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College of Information and Communications

School Library Certification - MLIS

Certification Requirements

Learning Outcomes of this Program Meet the ALA/AASL/CAEP (Council for Accreditation of Educator Preparation) Standards for Initial Preparation of School Librarians (2010) and the South Carolina ADEPT (Assisting, Developing, and Evaluating Professional Teaching) Standards for Library Media Specialists

Foundations in Library and Information Science

Candidates complete the core courses (ISCI 701 and ISCI 705), the materials courses (ISCI 756 and ISCI 757), the curriculum and technology integration courses (ISCI 706, ISCI 742, and ISCI 761), and the reference sources and services course (ISCI 703), and two elective courses approved by the school library faculty and staff, before enrolling in ISCI 720.

Recommended order of courses for the Program of Study:

701, 706, 703, (course elective), 756, (course elective), 757, 761, 705, 742, 720, 794 (720 and 794 are capstone courses)

School Library Program Development (ISCI 720) is a pre-requisite or co-requisite for enrollment in ISCI 794 (the internship). Enrollment in ISCI 794 (internship) is handled through SIS Student Services.

Candidates without a current teaching certificate will be seeking Initial Certification, and must complete four education courses (see below) before enrolling in ISCI 742 and completing two internships.  

It is strongly recommended that candidates complete ISCI 706 with ISCI 701 in the first semester, or as a second course after completing ISCI 701. It also is strongly recommended that candidates complete ISCI 703 and 706 before enrolling in ISCI 756, 757, 761, 705 and 742.


Core (6 hours)

  • LIS 701 Ethics, Values, and Founding Principles of LIS Profession
  • ISCI 705 Research Design and Evaluation

Elective Courses (6 hours = 2 classes, to be chosen from the following options)

  • ISCI 600 Storytelling
  • ISCI 704 Leadership in Information Organizations
  • ISCI 728 Public Library Systems
  • ISCI 751 Libraries, Literacy, and Literature
  • ISCI 752 Diversity in Libraries
  • ISCI 754 Library Programming for Children and Young Adults
  • ISCI 760 Materials and Services for Latino Youth
  • ISCI 765 Planning Library Facilities
  • All Special Topics Courses – ISCI 797 Special Topics in Information Services

**These courses will be available on a rotating basis, not every semester.

Material Selection (6 hours)

  • ISCI 756 Children’s Materials
  • ISCI 757 Young Adult Materials

Curriculum and Technology Integration (9 hours)

  • ISCI 706 Information Organization and Access
  • ISCI 742 Curricular Role of the School Librarian [Students who are not certified teachers must complete four required education courses before enrolling in 742]
  • ISCI 761 Information Technologies in the School Library Program

**ISCI 706 is a pre-requisite for ISCI 761 and 742 

Reference Sources and Services (3 hours)

  • ISCI 703 Reference and Instruction

** Co- or pre-requisite for 742

Capstone Courses (6 or 9 hours)

  • ISCI 720 School Library Program Development
    The pre-requisite for enrolling in ISCI 720 is successful completion of ISCI 701, 703, 705, 706, 756, 757, 742, 761, two electives, as well as all required education courses (if seeking initial certification).
  • ISCI 794 Internship in Information Science (3 or 6 hours)
    ISCI 720 is a co- or a pre-requisite for requesting enrollment in ISCI 794.

Foundations in Education
Candidates who hold a current and valid teaching license must submit a photocopy of their certificate to the School of Information Science Student Services Office. Candidates who hold a current and valid teaching certificate are not required to complete the education courses listed below.

Candidates who do not hold a teaching certificate must complete all required education courses prior to enrolling in 742 and the capstone courses (ISCI 720 and ISCI 794). Candidates must earn a grade of “B” or better in all courses that are used to meet the “Foundations in Education” requirements.

Education Course Requirements

South Carolina Read to Succeed
Note:  Students seeking Initial school library certification (K-12), and completing a MLIS degree must complete one of the following courses:

  • EDRD 500- Content Area Literacy PK-12
  • EDRD 730- Teaching Reading and Writing in the Content Areas (PK-12 Reading Education and Content Area Teachers)
  • EDRD 732- Teaching Reading and Writing in the Content Areas (Secondary Reading Education)
  • EDEX 581- Reading in the Content Areas to Adolescents with Reading Disabilities

Curriculum Development
(One 3-hour course required)

