The School Library specialization of the University of Maryland's College of Information Studies, Maryland's iSchool, recently received national recognition from the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). This honor places the Master of Library Science (MLS) program among only a handful that hold accreditation from both the American Library Association (ALA) and national recognition of its School Library specialization from NCATE.
"The School Library program at Maryland's iSchool prepares students to fulfill the five roles of the contemporary school librarian as leader, teacher, instructional partner, information specialist, and program administrator," says Ann Carlson Weeks, associate dean for academic programs. "National recognition from NCATE signifies that the coursework has met the ALA/AASL standards for the preparation of school librarians as part of the NCATE accreditation process."
The School Library curriculum was reviewed as part of NCATE's rigorous accreditation process of the College of Education. Within the iSchool, this process was led by Mega Subramaniam, assistant professor; Ann Carlson Weeks; and Sheri Massey, lecturer and assistant director of the School Library specialization; and assisted by June Ahn, assistant professor, Bruce Ambacher, visiting professor; and Master of Library Science and School Library specialization student, Emily Likins-Hohman. Faculty and staff from the College of Education worked closely with the iSchool faculty throughout this multi-year effort.
Founded in 1954, NCATE is recognized by the U. S. Department of Education as a specialized accrediting body for schools, colleges, and departments of education. NCATE and the Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC) have consolidated and are now transitioning into the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP).