School administrators recruited by scholarship students may enroll in MU's unique advocacy course, Leveraging School Libraries to Improve Student Learning (LSC 6600), at no charge. Conducted entirely online, the five-week course is offered in the month of July and occasionally offered in the Fall or Spring. All books and course materials are provided for free, paid by IMLS grant funds.
Scholarship students may recruit any building or district-level school administrator for this program, including assistant principals, principals, superintendents, curriculum coordinators, and directors of instructional technology. Administrators may take the course for one graduate credit if they pay the tuition and fees (course materials are still free). Participants may choose which semester to enroll in the online program.
The program can be completed from home, work, or while on vacation, with an Internet-connected computer/laptop. As the intent of the course is to develop awareness of the value of school libraries and librarians no written papers or tests are required. Short surveys accompany each module for feedback and to improve the program. Scholarship students do not participate in the course. The course is taught by Debra Kachel, a nationally recognized advocate for school libraries and Instructor in the School Library & Information Technologies graduate program at Mansfield University.
Purpose and Content
The purpose of the program is to increase an administrator’s knowledge base about school libraries and provide practical ideas to build support for school library programs. The program develops informed school library advocates among building and district-level administrators who can partner with trained school librarians to develop or revitalize quality school library programs.
Participant principals/administrators will learn:
the research correlating quality school library programs and reading test scores
the basics of an information literacy instructional curriculum
the aspects of providing relevant information resources for a school’s curriculum and students
techniques and guidelines for evaluating a school library program
Participating principals/administrators will:
complete a demographic survey of their school
access and read the Internet-based program of four short modules
watch four short videos imbedded in each module
read articles and sections of books that will be provided
participate in online, threaded discussions with the other administrators in the program
Develop an action plan and budget to improve their local school library
complete short evaluation surveys for feedback to improve the program
As a rough estimate, principals can expect to spend 2-3 hours per week on the course. Upon successful completion of the course principals will receive a certificate from Mansfield University which they may use to earn 15 continuing education hours or credits from their state.
The final module of the course requires administrators to submit an action plan describing how they will improve their school library program. A project evaluator will later survey librarians to determine the impact of their administrators on libraries, collections, budgets, professional development opportunities, etc.
Complete details about LSC 6600, Leveraging School Libraries to Improve Student Learning, including a short video and the syllabus, can be found at: