It is available in residential, hybrid, or fully online versions and it has various tracks for student interest. The school offers 250 internships each semester. Enrollment is based on a first-come, first-served philosophy, so you need to apply early. Enrollment requirements, however, are more stringent than the university's basic requirements. A 3.0 GPA in the last 60 units is required. The program requires 42 units.
I went because the director of the program at FPU offered this as a possibility for students who might want to take what they have learned/accomplished at Fresno Pacific and transfer that into the SJSU program (after completing the FPU program). Fresno Pacific has a great program from my perspective, but it is not ALA approved and unlikely to be so in the near future.
The first question that someone should ask is why I would be interested in such a program when I am already in a credential program at Fresno Pacific University. There are several reasons for why a person would consider attending such a program:
- It is ALA-approved. This means you could also work in a public library or in an academic library.
- As noted above, it increases job possibilities. In addition to the ones already cited, you could also work in law libraries, hospital libraries, and, interestingly, the Department of Homeland Security.
- Many of those other areas have real career tracks (and most school library jobs do not).
For me, it may not be a good fit. Locally, it would probably get me a job in a public library, but, because of my school district seniority, that would amount to a drop in salary of about $20,000 a year. That is 20k and I would have to work many more days, plus there is the strong possibility of having to work nights and weekends. Working for Fresno Unified School District, I work more days than regular classroom teachers, but still much less than anywhere else.
Interesting pieces of information for local librarians:
- Fresno County Library cannot fill all of the positions that they have available. They are always looking for staff.
- The directors of both Fresno County Library, Tulare County Library, and the associate director of the Madden Library (CSU Fresno) were all at the presentation. This, in part, speaks to their need for qualified librarians.