In my last partnerships blog post, I wrote about how TU is contributing to professional development across Maryland. I highlighted three programs that are providing on-going professional development opportunities in a variety of ways. For this post, I wanted to give you a more in-depth look at one of these programs.
TU is supporting Baltimore County Public Schools (BCPS) in the hiring of qualified School Library Media Specialists by providing an M.S. Degree program in the Instructional Technology area. TU is making plans through BCPS recommendations to admit and provide a complete graduate experience for ten qualified teachers in the school system. The program is offering courses that include on-campus, hybrid, online and on-site options as part of the 36 credit M.S. Degree program. Upon completion of the program, individuals will also receive certification as a School Library Media Specialist.
I spoke with David Wizer in the Department of Educational Technology and Literacy about the program to learn more about its impacts on TU and the community.
1. How did this partnership for School Library Specialists begin?
Baltimore County Public Schools started the partnership program about 18 years ago. It was an idea of the innovative Della Curtis, who was the superb supervisor of School Library Media (SLM) In BCPS at the time. BCPS wanted to insure that well qualified teachers in BCPS could earn a graduate degree through Towson University. We started offering the program on-campus and moved it to off campus classes in BCPS schools about 12 years ago.
2. Why do you think this partnership matters to TU and to the community?
Baltimore County Public Schools had a significant need to have highly qualified School Library Media specialists in all schools in the districts. There were significant number of retirements around 2000. Plus, growth in BCPS has created an on-going need for more SLM specialists each year.
These partnership programs for an M.S. Degree program in the Instructional Technology School Library Media area also have been developed in Anne Arundel County Public Schools, Montgomery County Public Schools, and Prince Georges County Public Schools. We are in discussion with Baltimore City Public Schools and have worked previously with a group of districts on the eastern shore.
3. What are the most significant outcomes of your partnership?
This program provides high-quality professional development that prepares teachers to enhance student learning and motivation through both their teaching and their work in school library media centers. Graduates of the program earn M.S. in Instructional Technology, and also certification as a School Library Specialist.
4. What do you personally find most valuable about participating in this partnership?
We are committed to and enjoy helping school districts around the state to achieve their goals to have highly trained professionals in more school libraries and media centers.
5. How can individuals interested in the program find more information?
For added information about the M.S. Degree program in the Instructional Technology School Library Media area please contact the Graduate Program Director, David Robinson. You must be a current teacher in Anne Arundel County Public Schools, Baltimore County Public Schools, Montgomery County Public Schools, or Prince Georges County Public Schools to be in one of the partnership programs noted here. For other graduate students, not in a school district cohort program, they complete the program in Instructional Technology School Library Media area which is offered on-campus at Towson University.