Some Frequently Asked Questions
Why does ALA belong to NCATE?
Many school librarians are prepared in units of education in colleges and universities with programs that are not eligible for accreditation by ALA. Under NCATE policies, any institution that has preparation programs for public school personnel, K-12, MUST have those programs reviewed by appropriate professional bodies that develop standards. Joining NCATE has given ALA an opportunity to identify specific entry level competencies for the school librarians and to evaluate programs for the preparation of school librarians to determine whether curricula in those programs will help students develop the specified competencies.
If a school librarianship education program is found to be in compliance with AASL standards, is that program accredited?
No. The term accreditation should not be used to describe these programs. The institutional unit is given accreditation by NCATE. Programs that comply with the AASL standards are AASL-recognized.
What are the current standards for the preparation of school librarians?
All programs submitting initial program reports must use the ALA/AASL Standards for Initial Preparation of School Librarians (2010), approved by NCATE in 2010. Programs submitting revised or response-to-conditions reports may continue to use the 2003 ALA/AASL Standards for Initial Programs for School Library Media Specialist Preparation if the initial report used the same standards.
Additional questions concerning the content of program review standards should be addressed to:
American Association of School Librarians