Prism: the Office for Accreditation newsletter, Spring 2019

prism masthead

Spring 2019, Volume 27, Number 1 • ISSN 1066-7873 • Kerri Price, editor
Comments, questions, and suggestions are welcomed. Please contact us at

In this issue: See also:
ALA accreditation at a glance Prism Index - from fall 2003 through fall 2017
News and announcements Prism Archive - from fall 2003 through fall 2018
ALA accreditation standards and policy adjustments Best of Prism - selected articles from previous issues
COA announces 2018 Fall Meeting and Midwinter Meeting accreditation actions
Outlook: Accountability through reflection and disclosure
From the COA Chair: Perspective
Spotlight on process and policy
In profile: A Q&A with an accreditation star
External Review Panelists acknowledged
AASL-CAEP recognition news


Accreditation at a glance

66 ALA-accredited programs
61 institutions with ALA-accredited programs
33 U.S. states (including Washington, DC, and Puerto Rico) with ALA-accredited programs
5 Canadian provinces with ALA-accredited programs
39 ALA-accredited programs offering 100% online programs †
2 Programs with candidacy status
2 Programs with precandidacy status
16,081 total students enrolled in ALA-accredited programs in fall 2017 *
5,863 graduates of ALA-accredited programs during the 2016-2017 academic year *

† As identified by the programs
* As reported by programs to the Office for Accreditation. The 2017-2018 data is under review.


News and announcements

External Review Panel training at 2019 ALA Annual Conference in Washington, DC

Date: Friday, June 21, 2019
Time: 8:00am – 12:00noon
Location: Washington Marriott at Metro Center (775 12th St NW), Grand Ball Room, Salons A and B (room updated 6/12/19)

New and experienced External Review Panelist (ERP) pool members are invited and encouraged to attend a training session on the role of ERP members in the ALA accreditation process. Participation in training is a prerequisite for serving on a review panel.

This year’s training will focus on Standard IV (Students) of the 2015 ALA Standards for Accreditation and includes a pre-session assignment that those who have RSVP’d will receive by May 21, 2019. The session will focus on group activity and a panel featuring an experienced ERP chair and a new reviewer. Currently assigned ERPs are especially encouraged to attend.

If you’re attending training for the first time, or haven’t served on a panel in three or more years, or haven’t attended training on the 2015 Standards you will complete three or four asynchronous, online modules covering important introductory material, in addition to the pre-session assignment. The modules will be available on May 21, and I will provide access information upon receiving your RSVP.

Program heads who want to learn more about the accreditation process, the site visit, and the role of the ERP in the review are welcome to attend as observers. If you’re interested in attending, please RSVP and indicate that you’d like to observe the session.

Please RSVP to Kerri Price, by May 20, 2019, and include “ERP Training” in the subject line. Registration is limited and is on a first-come, first-served basis.

External Review Panel online training

The first asynchronous, five-week, online ERP training course ended last month. We will offer it again this fall, with the start date in September 2019 (exact start/end dates to be determined). It will be open to all members of the ERP pool and will focus on Standard II (Curriculum). More information, including RSVP information, will be sent to the ERP pool in July.

New external review panelists sought

The Office for Accreditation seeks experienced library and information professionals to participate in the accreditation process as external review panelists. We are particularly in need of librarians and educators with specializations and experience in the following areas:

  • Archives and records management
  • Cultural heritage information management
  • Curricular review and redesign
  • Distance education
  • School librarianship
  • Public librarianship
  • Information science
  • Information technology
  • LIS graduate program administration
  • Service to diverse populations
  • French language skills
  • Spanish language skills

Find out more about what’s involved in serving on an external review panel on the Resources for external review panelists webpage. If you are interested and meet the qualifications, please complete the External Review Panel Member Information Form, and plan to attend the training session on Friday, June 21 at the 2019 ALA Annual Conference in Washington, DC.

If you know someone who might be interested in serving as an external review panelist, please encourage that person to apply, or send a recommendation to Kerri Price.

