semester starts.