  • EDCS 720- Introduction to Diversity and the Curriculum
  • EDCS 721- Social Class Diversity and the Curriculum
  • EDCS 722- Racial and Ethnic Diversity and the Curriculum
  • EDCS 725- Principles of Curriculum Construction

Psychology of Learning
(One 3 –hour course required)

  • EDPY 705- Human Growth and Development (Childhood & Adolescence)
  • EDPY 706- Growth and Development: Childhood (Birth through Elementary)
  • EDPY 707- Growth and Development: Adolescence


  • EDEX 523 Introduction to Exceptional Children

Note: Alternative courses, including those at other universities, must be pre-approved by an advisor

Portfolio Requirements
Successful completion of the School of Information Science portfolio is a requirement for the MLIS and school library certification.  Portfolios are submitted prior to graduation. The portfolio due date for students graduating in May is April 15. The portfolio due date for students graduating in December is November 15. 

Requirements for Certification
The courses listed in this document meet the ALA/ AASL/ CAEP Standards for Initial Preparation of School Librarians for the University of South Carolina School of Information Science. A candidate who completes the courses and examination requirements listed in this document is eligible to apply for certification as a school librarian in most states that recognize ALA and/or CAEP- approved programs. Candidates should be aware, however, that each state maintains the right to require other courses and testing beyond that required in the School of Information Science. Candidates who plan to apply for certification in a state other than South Carolina should contact that state’s department of education to determine the exact requirements.

Certification Applications

Certification application packets for initial certification must be submitted to the USC College of Education.

Deadlines for Applications for Candidates Applying for Advanced Certification:
All students who have been previously certified as a classroom teacher in South Carolina and are pursuing additional certification as a school librarian must apply for advanced certification in order to be recommended for certification. ISCI recommends that May graduates apply by May 1 and December graduates apply by December 1. 

Deadlines for Applications for Candidates Applying for Initial Certification:
A student completing their first internship in the spring must submit their application for initial certification by November 1st. A student completing their first internship in the fall must submit their application for initial certification by April 15th.

You can find more information about the certification process on the College of Education website.

Candidates who apply for certification in South Carolina are required to take the Praxis Subject Assessment in Library Media (5311). However, if there is any possibility of applying to other states, the candidate should contact those states to determine if other parts of the Praxis exams are required. Praxis scores should be submitted to the Office of Student Affairs USC-College of Education (Code 5818) and the South Carolina Department of Education (Code 8108).

The score on the Praxis specialty area examination must equal or exceed the South Carolina required passing score of 151 before a recommendation for certification to the State Department of Education will be made. Information concerning the Praxis test may be obtained from the Education Testing Services.

Internships (Practicum Experience) in a School Library
Candidates who are currently certified as classroom teachers, or who have successfully completed a semester of student teaching in a classroom setting prior to admission to the ISCI are required to complete one three-credit hour internship in a school library. 

Candidates seeking initial certification must complete two three-credit hour internships in two school libraries, elementary and secondary, planned over two separate fall and spring semesters. Candidates who have worked in libraries as paraprofessionals, aides, graduate assistants, or school librarians without certification will not receive credit for an internship based on previous experience.

Internships are only offered during the fall and spring semesters. Each three-credit hour internship requires a minimum of 120 hours working in a school library during the USC fall or spring semester. Internships placements are handled by student services with final placements determined by the USC College of Education. Internship dates and times are scheduled prior to the internship semester in coordination with the candidate, the cooperating school librarian who supervises the internship, and the ISCI faculty internship supervisor. In addition, candidates must attend at least one national or state-level professional conference (e.g. SCASL), visit other school libraries, and participate in an initial orientation session scheduled for ISCI 794.

In addition to the certification application sent to the USC-COE Office of Student Affairs, a separate application for internship placement must be submitted to the School of Information Science Student Services Office. Internship application packets are available online. Documentation of a negative TB test taken within the previous year must be submitted to the Student Services Office prior to the state of an internship in a school library.

Deadlines for submitting internship applications to the School of Information Science Student Services Office:

  • March 1 for fall internship
  • October 1st for spring internship

Candidates applying for internships (ISCI 794) will be contacted by the student services coordinator for the School Library Practicum Experience before placements are made in K-12 school libraries. Once placements are made, the School of Information Science Student Services Office will register candidates for ISCI 794. Candidates should confirm their registration in ISCI 794 using Self-Service Carolina and pay tuition fees before the deadline so that enrollment is not cancelled for non-payment. 

For further information contact:

Shana Watson
School of Information Science
University of South Carolina
Columbia, SC 29208
Phone: (803) 777- 8750

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