I.2 Accreditation terminology

The following key terms are used throughout this document.

Key terms used in this document
Chair The chairperson of the External Review Panel (ERP).
Dean The chief academic officer (dean, director, or chair) of a school.
Director The Director of the Office for Accreditation.
Program Refers only to the program(s) of study leading to an accredited LIS master's degree. A school may offer degree programs not accredited by the ALA, such as undergraduate, other master’s, post-master’s, or doctoral programs. The ALA Committee on Accreditation accredits programs, not schools.
School The administrative unit offering one or more programs in library and information studies.
Standards The Standards for Accreditation of Master’s Programs in Library and Information Studies, the essential features of accredited library and information studies programs. The Standards are developed by the COA and approved by ALA Council.
Visit or site visit The part of a comprehensive review in which members of an ERP visit the school and institution to validate and augment the information contained in the Program Presentation. Most visits are conducted as on-site visits in which members of the ERP travel to the program location. This document is written from that perspective. However, alternative approaches, such as virtual visits, may also be used, following consultation with the COA and the ERP Chair.


See the Glossary of Accreditation Terminology for a comprehensive list.