To enroll in a certificate or master's level program in educational media, applicants often need a bachelor's degree. In some cases, it's required to be a licensed teacher. Individuals looking to become school media specialists need to meet their state's requirements, which may call for a master's degree and licensing as a teacher. Certificate programs consist of a few courses that, in many cases, are offered online. Master's degree programs are offered online and consist of 36 credit hours. A practical experience and final research project are required for a master's degree.
Individuals interested in earning a master's degree must have a bachelor's and a cumulative GPA of 2.5-2.8. They need to submit a letter of intent as well as personal recommendations. An admissions interview may be required. For the educational media certificate program, individuals must have a 4-year degree from an accredited college. Depending on the program, they need to be licensed educators. Additionally, applicants need to submit reference letters and a purpose statement.
Certificate in Educational Media
Educational media graduate certificate programs are designed to teach students skills for managing library and multimedia instructional programs in school settings. These certificate programs require completion of 12-20 credits. Some educational media certificate programs integrate training in Web-based distance learning. For students looking to earn a master's degree later, certificate program credits may be transferable. Within the graduate certificate program, students complete required courses and choose electives to match their career goals. Topics of study include:
- Media collection procedures and policies
- Library organizational practices
- Online instructional resources for educators
- Children- and young adult-centered learning tools
- Media center leadership strategies
Master's Degree in Educational Media
This program provides students with skills needed to bring technologically-driven learning solutions to school media departments. Not only do students learn to develop helpful programs but also learn to evaluate their effectiveness. In addition to subject-specific courses, students complete foundational research and education classes. Master's degree-seeking students complete a practical experience. Additionally, a capstone project is required after examination of specialty topics including:
- Integration of technology into learning experience
- Creation and implementation of educational tools
- Trends in educational technology
- School media information services
- Grouping collections and reference materials
Popular Career Options
Many practicing educators enroll in an educational media program to obtain specialty endorsements. Earning a graduate certificate program could qualify individuals for roles as:
- Educational media specialists
- Library program coordinators
- Instructional technology trainers
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that librarians in general should see 2% employment growth from 2014 to 2024. Technology has allowed for a lesser degree of assistance needed as electronic media resources have become more readily available to library patrons. The role of librarians, though, will continue to evolve to include training with a variety of digital media resources. As of May 2015, librarians earn a median annual salary of $56,880, according to the BLS.
Continuing Education and Certification Information
Each state governs the certification process for aspiring school educational media specialists. Many states require individuals to possess a relevant master's degree, and some may require aspiring media specialists to hold teacher certification. An assessment exam may also need to be completed.
Instead of working in the field, graduates may decide to pursue an advanced degree, such as the Doctor of Education in Educational Technology. Earning a doctoral degree could allow individuals to work as educators in postsecondary institutional settings. It could also qualify them for administrative positions.
Educational media degrees are offered as master's degrees and as certificates. They teach students a variety of valuable skills to prepare them for careers as technology trainers, librarians, and media specialists.