UNIVERSITY OF RHODE ISLAND
The Graduate School

Curricular Report from the Graduate Council to the Faculty Senate
Report No. 2005-2006, 3A


At Meeting No 406 held on 18 November, 2005 the Graduate Council approved the following proposal pending the receipt of statements from the Provost and Council of Deans and the Budget Office.  These responses have been received and the proposal is now submitted to the Faculty Senate.

SECTION I

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

ABSTRACT

The Graduate Council approved a proposal from the Graduate School of Library and Information Studies  for a Post-baccalaureate Certificate Program in Information Literacy Instruction.  The program is intended to serve the needs of professional librarians who want to update their skills and will also provide opportunities for those who would like to teach others how to use library resources effectively.  The program will consist of existing courses that are offered by faculty who normally teach them.  No new faculty members are needed.

BACKGROUND

The program requires completion of a minimum of 15 graduate credits and completion of the program will enable students and librarians to educate library users on how to use information resources effectively, efficiently and honestly.  The following is stated in the proposal:

Although the library profession recognizes the need to teach information literacy standards K-16, the task to create information literate adults is daunting.  The need for IL instruction taxes the capacity of libraries and librarians.  Candidates for school, academic, and public libraries would be strengthened with a combination Master of Library and Information Studies MLIS degree along with a certificate in information literacy instruction.  Some candidates may be reluctant, however, to commit to the 42 credit hour master’s degree and thus, would benefit by starting with 15 credits with a focus on ILIC and then seeking employment in libraries as paraprofessionals or continuing on for a MLIS degree to become professional librarians.

The proposal was reviewed under the process established by the Faculty Senate in which the Graduate Council serves as the Coordinating and Review Committee.  Announcements of the receipt of the proposal were sent to the Provost and the Council of Deans, the Budget Office, and Department Chairs and Directors.   Recommendations were sought from each of these.  The Budget Office reviewed the proposal with the understanding that no additional budgetary resources would be required for its implementation and surmised that the program could lead to a net increase in revenues from student tuition payments.   The Council of Deans unanimously and enthusiastically endorsed the program.   Comments remain on file in the Graduate School.

SECTION II

RECOMMENDATION

The Graduate Council approved the proposal for the Post-baccalaureate Certificate Program in Information Literacy Instruction at its meeting number 406 on 18 November 2005, and forwards it to the Faculty Senate with a recommendation for approval in a category for programs of merit that require no new funding resources.
University of Rhode Island
Kingston, RI
A Proposal for a Post Baccalaureate Certificate in Information
Literacy Instruction
2005

A.  Program Information

1. Administrative Unit:
Graduate School of Library and Information Studies

2. Title of proposed program:
Information Literacy Instruction Certificate (ILIC)

3. Intended date of implementation:
Spring 2006

4. Anticipated date of granting first certificate:
December 2006

5. Intended location of program:
Kingston, RI and in conjunction with our existing regional program and WEB CT

6. Description of the program:

a. Rationale:
Information Literacy is the set of skills needed to find, retrieve, analyze, and use information.  Teaching information literacy skills in college and university libraries is one of the current priorities of the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL).  The demand for academic librarians trained in information literacy instruction has been identified as a critical need that is not being adequately met by current LIS educational programs. This has resulted in the development of national programs like the Immersion Program offered by the ACRL Institute for Information Literacy.

In 2000 the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) adopted Information Literacy Competency Standards to be implemented in all academic libraries. Both future and present academic librarians need to increase their awareness of the implementation and integration of these ACRL standards. ACRL defines an information literate individual as one who is able to: “Determine the extent of information needed; Access the needed information effectively and efficiently; Evaluate information and its sources critically; Incorporate selected information into one’s knowledge base; Use information effectively to accomplish a specific purpose; Understand the economic, legal, and social issues surrounding the use of information, and access and use information ethically and legally.” (Online at http://www.ala.org/acrl/il/comstan.html).

Although the library profession recognizes the need to teach information literacy standards K-16, the task to create information literate adults is daunting. The need for IL instruction taxes the capacity of libraries and librarians. Candidates for school, academic, and public libraries would be strengthened with a combination Master of Library and Information Studies MLIS degree along with a certificate in information literacy instruction. Some candidates may be reluctant, however, to commit to the 42 credit hour master’s degree and thus, would benefit by starting with 15 credits with a focus on ILIC and then either seeking employment in libraries as paraprofessionals or continuing on for a MLIS degree to become professional librarians.
 
b. Workforce or professional development need:
The ILIC will serve the needs of professional librarians who want to update their skills as well as provide opportunities for those who would like to work in libraries as assistants and teach others how to use library resources effectively and efficiently.  Thus, three potential groups of students are the target audience for this certificate including practicing librarians and future librarians. Potential librarians may desire to seek employment in libraries as assistants prior to making a commitment to complete the MLIS degree. Another group of students may be current or future MLIS students who could gain a very marketable specialization. A third group consisting of practicing librarians may be interested in updating their skills in teaching information literacy standards. Thus, practicing librarians could earn a certificate in information literacy instruction to develop their teaching skills and provide needed instruction especially in academic libraries. This certificate will enable students and librarians to educate library users on how to use information resources effectively, efficiently, and honestly.