News You Can Use: You Have a Voice in Accreditation at the 2019 ALA Annual Conference in Washington, DC

Date: Sunday, June 23, 2019
Time: 4:30pm—5:30pm
Location: Washington Convention Center (801 Mt Vernon Pl NW), 151A

Join Committee on Accreditation (COA) members for a discussion on how librarians can become engaged in the accreditation process and the role they have in providing guidance to master's in library and information studies programs.

AASL-CAEP program review training at 2019 ALA Annual Conference in Washington, DC

Date: Friday, June 21, 2019
Time: 12:00noon – 4:00pm
Location: Washington Marriott at Metro Center (775 12th St NW), Jr Ballroom Salon 3

New and experienced program reviewers and report compilers are encouraged to attend this session to learn about the AASL-CAEP program review process, the 2010 ALA/AASL Standards for Initial Preparation of School Librarians (and an update on the Standards revision process), report preparation and review, and appropriate assessments.

In addition, training leaders will be available for a 20-minute consultation for those programs who are preparing program reports or who are interested in beginning the program report process. Please note that the trainers provide feedback based on their personal experience and are not acting as reviewers during this consultation time.

So that we have sufficient training materials on hand, please RSVP to Kerri Price, by May 24, 2019, and include “AASL-CAEP training” in the subject line.

Prospective reviewers can find out more about the AASL-CAEP program review process at

New standards for American Association of School Librarians (AASL)-Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) school librarianship education program review

The Standards will be presented to the AASL Board of Directors for approval in June 2019 and will be submitted to the CAEP SPA Standards Committee for final approval in Fall 2019. Programs will be able to begin the implementation process in Spring 2020.

The Standards are aligned with the AASL National School Library Standards for Learners, School Librarians, and School Libraries and the themes are:

  • The Learner and Learning: how the library can ensure that all learners are prepared for college, career, and life.
  • Instructional Practice: the responsibility of the school librarian to design and deliver instruction.
  • Knowledge and Application of Content: presenting content of school librarianship based on multiple forms of literacy.
  • Organization and Access: outlining the management and organizational role of school librarians.
  • Leadership, Advocacy, and Professional Responsibility: focusing on the ongoing development of the librarian.


ALA accreditation standards and policy adjustments

The Committee on Accreditation (COA) calls your attention to the following adjustments to the 2015 ALA Standards and Accreditation Process, Policies and Procedures (AP3), fourth edition. Contact the Office for Accreditation,, if you have questions about compliance with these requirements.

Adjustment to Accreditation Process, Policies and Procedures (AP3)

At the COA meeting during the ALA Midwinter Meeting (January 26-27, 2019), the Committee on Accreditation (COA) approved a policy adjustment to section I.18.1. Statistical reporting of Accreditation Process, Policies, and Procedures (AP3), fourth edition.

The section name was changed from “Statistical reports” to “Statistical reporting” and the following was inserted after the first paragraph:

Also reviewed are statistics the program makes available publicly on: 1) Retention rate, 2) Average time to degree completion, and 3) Percentage of graduates holding positions relevant to the degree within 12 months of degree completion (which may include further graduate study). Those three statistics are to be positioned first among a listing of any other data the program would like to include. This data is to be accessible no more than one click off the program landing page. Effective February 1, 2019, for full implementation by March 28, 2019.

RATIONALE: To address Council on Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) requirements that programs “provide reliable information to the public on their performance, including student achievement as determined by the institution or program.”

Adjustment to the 2015 Standards for Accreditation of Master's Programs in Library and Information Studies

At the ALA Council II meeting during the ALA Midwinter Meeting (January 28, 2019), ALA Council adopted a revision of standard element V.3 that removed language about title, salary, status, and comparability and focuses language on student learning.


The administrative head of the program has title, salary, status, and authority comparable to heads of similar units in the parent institution. In addition to academic qualifications comparable to those required of the faculty, the administrative head has leadership skills, administrative ability, experience, and understanding of developments in the field and in the academic environment needed to fulfill the responsibilities of the position.


The administrative head of the program has authority to ensure that students are supported in their academic program of study. In addition to academic qualifications comparable to those required of the faculty, the administrative head has leadership skills, administrative ability, experience, and understanding of developments in the field and in the academic environment needed to fulfill the responsibilities of the position.


