In consultation with a faculty advisor, each student will develop a program of study specifically tailored to his or her career objectives. In general, these objectives should be oriented towards increased specialization, change of specialization, or an upgrading of professional skills and knowledge. In addition, two structured emphases have been approved for the specialist degree. The first, which was developed in cooperation with the USC College of Education, allows students who currently hold certification as school library media specialists to meet South Carolina requirements for certification as district-level school media coordinators in conjunction with the specialist degree. The second emphasis in educational information technology encourages students to concentrate on course work that encompasses the new developments in technology being implemented daily in schools.
At least 18 hours of the SLIS program must be taken within
the School; the additional hours may be taken in other departments
of the University in accordance with the student's program
interests, and up to nine credit hours may be transferred from
another institution. Up to six hours of graduate work taken
prior to admission to the program may be included in the SLIS
degree provided the courses meet specified conditions. Courses
which will be more than six years old at the time the SLIS
degree is awarded may not be included in the student's program.
Students must present a grade point average of 3.00 (B) on
all courses taken in the program. Students who earn a grade
below B on more than 6 hours of work or a grade below C in
any course will not be allowed to continue in the program.
Additionally, Graduate School policy states that graduate
students whose cumulative grade point average (GPA) drops below
3.00 will be placed on academic probation and allowed one calendar
year to raise the GPA to at least 3.00. Students who do not
reach a cumulative 3.00 GPA during this grace period will not
be permitted to enroll for further graduate work.
will be appointed a faculty advisor. It is expected that each
student's program will be highly individualized and thus responsive
to the specialized objectives of the student. A final research
project resulting from some phase of the program and demonstrating
the ability to conduct, synthesize, and utilize basic research
in the area of specialization is optional. For students who
choose the research product/project option, a program committee
will be appointed consisting of the advisor and at least one
additional SLIS reader. The program committee will coordinate
both the student's program and final research project (SLIS
798). The maximum total number of hours which can be utilized
in SLIS 796, Independent Study, and SLIS 798, Specialist Project
Preparation, is nine credit hours, with no more than six hours
directly related to the research project.
For students who choose to complete the optional research project
(SLIS 798), the School follows the specific Graduate School
regulations for deposit of the final research project. Detailed
editorial instructions for the research project are available
either through the School's Specialist Committee or The Graduate
School Library Media Specialist Concentration
School library media specialist certification may differ from one state department of education to another. The School of Library and Information Science program leading to certification is accredited by NCATE. Graduates who have completed this approved program are eligible for certification in South Carolina and any other state that recognizes NCATE standards. Students who are pursuing school library media certification should have their programs of study approved by the school library media program coordinator during their first term of enrollment.
The general requirements for NCATE at the School of Library
and Information Science are 18 semester hours of foundations
in library and information science, 12 semester hours of educational
foundations or current certification in some other discipline
in education, and 12-18 semester hours of courses related specifically
to school library media programs.
Those who want certification in South Carolina must take the Specialty Area (Library Media) of the PRAXIS but do not have to take with the General Knowledge or Professional Knowledge area. Many other states do require other parts of the PRAXIS, so those considering employment in another state should contact that state's department of education as early in their program as possible.
A one time fee of $172 for inital certification of $65 add-on certification is required by the University for all recommendations for certification regardless of the state in which the individual is applying. A person may request that recommendations be sent to any number of states at any time after paying the fee.