Existing graduate curriculum:
All courses in the ILIC program are currently offered by the GSLIS. The expertise and personnel to teach these courses are a unique constellation of faculty both in the GSLIS and the University of Rhode Island Library and are available within the existing faculty.

b. Other potential benefits:
In addition to providing work opportunities in libraries, we expect that some candidates will apply for the MLIS program to complete the degree to become professionals. Moreover, the certificate program will provide GSLIS with the opportunity to become recognized as a national leader in the area of education for  information literacy instruction.

c. Admissions requirements:
Admission to the ILIC program will be similar to the existing requirements for the MLIS degree including a 3.0 GPA as an undergraduate, two letters of recommendation, and a personal essay on goals for the program. However, the GRE or MAT exam will not be required for the ILIC. If a candidate does not have 3.0 GPA, s/he must take the GRE or MAT and should earn a 50 percentile score or higher.

d. Completion requirements:
Completion of 15 credits including the following courses is required:
LSC 504 Reference and Information Studies
LSC 524 Teaching about Information
LSC 525 Multiculturalism in Libraries
LSC 528 Instructional Technology in Library & Information Services
LSC 597 Information Literacy Tutoring [Course Number will be changing to LSC 527.]
The LSC 597[527] course will allow candidates the opportunity to apply what they have learned and to teach undergraduates information literacy standards at the URI Library in conjunction with LIB 140.
Candidates will be required to earn a grade of B or better in each course. A maximum of 3.0 graduate credits will be accepted from another graduate library school program for transfer of credit.

e. Faculty:
Faculty who normally teach these courses will continue to offer them and no new faculty are needed.

f. Delivery Format:
GSLIS faculty will offer these courses in similar formats as we currently offer including face to face, WEB CT, streaming audio and video, as well as hybrid courses using face to face along with WEB CT.

g. Monitoring of student progress:
An advisor will be assigned to each candidate and the advisor will work with the student to complete a program of study and monitor the student’s progress.

h. Administration of program:
The ILIC program will be administered within the GSLIS department. The increased administrative responsibilities will be assumed by the person appointed to coordinate the program.

i. Assessment and Evaluation of Program Outcomes:
Program outcomes will be evaluated on the basis of application and completion rates and by successful employment in libraries. A follow-up survey will be administered to students, alumni and employers. Targeted outcomes include the following GSLIS outcomes: Primary outcome: 6. Demonstrate the ability to instruct patrons in the mastery of information literacy, which includes the skills needed to locate, access, use and evaluate information resources in all formats. Secondary outcomes: 5. Demonstrate competence in using information technologies to access information and provide users with access to information resources in all formats. 8. Communicate effectively using appropriate media, including written, oral, graphic, and nonverbal.  

7. Time Frame of Program Initiation and Approval Process:     

                                                                          


APPROVAL DATE              
Department/Program/Colleges 
May 2005
Certificate Program Development Panel (CPD) September 2005
Graduate Council November 2005
Faculty Senate

President of the University of Rhode Island


8. Additional Considerations:
Candidates who earn the ILIC may opt to transfer the complete subset of graduate credits for the ILIC into the MLIS program upon completion of all required admissions criteria.

Course List (Required 15 credits) and Semester offered:
Completion of 15 credits including the following courses is required:
LSC 504 Reference and Information Studies (F/Sp/Su)
LSC 524 Teaching about Information (Sp)
LSC 525 Multiculturalism in Libraries (F)
LSC 528 Instructional Technology in Library & Information Services (Sp/Su)
LSC 597 [527] Information Literacy Tutoring (F/Su)

Addendum I
Budget Format: No additional budget allocations are needed. The existing facilities and equipment in the college will be used. The faculty compensation is part of the normal teaching load.

Addendum II
Draft of a Sample Post-Baccalaureate Certification
Completion of 15 credits including the following courses is required:
Spring
LSC 504 Reference and Information Studies
LSC 524 Teaching about Information
LSC 528 Instructional Technology in Library & Information Services

Fall
LSC 525 Multiculturalism in Libraries
LSC 597 [527] Information Literacy Tutoring

Summer possibilities in lieu of Fall or Spring:
LSC 504 Reference and Information Studies (F/Sp/ Su)
LSC 528 Instructional Technology in Library & Information Services (Sp/Su)
LSC 597 [527] Information Literacy Tutoring (F/Su)

Certificate in Information Literacy Instruction
Proposed by:
Professor Michael Havener, Director
Associate Professor Cheryl A. McCarthy, Curriculum Chair and
Associate Professors Herb Carson, and Donna Gilton.
Graduate School of Library and Information Studies
874-2947