  • Accreditation: The Council on Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) requires that accrediting agencies confine their requirements (standards) to those elements that are necessary for student learning and achievement: “refer to resources only to the extent required for students to emerge from institutions or programs appropriately prepared”
  • LIS Education/educators: Numerous MLS programs have experienced organizational changes, as well as numerous universities changing their overall structures, so that it is both more difficult and less relevant to inquire about how the home units of MLS programs are organized “comparably” with other units.
  • COA experiences: The Committee and its External Review Panels are concerned with those elements of administration that are assessable, consistently across programs, and part of overall program success. Some of the older language in this standard was more relevant to a more homogeneous MLS-educational landscape and is not easily applied to current programs.


COA announces accreditation actions

The Committee on Accreditation (COA) of the American Library Association (ALA) has announced the following accreditation decisions.

At the COA’s 2018 Fall Meeting:

Precandidacy status was granted to the Master of Library and Information Studies at Old Dominion University

At the COA’s meeting at the 2019 ALA Midwinter Meeting:

What follows reflects the April 2018 policy revision to section I.15 (Accreditation decisions) of Accreditation Process, Policies, and Procedures (AP3), implemented to enhance public disclosure that went into effect for all programs beginning in May 2018. The policy states that “any standard on which a program has follow-up reporting (following a comprehensive review or interim reporting review) is made public by the Office for Accreditation in the Directory of ALA-Accredited Programs and as a part of the usual means (e.g., press release, Accreditation Decisions and Actions Taken reports, and Prism).”

Continued Accreditation status was granted to the following programs (listed in alphabetical order by institution), with the next comprehensive review visit scheduled to take place in fall 2025:

  • Master of Library and Information Science at the University of California, Los Angeles. Standards cited for follow-up reporting: I.1 (program's mission and goals pursued through implementation of an ongoing, broad-based, systematic planning process), III.1 (faculty capable of accomplishing program objectives), V.1 (program is an integral yet distinctive academic unit within institution).
  • Master of Science in Library and Information Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Standard cited for follow-up reporting: V.3 (authority and qualifications of administrative head of program).
  • Master of Library and Information Science at Kent State University. Standard cited for follow-up reporting: IV.2 (program information available to students and general public).
  • Master of Information at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey. Meets all standards. No follow-up reporting required.
  • Master of Science in Library and Information Science at St. John’s University. Meets all standards. No follow-up reporting required.

Information on accreditation statuses and types of reviews can be found in Section I of Accreditation Process, Policies and Procedures (AP3), fourth edition.

The following institutions have programs that were visited in the spring 2019 academic term. The accreditation decisions will be made by the COA at its meeting at the 2019 ALA Annual Conference in Washington, DC.

  • Chicago State University
  • Indiana University, Bloomington
  • Indiana University – Purdue University, Indianapolis
  • Louisiana State University
  • University of Southern Mississippi

The following institutions have programs that are being visited in the fall 2019 academic term. The accreditation decisions will be made by the COA at its meeting at the 2020 ALA Midwinter Meeting in Philadelphia.

  • University at Albany, State University of New York
  • University of Arizona
  • Dalhousie University
  • Florida State University

ALA accreditation indicates that the program meets or exceeds the Standards for Accreditation of Master’s Programs in Library and Information Studies, established by the COA and approved by ALA Council. The accreditation process involves rigorous, ongoing self-evaluation by the program and verification of evidence through an external review. The COA evaluates each program for compliance with the Standards, which address systematic planning; curriculum; faculty; students; administration, finances, and resources.

A complete list of programs and degrees accredited by ALA can be found online. Individuals who would like more information about a particular program should contact the program.

The ALA COA is a leading force in accreditation, having evaluated educational programs to prepare librarians since 1924. The Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) recognizes the ALA COA as the authority for assessing the quality of education offered by graduate programs in the field of library and information studies.


