Immersion - Program Track


The Immersion ’17 Program Track focuses on developing, integrating, and managing institutional and programmatic information literacy programs. Participants selected for the Program Track will develop background studies in advance of the Immersion program. Change dynamics, systems thinking, institutional outcomes assessment, scalability, and leadership development will be brought to bear on analyzing the various programmatic challenges presented in the background studies. Immersion participants will build on their background studies to create a program plan and strategic actions for implementation at their home institution.

"I learned a lot from the instructors and the members of my cohort. Immersion was a great opportunity to build a sense of community and togetherness with other instruction librarians" ~ Program Track participant

Learning outcomes
The Immersion program curriculum will provide theories, tools, and strategies to build your capabilities in these outcome areas but the faculty expect that your mastery of each of these outcomes may require additional time, application and practice after the completion of the formal program.  After participating in the 4.5 day Immersion Program Track program, a participant will be able to:

  • Regularly analyze the campus and higher education environment in order to design an information literacy program that aligns with and contributes to institutional mission and outcomes.
  • Engage in ongoing reflective practice in order to create and sustain renewal and growth of information literacy program development and leadership.
  • Exercise leadership within the library and throughout campus in order to strategically influence library, curricular, and instructional decisions and develop partnerships for educational transformation.
  • Exercise program- and system-level thinking in order to develop the capacity necessary to accomplish an information literacy mission.
  • Value risk-taking and looking for the second-right answer in order to engage in the creative process.
  • Develop a culture of assessment and continuous learning in order to capitalize on strengths as well as opportunities for change.
  • Develop and articulate a personal perspective on information literacy in order to make its applications to professional and personal life effective and meaningful.

These outcomes will be achieved through inquiry and examination of the following areas of the curriculum:

  • Information Literacy
    The information literacy segment of the Immersion Program will examine the evolving educational role of academic librarians with particular emphasis on understanding information literacy as an educational reform movement. Frameworks for conceptualizing information literacy (typologies, research-based models, and national standards) will be presented to assist participants in exploring and refining their own understanding of what information literacy means. Implementation issues will be addressed with particular emphasis on how information literacy relates to critical thinking.
  • Leadership (working within the academic environment)
    The Leadership segment of the Immersion Program will focus on developing and sharpening leadership skills for instruction librarians so they can shape the role of the library in the transformation of higher education. Participants will assess their own leadership skills and explore definitions and practices of leadership. They will become familiar with tools of leadership, including personal and organizational vision, systems thinking, and cultivating campus partnerships. Techniques for the continuing development of leadership skills will be suggested. Emphasis will be placed on developing the participants' image of themselves as leaders and change agents.

  • Learning Theory
    The learning theory segment of the Immersion Program will emphasize the educational and psychological theories that underlie effective teaching practices. Participants will review various theories of learning and the classroom applications based on these theories such as self-directed learning, collaborative and active learning models and conceptual frameworks. They will also be exposed to the literature on learning styles with an eye toward practical classroom applications of this body of research. Special emphasis will be placed on the process of developing instructional goals and objectives to meet a particular instructional need.

  • Teaching (making the connection between theory and practice)
    This segment of the Immersion Program will engage participants in the exploration of a variety of factors that produce effective delivery of instruction, including presentation style, effective vocal technique, facilities utilization, learning technology applications, and practical strategies for student engagement in the learning process. Emphasis will be placed on developing practical skills and flexible repertoires for teacher effectiveness in the learning environment. Relevant readings and design activities will be used.

  • Assessment
    Evaluating the effectiveness of library instruction will be another key component of the Immersion Program. How do we know that students are achieving the information literacy we strive for? What difference does library instruction make in a student's overall academic success? What is outcomes assessment and what does it mean for library instruction? Are our overall program goals being met? How can library instruction fit into overall institutional assessment and accreditation? Participants will begin to examine their own teaching effectiveness by examining the learning of their students. Formal and informal techniques to assess student progress will be considered. "Good teaching means good learning" will be the underlying theory.

