FAQ: What we get asked about…
What programs and degrees are offered in ILS?
UMA offers a Certificate, an Associate of Science, and a Bachelor of Science in I&LS.
Is the ILS program accredited?
UMA and its programs are accredited by the New England Association of Colleges and Schools. The American Library Association (ALA) currently only accredits Masters Level programs, it does not accredit undergraduate programs in library studies.
However, there is an undergraduate Library Support Staff Certification Program sponsored by the ALA. UMA is an approved course provider for the Library Support Staff Certification project to meet the Library Support Staff National Certification Competencies. For more information, please see the LSSC homepage. Their FAQ page contains some very useful information for students interested in this project.
Where is UMA?
UMA is located in the heart of central Maine on a beautiful campus with miles of hiking trails and open space. We have major campuses in the Capitol city of Augusta with another campus in Bangor, Maine. University College, a branch of UMA that supports our distance education programs, has instruction centers in over 100 locations statewide.
Will I have to attend classes in Maine?
No, ILS courses are delivered via the Internet and some recorded instruction available on DVDs or streamed through our course ware, BlackBoard (Bb). Of course, we’d be happy for you to come visit and march at Graduation, or visit us if you vacation in Maine. Just give the ILS office a call and let them know when you might stop by campus 1-877-UMA-1234 ext 3341
What do classes cost at UMA?
Students residing outside the state of Maine (including ILS students) pay a reduced tuition rate of 125% of in-state tuition for ALL their courses at UMA (this includes ILS and non ILS courses offered by UMA). For students residing outside the state of Maine, all other U.Maine System courses (non-UMA) will be charged at the out-of-state rate, which varies by campus. Current tuition and fees.
Is Financial Aid available?
Yes, financial aid is available for students in the ILS AS and BS degree programs for courses taken through UMA or our sister institutions in the U. Maine System. Contact the UMA Financial Aid Office by dialing 1-877-UMA-1234 and ask for the Financial Aid Office.
Can I get Financial Aid at a local college in my home state as well as at UMA?
You can receive financial aid from UMA and you can receive financial aid at a local college within your home state, but NOT at the same time. Students can either sign up with UMA and takke all their courses with us, or (working with the ILS office) take your general education requirements locally and receive financial aid through that local institution and then apply to UMA and receive financial aid for the ILS courses through UMA.
What about transferring credits from previous colleges and universities to UMA?
All prior transcripts will be evaluated when a student is admitted to the ILS program. However, if a student is taking courses at their local college before being admitted to UMA, and they are unsure if a course will transfer in, it is recommended they call Advising 1-877-UMA-1234 or contact the ILS office firstname.lastname@example.org to make sure the course descriptions match the required course here at UMA.
What is involved in being an online learner?
We recommend that you test yourself to determine whether online learning is for you or not. Connect to http://www.learn.maine.edu/courses/ and check the links to “Learning Online.” You will get a sample of how online learning works.
If you aren’t sure if you are prepared for online learning or if that style of learning is for you, there is an assessment that you can take sponsored by WashingtonOnline which might help you determine that.
What do you mean by asynchronous distance education?
This means our courses typically do NOT require you to be logged in at a specific time and day. You will be learning from home or office via the Internet and/or recorded instructions available on DVD’s or streamed through the course ware. Class discussions, homework assignments and other components of your courses are accomplished using BlackBoard, our course delivery system. There maybe some classes that require proctoring or time/place communication, but these classes are NOT required in order to complete the ILS degree. Information on requirements for classes is listed with each course. For more information about Blackboard and distance education, please see the University College website.
What type of computer skills do I need for distance education ILS courses?
Familiarity with e-mail, Internet and word processing are important to taking classes. If you are new to computers, or have little experience, don’t worry, support is available to help get you started. One of the goals of the ILS program is to familiarize you with tools common in today’s libraries.
What type of computer do I need to participate?
If you have a PC, it should have a Pentium II or better processor with a minimum of 33.6 Kbps connectivity. It’s also necessary to have a Java compliant web browser, either Internet Explorer or FireFox. For Macintosh, you should have a system 8.0 or later. For more details, contact University College Technical Support at 1-800-696-HELP. Please also check out our Multimedia Quick Guide.
What is the job market for library technicians and paraprofessionals?
Job markets vary from region to region, but anyone who monitors listservs and job boards can tell you, there are many jobs at all levels in libraries. If you want to know the job market is like in your state it is recommended you check your state library association website for jobline postings. This will give you an idea of qualifications and other important traits employers are looking for.
What is the difference between a librarian and a library technician, paraprofessional or support staff?
Library support staff, technicians and paraprofessionals, work alongside librarians providing access and services to library patrons. A professional librarian has a Master’s degree in Library Science (MLS) or Library and Information Studies (MLIS). The difference between professional and paraprofessional work varies by library. For example, some libraries save all “ready reference” questions for the professional staff; others involve paraprofessionals with these inquiries.