Outlook: Accountability through reflection and disclosure

By Karen L. O'Brien, Director, ALA Office for Accreditation

In the midst of concluding the 2019 spring comprehensive reviews, interim narrative reports and statistical data arrive to the Office to process for Committee on Accreditation (COA) review. In conjunction, programs are working with their “student achievement data” link provided in the Directory of ALA-accredited programs to be sure that the data points (retention rate, average time to degree completion, and placement) are in place.

The directive on providing the student achievement data reflects specifics in the latest letter from the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). The letter references the new 2019 CHEA standards and states that providing only “a link to a general or institutional website is not acceptable” and provides examples of relevant data as: attrition and retention, graduation, job placement, employment advancement, and acceptance into graduate programs.

Accountability remains an emphasis in the new CHEA Policy and Procedures, defining accountability in its key terms as

The responsibility of an accrediting organization to (1) have standards, policies and procedures that require accredited institutions and programs to provide, at a minimum, readily accessible, accurate and consistent aggregate information to the public about institutional or program performance, student achievement and the reasons for accreditation decisions; and (2) make its accreditation standards, policies, processes and decision-making outcomes readily accessible to the public.

Jura accreditation management system status

The next pilot phase with the accreditation management platform Jura is underway for those programs that opted in which have site visits in fall 2019. The promise seems ever-elusive: a less paper-based process in which all parties (programs, reviewers, COA, and staff) work in a central space with a self-study template with the Standards and the Accreditation Process, Policies, and Procedures all in one platform. Working in parallel process modes with the established system and the platform is frustrating. LIS program personnel who have bravely ventured in have brought bright lights on issues that Jura has been busily addressing. Webinars with users have clarified what’s been addressed and is being built out. A new look and feel and improved functionality is apparent in the next iteration that I’ve tested.

The Office continues to explore the feasibility of using the new ALA Connect. The capacities in that platform would open up opportunities to exchange more frequently on the fundamentals of the review process as it evolves with program need.

As always, program personnel are encouraged to attend face-to-face reviewer training at conferences as an observer or as a reviewer trainee—either is highly recommended to have an immersive experience on review expectations. You seasoned professionals are welcome to flex your knowledge and work with your dedicated colleagues as a reviewer. Acceptance to the reviewer pool is not required to attend training. All interested should reserve a seat at the training on Friday morning at the ALA Annual Conference in DC by contacting Kerri Price (more information on this session is provided in the “News and announcements” section above.) Get in touch if you’d like to register for the next online (Moodle-based) reviewer training.

Reach me at 312-280-2434 or send a note to


From the COA Chair: Perspective

By Loretta Parham, 2018-20 Chair, Committee on Accreditation, and CEO & Library Director, Atlanta University Center Woodruff Library

Accountability of the Committee on Accreditation

I have often heard it said that it is a long process and complex path to a change of policy within the American Library Association. This may be true on too many occasions. But this was not the case most recently when the Committee on Accreditation (COA) needed an immediate revision of accreditation standards in order to fulfill requirements related to the continued recognition of our accreditation program by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). Confronted with an ultimatum to change or be changed, COA with the support of the Office for Accreditation and the Executive Director of ALA was able to develop and distribute documentation and enlist advocates from within the ALA governing body, i.e., the ALA Council, in full accordance with association rules and guidelines for policy change. Following a vote of approval by the Council in January 2019, standard element V.3 Administration, Finances, and Resources was revised to better reflect an emphasis upon student support. In addition, library and information programs began their efforts to execute another change related to public information of student achievement data on program websites. No easy feat!

With little doubt, the Committee on Accreditation recognizes that more than one of the current standards may benefit from a reexamination. As stated in Accreditation Process, Policies and Procedures (AP3), the regular period for review and edits to the Standards for Accreditation of Master’s Programs in Library and Information Studies is on a 7-year cycle, marking the next standards review and revision to occur in 2022. The Committee is already focused on this upcoming revision. One strategy that COA is employing is “listening sessions.” These sessions are the first of several strategies to be implemented in preparation for the upcoming 2022 accreditation standards revision. The Committee on Accreditation, which includes public representation, working with stakeholders within the association, the profession, and affiliated professions such as archives, will consider essential skills necessary for graduates to be successful in the workplace or to further academic studies. The review will also consider program experiences with the existing standards.