  • Program Management
    This segment of the Institute is designed to encourage participants to look anew at the programs they are hoping to develop on their campuses. Distinctions are made between the development of the program as a whole and the development of its many parts. Attention will be paid to the various needs of the several campus constituents, and to the myriad campus resources.

  • Case studies and action plans
    Participants selected for the Program Track will develop a case study of their programmatic environment as a prelude to the creation of an action plan at the Immersion Program. The action plan will be a possible solution to a programmatic need identified in the case study. Guidelines for both the case study and the action plan will be provided to successful applicants.

Program Details

Dates and location
July 23-28, 2017
Champlain College
Burlington, Vermont

Registration fee
ACRL member: $1,895
Non ACRL member: $1,995

Registration includes

  • tuition
  • all meals during the program dates
  • twice-daily refreshment breaks
  • private online course and discussion list for all participants and faculty

Immersion Program participants are invited to stay in lodging on the Champlain College campus.  Approximate rates range from $40-70 per night, depending on the room type.

How to Apply

All Immersion programs establish a learning community in which participants contribute to the success of the program through active engagement. Participation is limited to ensure an environment that fosters group interaction and active participation. A competitive application process will be used to select participants. The ACRL Immersion Program Committee reviews and selects participants.

Please read through the instructions below thoroughly before you start the application process.

Application Deadline
Monday, December 5, 2016

Application Instructions

1. Review the Characteristics for Successful Applicants and Program Track rubric before you start the online application form.  We also invite you to watch the Q+A webcast with tips for Immersion applicants.

2. Writing the essays and responding to questions, arranging for funding and requesting letters of reference and support all take time. You are encouraged to begin early, and to prepare and submit your materials as soon as possible. Once you have begun the online application form, you can revisit your statements as many times as needed until they are complete and ready to submit. The deadline cannot be extended due to last minute illnesses or emergencies.

3. Have the following information prepared before you begin your online application form:

  • Contact information
  • Work experience
  • Presentations and publications
  • Letters of reference. Two letters of reference are needed. Reference letters should be in English and should be made out to the "Immersion Program Committee." You will need to cut and paste the reference letter text into your application.

    Letter One: Letter from your library dean, director, or current supervisor who can address the commitment of the institution to information literacy, your role in that process, and confirm that you as the applicant are motivated and positioned to enact change to the institution’s information literacy program.

    Letter Two: From a campus administrator or faculty member outside the library who can address how Immersion '17 will further institutional information literacy goals.
  • Candidate statements
    Part One: The Program Track focuses on skills and concepts related to successfully developing information literacy programs and managing institutional change.  In a 500-word statement, describe your contributions to information literacy initiatives, specifically highlighting your innovation, leadership, and advocacy for teaching and learning.  Reflect upon lessons learned from experiences in which you took initiative, followed through, and implemented change with regard to information literacy.

    Part Two: For each of the following three topics, write a 200-300 word statement addressing relevant issues.

    1. Explain how the culture of your library and your campus affects your information literacy programming efforts and describe library or campus initiatives that will further information literacy goals.

    2. Describe which of the Immersion learning outcomes will match or strengthen your institution’s information literacy program.

    3. Led by Immersion faculty, Program Track participants actively and collaboratively contribute to an environment that encourages learning, reflection, creativity, and risk-taking. How would you benefit from and contribute to this community?

4. Access the online application form (available October 2016).  You may save an incomplete application, and edit or add additional information before the submission deadline date. An ID number and password will be assigned to you when you submit your proposal. Be sure to print your ID number and password and keep them in a safe place; you will need these in order to edit the proposal at a future time.

5. Please note that Immersion is an individual application process, and acceptance into the program is for an individual applicant. There is no institutional ownership of an accepted-applicant slot, and if for some reason, an accepted applicant cannot attend, another person from that institution may not be substituted. The next accepted applicant on the ranked waiting list will be offered the slot.

Notifications will be issued via e-mail in February 2017.

Questions may be directed to Margot Conahan,, 312-280-2522.