Frequently Asked Questions about the Graduate LME Program
1. Do I have to come to campus for classes?
The Master of Science in LME program is completely online/web-based. On-campus work is not a feature of such a program.
2. I would like to get my certification as a library media specialist but my undergraduate degree is in elementary, middle grades education, or secondary education. Will I have to take undergraduate courses?
No, you do not. The Master of Science with the major in Library Media Education will give you the Rank II or Rank I for any Kentucky certificate and the P-12 certification as a library media specialist. The MS with a focus in the area of educational technology also satisfies the requirements for the Rank II or Rank I for any valid Kentucky certificate.
3. Can I get a Kentucky endorsement as a high school library media specialist?
Kentucky no longer has endorsements for library media specialists. The P-12 Library Media Specialist certificate is required. The P-12 LMS certificate requires 30 semester hours of graduate course work while the older endorsements required 24 semester hours. Also, most other states no longer recognize an endorsement while the master's level P-12 certificate is universal.
4. I am a teacher in a neighboring state and want to get my certification as a library media specialist. Can I do this at Western Kentucky University?
The Master of Science in LME for certification as a library media specialist is accepted in other states. Most states do require a basic certificate as a classroom teacher, usually at the undergraduate or initial level of certification. Some states require a set score on the PRAXIS II Specialty Examination for Library Media Specialist. Students outside of Kentucky should check with their respective certification/licensure authorities.
5. Will the MS in library media education from Western Kentucky University qualify me to work in college, university, and public libraries as well as school library media centers?
It depends. The LME program at Western is specialized for library media specialists and educational technologists. ALA accreditation is important for people seeking careers in colleges, universities, special libraries, and major public libraries. Some exceptions are the Los Angeles Public Library, public libraries in New York, and some small colleges. Kentucky has a certification program for public librarians from baccalaureate through the master's degree. Many graduates of the program do hold professional positions in smaller public libraries in Kentucky and some hold positions in private colleges. The large urban libraries in Kentucky (Louisiville, Lexington, and northern Kentucky) require an ALA accredited master's for professional positions. The School of Library and Information Science at the University of Kentucky is an ALA master's program.
6. I do not have a bachelor's degree in education and do not want to be school librarian. Can I get the Master of Science in Library Media Education at Western?
The master's degree in LME does not require prior teacher certification. Graduates of the program have found jobs in other types of libraries, public agencies, and businesses. Success cannot be guaranteed by the University because it depends on the circumstances of the individuals.
7. What is the time limit for completing the master's degree?
Six years. Courses listed on a student's program of study (called a Form C) that fall out of the six year time limit by the time a student finishes the program must be re-taken.
8. Is the PRAXIS II Examination required for certification?
The PRAXIS II Specialty Examination is required by Kentucky for the P-12 Library Media Specialist Certificate.
The PRAXIS II Specialty Examination or another examination may be required for certification in other states. Students outside of Kentucky are responsible for determining the requirements for certification in their states.
9. Does the LME program have a comprehensive exam?
There is no comprehensive exam for the M.S. in LME. The Professional Portfolio created in LME 590 is the Capstone requirement for the program.
10. Since the MS in LME will be my second master's degree, do I have to take the research methods course again?
If your first master's program included a research class you may transfer that class into the LME program if it is less than six years old by your MS LME graduation date. If the course will be older than six years by the time you complete MS program, you may request to the LME Program area research competency examination. You schedule the test through your academic advisor in LME. The test is transmitted to you electronically. The responses must be returned electronically within seven days after it is transmitted to you as an email attachment.
11. I do not have a teaching certificate but I want to be a school librarian. Will the Master of Science in LME at WKU give me this certification?
Initial certification is possible through the LME program. Please review the LMS concentration area of our website for more information.