We must also recognize the experiences of program faculty that bring an informative set of qualitative and quantitative data to the review of the standards and process. The environments in which program faculty operate are an obvious influencer upon the delivery of programs and the success of students.  Thus the question of whether or not those involved in the accreditation process are modeling the values and ethos of our profession within the academic workplace has to be considered.

The COA is accountable to several stakeholder groups. In addition to CHEA, the activities of COA must address the concerns and requirements of the ALA Council, of both practicing and teaching professionals, of the institutions and organizations employing librarians, and most certainly current and prospective students.

To fulfill these obligations the ALA, COA, the Association for Library and Information Science Education (ALISE), the profession, and programs that train and credential librarians and information professionals  will need to be in an open posture and accountable for changes to policies, procedures, assessment, and performance; and not just change for change sake or namesake, but change for the continued excellence of new librarians and information professionals  no matter where ultimately they are employed. 


Spotlight on process and policy

By Kerri Price, Associate Director, ALA Office for Accreditation

In each issue of Prism we focus on an aspect of process, policy, or procedure of ALA accreditation. This issue’s column looks at new developments in the world of external review panelist (ERP) and ERP chair training. If you have an idea for a future column, please send it to Kerri Price.

External review panel size and structure

External review panel size and structure has evolved in an effort to balance panelist workload, site visit schedule efficiency, and comprehensive review cost. Feedback gathered from programs, panelists, the Committee on Accreditation, and other accreditors has always informed this evolution and recently led the Office for Accreditation to return to five-person panels as the default, following a three-year experiment with variable panel sizes (from two to five panelists, depending on program size). This issue’s column examines the changes made to panel size and structure over the past 25 years and the rationales behind those changes.

Looking back to comprehensive reviews conducted under the 1992 and 2008 Standards for Accreditation of Master's Programs in Library and Information Studies, six-person panels were the norm (a chair and five additional panelists), as there were six standards to cover. Each of the six panelists took primary responsibility for one standard and served as the secondary reader on one additional standard. Through most of this time, two (or occasionally one) panelists would serve off-site, meaning that they would participate in all panel work (analyzing the Self-Study, writing the external review panel report, and participating in panel conference calls) except the site visit. This meant that any evidence verification or faculty/constituent group interviews that needed to be conducted during the site visit would be the responsibility of another on-site panelist (typically the secondary reader of the applicable standard). Panelist and program dissatisfaction with this model eventually became apparent and focused on the importance of the face-to-face aspect of site visits to gain a complete and accurate picture of the program under review. Therefore, from 2009 through 2014, six on-site panelists became the default for nearly all comprehensive reviews.

However, transitioning to six-person, all on-site panels for every review was not ideal for all programs. Since programs cover the food, travel, and lodging costs for panelists, this change increased the economic burden on small programs in particular. So, beginning in 2015, panel sizes were adjusted based on the size and needs of the program under review, with some panelists taking on more than one standard. The theory was that while panelists would take on more responsibility with regard to Self-Study analysis and ERP Report writing, there would be less ground to cover during the site visit, due to the smaller faculty and student body sizes. The complete transition of programs from the 2008 Standards to the 2015 Standards in spring 2017 helped maintain the variable panel size experiment for two more years, as there was one less standard to cover, making the panel sizes naturally smaller.

During this time period, panelists on small panels served admirably and effectively, but based on the feedback received, it became apparent that this model was unsustainable.  Regardless of program size, the work of the panel prior to the site visit (Self-Study and data analysis, in particular) is similar, so asking panelists to take on primary responsibility for more than one standard doubled their workload and took away the important function of the secondary reader. Further, smaller panel sizes increased the workload of ERP chairs, making it more difficult for them to perform their leadership/organizational duties and to provide support to first-time panelists.

By the end of last year, following discussions with the Committee on Accreditation, the Office began the process of transitioning back to five-person panels as the default panel size, beginning with the fall 2019 reviews. The Office and the Committee on Accreditation value the outstanding and dedicated pool of volunteer reviewers for the ALA accreditation process and take their concerns seriously. It has become abundantly clear that the number of standards drives the size of panels. 

