Funded by IMLS
In June 2010, the School Library & Information Technologies Graduate Department of Mansfield University was awarded a prestigious Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) grant for $999,940. This is our fifth federal IMLS grant for scholarship support (few schools receive even one such award, given the competitive nature of the grant program). The funds will primarily support graduate scholarships to help qualified teachers earn a Master of Education in School Library & Information Technologies degree and school library certification.
The grant will also fund an online library advocacy program for school administrators, recruited by scholarship recipients. The goal of the administrator program is to build partnerships between trained school librarians and informed building principals to develop or revitalize quality school library programs. The scholarship program addresses the critical shortages of school library professionals today, particularly among male and ethnically diverse populations.
Goals of the Fulfilling the Promise Grant
By the end of the project, Fulfilling the Promise will achieve three goals:
- Recruit and graduate 48 new certified school librarians
The American Association of School Librarians (AASL) challenges each school librarian to lead school-wide efforts to integrate information and media literacy across the curriculum. Hindering such a worthy goal is the critical shortage of professionals who are both qualified librarians and effective school leaders. This project will fulfill the promise of AASL's vision for improving the academic achievement of K-12 students. Fulfilling the Promise will award 14 scholarships each to teachers from the New York City and Chicago public schools, plus 20 from a national pool of diverse candidates in high need areas, most of whom live more than 50 miles from the nearest accredited library school.
- Improve persistence and academic success through active mentorship
In recruiting a new generation of school library leaders through scholarships, this project draws inspiration from the lessons learned from past grant projects. Fulfilling the Promise recognizes that financial assistance and personalized advising alone do not guarantee learner persistence towards graduation. A robust support system of mentoring, technical support, orientation and an engaged community of learners provides critical assurances for scholarship students.
- Highlight leadership throughout the curriculum
MU faculty and project partners produced a video highlighting the leadership abilities of practitioners to improve school libraries. This video serves as a recruiting tool for both MU and the profession as a whole. The video entitled “School Library Leadership: Leading Libraries into the Future” can be viewed at http://mansfield.edu/school-library-online-masters/mu-on-you-tube/ .
Scholarships Implemented Jan. 2011 through Summer 2014
Recipients of Fulfilling the Promise Scholarships are expected to complete the Master of Education in School Library & Information Technologies degree and earn school library certification either in Pennsylvania or their home state. Scholarship awards are automatically renewed each semester until the student graduates or the program ends. Recipients must maintain a 3.0 GPA each semester and be in good financial standing with the university’s Student Accounts Office (details described on the Criteria page).As part of the scholarship review process, scholarship applicants earn additional points if they recruit a principal or other school administrator to take the free online program, Leveraging School Libraries to Improve Student Learning. The course is next scheduled for the summer of 2013 (June-August).