School Librarian Endorsement Program at UNK Earns National Recognition

Dr. Ed Scantling, dean of the College of Education, 308.865.8502 or scantlinge@unk.edu;
Dr. Dennis Potthoff, chair of the Department of Teacher Education, 308.865.8813;
Dr. Sheryl Crow, assistant professor of teacher education, 308.865.8540 or crowsr@unk.edu

The University of Nebraska at Kearney School Librarian Endorsement Program has received national recognition from the American Library Association/American Association of School Librarians (ALA/AASL) and the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).

“In receiving this prestigious national recognition, our program becomes part of an elite group of only 45 programs nationwide currently recognized for achieving this level of excellence,” said Dr. Ed Scantling, dean of the UNK College of Education. “Only graduate programs are eligible for this recognition.”

The UNK program has been offered for nearly 30 years. The program, originally taught face-to-face, is now fully online and graduates 25-30 students a year.

“We moved the program online to ensure that we were providing access statewide,” said Dr. Dennis Potthoff, associate dean of the College of Education. “While we are preparing librarians for Nebraska, there is a shortage of school librarians everywhere. By putting the program online and maximizing access, we have elevated the learning potential and provided greater diversity. We are proud that we are providing a program of national stature.”

Dr. Sherry Crow, who coordinates and is the primary professor for the program, noted that the program now draws enrollment from students around the world.

“We have had students from Shanghai, China, and from the American Embassy in New Delhi, India,” Dr. Crow said.

About the new national recognition, Dr. Crow said: “We are honored to be recognized by ALA/AASL and NCATE. This distinction provides great motivation to continue our work. Well-prepared school librarians are essential to creating information-literate P-12 students able to access, evaluate and use information intelligently, empowering them to succeed educationally. Our mission is to foster lifelong learners who grow to become informed, technologically savvy 21st century citizens.

“This national recognition signifies that UNK’s School Librarian Endorsement Program fully met all five prescribed ALA/AASL standards for initial preparation of school librarians,” she said. The five standards include: teaching for learning, literacy and reading, information and knowledge, advocacy and leadership, and program management.

“We want the youngsters who attend P-12 schools to have every advantage to succeed educationally,” Dr. Crow said. “We are about creating lifelong learners and active, informed 21st century citizens who have the ability to change and grow, because they are information literate and technologically savvy.

“Well-prepared and educated school librarians can provide an important link to creating information literate students who are able to access, evaluate and use information intelligently,” she concluded. “We are very honored to have been recognized by AASL. This recognition provides great motivation to continue our work with prospective school librarians.”

All distance education programs offered by the four campuses of the University of Nebraska are available through Online Worldwide, http://onlineworldwide.nebraska.edu/, the university-wide distance education initiative that provides access to more than 100 online degree and certificate programs, including bachelor’s, master’s and advanced degrees in 16 fields of study.

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