Are you in the ERP pool yet?

If you’re interested in serving the profession as an external review panelist and meet the qualifications, please complete the External Review Panel Member Information Form, and stay tuned for announcements about online training opportunities and the in-person training session that will be held on Friday, June 21 at the 2019 ALA Annual Conference in Washington, DC.


In profile: Meet Candace Wells

Public members play a crucial role in the ALA accreditation process. Selected from outside the field of library and information studies, they represent the public interest. Dr. Candace Wells (Professor Emerita, Curriculum and Instruction, Wichita State University) served as a public member of the Committee on Accreditation (COA) from 2013 to 2017. In addition to her regular committee duties, she generously shared her expertise by providing instruction during training sessions for external review panelists and participating in COA open meetings. She stays involved with the ALA accreditation process by serving as a valuable voice on the feedback working group for online ERP training.

Dr. Wells recently answered some questions about her past and present professional endeavors, providing valuable insight into the accreditation process, as well as describing the qualities that make an effective reviewer.

Q: Describe your career path, including any interesting projects you’ve been involved with lately.

Wells: My career path was determined during elementary school when I was fortunate enough to be taught social studies by Mrs. Helen Shepard. My life has centered on social studies and teaching ever since. An undergraduate degree in history was followed by a master’s degree in secondary education. With credentials in hand, I taught junior high social studies on an interdisciplinary team in down state Illinois for 4 years in the mid-1970s. An adjunct position teaching social studies methods at a small liberal arts college led to a terminal degree in Curriculum and Instruction in 1980. That fall, I joined the faculty of the College of Education at Wichita State University. Over the next 31 years among many responsibilities, I was privileged to have a hand in educating some 425 middle/high school social studies teachers. In retirement, I was invited to join COA as a public member, which opened entirely new avenues of thinking about training, especially the recent addition of on-line training for ERP reviewers. Another current project is the WSU Mindstorms Competition, a robotics competition for middle-schoolers in which the youngsters not only design and make the actual robotic devises, but also document their research thinking.

Q: How did you become interested/involved in higher education accreditation? More specifically, what led you to serve on ALA’s Committee on Accreditation as a public member?

Wells: As a faculty member in both public schools and an institution of higher education, I had numerous experiences with accreditation from a participant point of view. While at Wichita State, I was invited several times to be a member of site visit teams for area public schools seeking re-accreditation. Shortly after retirement, a former colleague contacted me with the opportunity to submit a letter of interest to be a public member of COA. As she said, “You and libraries and education just go together.” Libraries have had an enormous influence in my life ever since I went to “story hour” as a 3-year-old at the Carnegie library in my hometown. I viewed serving as a public member of COA as an opportunity to pay a debt to all of those librarians who had aided me throughout my lifetime.

Q: Public members are appointed to represent the public interest. How would you characterize the public interest with regard to the accreditation of MLIS programs?

Wells: From my point of view, the public members of COA are in the role of an unenlightened, but dedicated layman. No public member on the committee has in-depth knowledge of the fields of expertise represented in MLIS programs. Our role is to seek enlightenment. Any MLIS program worthy of accreditation should be able to explain to an interested layman how a specific program meets defined standards. It is the standards that then define the public interest with the inclusion of such issues as student and faculty diversity, transparency of program alternatives and requirements, relationship of the program to other entities within the university, etc.

Q: Do you have any tips or suggestions for future public members on COA (e.g., how to familiarize yourself with the field, how to prepare for COA meetings, etc.)?

Wells: Take a course in speed-reading. I am only half joking; the amount of reading that is required of a member of COA to prepare for each committee meeting is extraordinary. Seriously, my primary tip for is to “speak up” - this is especially important for public members. At the first meeting, a public member is surrounded by experts in library science and/or information studies. It is easy to begin to let the meeting roll on around you. However, if you are not understanding the discussion or begin to believe that what is being said is not accurate, you need to speak up. Assume the role you were appointed to fulfill. After the first few times you voice an opinion or concern, you become a working member of the group.

