VCSU’s M.Ed. library concentration receives national recognition

Mar 4th, 2014 @ 10:48 am | Author: Greg Vanney
Valley City State University’s Master of Education (M.Ed.) program in Library and Information Technologies (LIT) has earned “National Recognition” status from the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) and the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP).

VCSU’s program is one of only 46 programs nationwide, and the only program in the region, to receive AASL/CAEP National Recognition.

To date, the VCSU M.Ed. LIT program—established in 2007 and delivered to students entirely online—has more than 40 graduates. According to Donna James, VCSU library director and LIT concentration chair, it continues to expand regionally, with an increasing number of students enrolling from states other than North Dakota.

The Library and Information Technologies (LIT) concentration was established in 2007 with the financial support of an Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) grant, Project Nexus, for which James had submitted the grant proposal

“One of the goals of the original IMLS grant was to earn AASL recognition for the new Library Education program at Valley City State University,” said James. “Other goals included recruiting a specific number of students, providing tuition support for students who enrolled early in the new program, and providing an opportunity for students to meet their peers and instructors on the Valley City campus once a year at a Summer Institute. All of these goals have been met or exceeded.”
 
A second IMLS grant, Nexus Echo, provides scholarship continuation support for students committed to earning an M.Ed. LIT from VCSU.
 
“National recognition for this program is just icing on the cake,” said James. “It has already been unofficially recognized by educators in the region as a strong library education program.”

According to James, “School librarians in the 21st century collaborate with educators in their district to provide information literacy skills and meet standards as they teach; they are no longer just the ‘keepers of the books.’ They are active teachers, collaborators, and curriculum experts in the school.”
 
Achieving “National Recognition” status from AASL/CAEP involves a lengthy application and review process, and it is critical to have complete and organized archives of assessment artifacts and the matching scoring data for students in all courses. Thus earning this recognition is a direct result of the efforts of VCSU faculty in the M.Ed. LIT program to develop standards-based courses and assessments.