Q: External review panels serve as the COA’s eyes and ears during the comprehensive review site visit. As a public member, you read many ERP reports and met with many ERP chairs. As a result, do you have any thoughts on the qualities that make a great reviewer?

Wells: If I were interviewing future members of an external review panel, I would be seeking individuals who are open-minded, thorough, good questioners and listeners, and extremely ethical. Each program approaches the standards differently; therefore open-mindedness is necessary as no one approach is absolute. Serving on an ERP is an extremely challenging task; therefore thoroughness is needed to accomplish diverse tasks well and on time. Any reviewer needs to ask good questions and then listen carefully to the answers to those questions. Finally, ethical behavior is a requirement for the satisfactory, successful completion of the accreditation process in any organization.

Q: Of the changes to process and policies that COA made during your service, such as designing the ERP report template and changes to the conduct of meetings with programs, how did those or other changes affect your experience?

Wells: During my term on COA, the changes in process and policies facilitated the ease of completion of the review process. The development of templates, not only for the ERP report, but also for the review by COA members of those reports focused the time spent on the task. The defining of the agenda and time limits for the COA meeting with programs, not only provided the programs with a set of clear guidelines, but also added clarity to the COA agenda.

Q: What are some of your hobbies and interests?

Wells: First and foremost, I am a reader! Although I have a Kindle and use it, I still love the feel of a “real” book. From cookbooks to historical fiction to poetry to old magazines at the dentist’s office, I read it all. Secondly, I have collected dollhouse miniatures since Santa Claus left me an assortment of dollhouse furniture when I was 7 years old. As I have grown older, my collecting has become more focused on handcrafted treasures. Finally I love to cook! Not always successfully, but always with good cheer.

Q: What are the last two good books you’ve read (one professional and one pleasure read)?

Wells: One of the joys of retirement is that professional and pleasure reading have merged into just “what do I want to read?” My first recommendation is Educated: A Memoir by Tara Westover (Penguin Random House, 2018). At my branch library of the Wichita system, staff members at times post their personal preferences in reading material for patrons to consider. Educated caught my eye as one of those suggested books and provided me with an intriguing few days of reading as I was transported into a world that was totally unfamiliar to me. My second nomination for a good read is the just released Run Away (Grand Central Publishing, 2019) by one of my “it’s worth paying full Kindle price” authors, Harlan Coben. I have been reading Coben’s novels since his Myron Bolitar books kept me reading far into the night. Run Away addresses modern topics (drug addition, cult worship) through the eyes of a distraught father. As always with Coben the plot twists never end.


External review panelists acknowledged

External review panelists contribute substantial time and effort to the accreditation process to assure quality in LIS education. We extend our appreciation to the following panelists who served on accreditation reviews during the fall 2018 academic term.


  • Denice Adkins, Associate Professor, School of Information Science and Learning Technologies, University of Missouri
  • Richard AmRhein, Vice President for Community and Government Relations and Chief of Staff, President's Office, Valparaiso University
  • Jennifer Weil Arns, Associate Professor, School of Library and Information Science, University of South Carolina
  • Mary E. Helms, Head, Strategic Initiatives, McGoogan Library of Medicine, University of Nebraska Medical Center
  • Jennifer K. Sweeney, Senior Analyst, Smith & Lehmann; Adjunct Faculty, College of Information Science and Technology, Drexel University


  • Hermina G.B. Anghelescu, Interim Director and Professor, School of Information Sciences, Wayne State University
  • Kenneth-Roy Bonin, Senior Fellow, Faculty of Public Affairs, Carleton University
  • Mary Cavanagh, Associate Professor, School of Information Studies, University of Ottawa
  • H. Frank Cervone, Executive Director of Information Technology, School of Public Health, University of Illinois at Chicago
  • Cheryl Rae Dee, Adjunct Professor, School of Information, San Jose State University
  • Peter Deekle, Dean of University Libraries (retired), Roger Williams University
  • Patricia R. Evans, Research/Technology Librarian, Supreme Court of the United States Library
  • John B. Harer, Associate Professor, Library Science Degree Program, Department of Interdisciplinary Professions, East Carolina University
  • Lisa Hinchliffe, Coordinator for Information Literacy Services and Professor, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • Margaret K. Maes, Executive Director (retired), Legal Information Preservation Alliance
  • Lynne McKechnie, Professor, Faculty of Information & Media Studies, University of Western Ontario
  • Rae-Anne Montague, Assistant Professor, Department of Information Studies, Chicago State University
  • Sheri Ross, Associate Professor, Master of Library and Information Science Program, St. Catherine University
  • Dany Savard, Bilingual Reference Instruction Librarian, Frost Library, York University
  • Catherine Arnott Smith, Professor, Information School, University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • Shali Zhang, Dean of Libraries, Auburn University


AASL-CAEP recognition news

ALA policy B.9.2.2 states: "The master's degree in librarianship from a program accredited by the American Library Association or a master’s degree with a specialty in school librarianship from an ALA/AASL Nationally Recognized program in an educational unit accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation is the appropriate first professional degree for school librarians."

Fall 2018 AASL recognition decisions

The following programs, which are part of a CAEP-accredited education unit, received AASL National Recognition or National Recognition with Conditions during the fall 2018 semester. National Recognition is awarded to education master’s programs in school librarianship that have been reviewed and approved by AASL's program reviewers using the ALA/AASL Standards for Initial Preparation of School Librarians (2010).

  • Appalachian State University, Master of Library Science
  • East Central University, Master of Library Media
  • Minnesota State University - Mankato, Master of Science, School Library and Information Studies
  • University of Houston - Clear Lake, Master of Science, School Library and Information Science
  • William Paterson University, MEd in Curriculum and Learning, School Library Media Concentration

Fall 2018 reviewers

We extend our appreciation to the following program reviewers and auditors who served during the fall 2018 semester:

  • Susan D. Ballard, Vice President, National Collaborative for Digital Equity
  • Mary Ann Berry, Retired/Adjunct, Department of Library Science, Sam Houston State University
  • Judy Bivens, Accreditation Co-Director and MLIS Program Coordinator, Trevecca Nazarene University
  • Angela P. Branyon, Assistant Professor, Educational Technology and Foundations, University of West Georgia
  • Elizabeth A. Burns, Assistant Professor, Dept. of STEM Education and Professional Studies, Old Dominion University
  • Naomi R. Caldwell, Associate Professor and Coordinator, Library Education Media Program, Alabama State University
  • Kelli A. Carney, Assistant Professor of Library Media, Curriculum and Instruction Department, Northeastern State University
  • Audrey P. Church, Coordinator, School Library Media Program, Longwood University
  • Patsy M. Couts, Professor, Advanced Professional Services, College of Education and Professional Studies, University of Central Oklahoma
  • Sherry Crow, Professor of School Library Science, Teacher Education, College of Education, University of Nebraska at Kearney
  • April M. Dawkins, Assistant Professor, Department of Library and Information Studies, University of North Carolina - Greensboro
  • Gail Dickinson, Associate Dean, Darden College of Education, Old Dominion University
  • Gail Formanack, Executive Director, Eastern Library System
  • Sarah Meghan Harper, Professor & K-12 School Library Media Concentration Coordinator, School of Information, Kent State University
  • Nancy J. Keane, Library Media Specialist (retired), Rundlett Middle School
  • Ramona N. Kerby, Professor, School Library Media Program, McDaniel College
  • Melanie A. Lewis, Assistant Professor in Media, College of Education, University of West Georgia
  • Vandy Pacetti-Donelson, Director of the Library, United States Sports Academy
  • Rebecca J. Pasco, Professor and Coordinator, Library Science Education Programs, University of Nebraska at Omaha
  • Ellen M. Pozzi, Assistant Professor, William Paterson University
  • Brenda F. Pruitt-Annisette, Coordinator, Media Services, Fulton County Schools Library
  • Michelle Robertson, Instructor, College of Education and Professional Studies, University of Central Oklahoma


The next issue of Prism will be published in November 2019. Stay tuned!
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