II.6 Organization and format of the Program Presentation

The Program Presentation should be organized as follows:

  • Required basic information about the program and its context (See Section II.6.1)
  • Concise explanation and supporting evidence of compliance with each of the standards in order (See Sections II.6.2, II.6.3, and II.6.4)
  • Synthesis and overview (See Section II.6.5)

II.6.1 Required information

The following basic information is required in every Program Presentation:

  • Declaration form signed by the chief academic officer (CAO) of the institution and the CAO of the master's program in library and information studies. Send one copy to the Office with shipment of program presentations for COA;
  • The full name of the unit organized and maintained by the institution for the purpose of graduate education in library and information studies. This unit is referred to in the Standards as the “school of library and information studies.” (Standards, Introduction);
  • The name and a brief description of the program(s) being presented for accreditation by the COA;
  • The name and current title of the dean of the school, and, if applicable, the chair of the LIS program;
  • The full name of the institution, with names and titles of the chief executive officer (CEO) and the CAO, including the institutional administrator to whom the dean of the school reports;
  • The name of the regional accrediting agency that accredits the institution;
  • The current status of the institution with regard to regional accreditation;
  • The title and version of the Standards addressed in the Program Presentation (i.e., Standards for Accreditation of Master’s Programs in Library and Information Studies, 2008).

II.6.2 Addressing the Standards for Accreditation

The Standards recognize and foster the individuality of institutions, schools, and programs and the many ways to identify programmatic excellence in library and information studies. At the same time, the Standards “identify the indispensable components of library and information studies programs” (Standards, Introduction). Thus, every Program Presentation must address the common characteristics of LIS programs as described in the Standards in light of the mission, goals, and objectives of the institution, school, and program.

The COA requires that the Program Presentation address compliance with each standard and its elements in order. The COA does not, however, require that all Program Presentations be alike. The document must be concise yet complete and include narrative statements that are supported by clearly identifiable evidence and data.

Because individuals who are not completely familiar with the program, school, and institution will evaluate the program, the document should present information in such a manner so that readers external to the program are able to identify the relevant information and evidence when evaluating the Program Presentation against the Standards. The document should include descriptions and analysis of the program and areas of strength, challenge, and change.

The Program Presentation must demonstrate the ongoing planning, evaluation, and assessment used by the school and program to ensure continued conformity to the Standards. The document must provide evidence that the program is meeting the mission, goals, and objectives of the program, school, and institution. The relationship between the mission, goals, and objectives of the program should be related to those of the school and the institution.

II.6.3 Presenting evidence

The Program Presentation must contain analysis and evidence that demonstrates compliance with the Standards. The program should give careful consideration to the kinds of evidence to include in the Program Presentation. Section II.6.4 provides examples of some of the evidence needed; it is not exhaustive. The examples are presented for the purpose of stimulating thought regarding the evidence a school will choose to support its demonstration of compliance with the Standards. It is also likely that each school will have forms of evidence unique to its own mission, program, and institution. The items in Section II.6.4 represent areas:

  • That the program will want to address in its Program Presentation;
  • That the ERP frequently inquires about and has expectations of receiving answers;
  • About which the Committee on Accreditation frequently has questions.

Not all evidence need be present in the Program Presentation. Evidence such as samples of student records*, student projects, meeting minutes, and/or faculty publications may be made available on site to the members of the ERP. Other evidence, such as syllabi, curriculum vitae, institutional policies, faculty handbooks, and admissions criteria, should be made available in electronic format as appendices. In all cases, it should be clearly stated where the information is presented: in the text of the document, in appendices, or on site.

* Note regarding confidentiality of records from the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), Section 99.35(b)(1), Redisclosure of education records by Federal and State officials: “The final regulations also allow State and Federal officials to redisclose education records under other exceptions listed in § 99.31(a), including disclosures to an accrediting agency.”

II.6.4 Examples of evidence that might be used to indicate compliance with the Standards for Accreditation

This list provides examples of some of the evidence that is typically needed; it is not exhaustive. The examples are presented for the purpose of stimulating thought regarding the evidence a school will choose to support its demonstration of compliance with the Standards. It is also likely that each school will have forms of evidence unique to its own mission, program, and institution.

I. Mission, Goals, and Objectives

  • Publicly available statements of program mission, goals, and objectives
  • Publicly available statements of program-level student learning outcomes
  • Publicly available results of assessment of student learning outcomes
  • Publicly available statements of institutional mission, goals, objectives, and strategic planning
  • Program-level strategic planning documents mapped to school, college, and university planning processes
  • Materials relating to implementation of the strategic planning process
  • Description of the constituents that the program serves
  • Statements of the knowledge, competencies, and professional ethics imparted to students and the means by which the program measures and revises these outcomes
  • Statements that explain the relationship of the school’s and program’s goals to those of the institution
  • Chart of the organizational structure from the institutional to program level
  • Committee structure with membership; notes or minutes of meetings

II. Curriculum

  • Syllabi for all active courses
  • Table of course numbers and descriptions, including locations and/or forms of delivery
  • Table of course rotation schedule, spanning the years since the last review through what is planned for the future
  • Table of areas of concentration/career pathways with required and elective courses
  • Brief descriptions of experiential opportunities
  • Descriptions of the curriculum development and review processes, including the people involved
  • Sample student plans of study
  • Representative samples of student work, including papers, presentations, projects, portfolios, and capstone results
  • Student and/or employer assessment of internship or practicum experiences
  • Results of student follow-up surveys regarding the effectiveness of the educational experiences
  • Evidence of the rate and types of employment of program graduates
  • Documentation of the use of relevant knowledge and competency statements in the development and review of the curriculum
  • Table of courses and educational opportunities mapped to relevant elements in Standard II

III. Faculty

  • Table of all faculty (full time, part time, shared, and adjunct) with names, status, teaching load, courses taught, delivery mode, research areas, and service engagement
  • Curricula vitae for all faculty
  • The institution’s and the school’s policies on recruitment and retention of a diverse faculty, and data reflecting implementation of the policies
  • Faculty personnel and governance policies and procedures
  • The school’s faculty evaluation policy, data reflecting its implementation, and data reflecting the use of the results of evaluations
  • Materials relating to faculty development opportunities
  • Descriptions and representative samples of faculty research and other scholarly activities

IV. Students

  • The school’s policies for recruiting, admission, placement, and retention of students
  • Data reflecting implementation of above policies
  • Materials used in student recruitment
  • Policies and procedures for waiving any admission standard or prerequisite
  • Financial aid policy and data reflecting assistance made available
  • Description of support for distance learning students
  • Description of student advising procedures
  • Progression and graduation data
  • Descriptions of student organizations and activities
  • Sample student plans of study

V. Administration and Financial Support

  • Materials and data on the school’s financial structure: budgets, budget analysis, and data reflecting the use of the analysis
  • Organizational charts for the program, the school/college of which the program is a part, and the institution
  • Description of relationship of school and program to the institution with regard to autonomy, support and resources
  • Minutes of meetings: faculty, committee, advisory, etc.
  • Information on availability of funds for research, professional development, travel, leaves with pay, and student financial aid
  • Information on administrative personnel: demographics, salaries, curricula vitae, and other data compared to similar units in the institution
  • The school’s evaluation policy for administrative personnel, data reflecting its implementation, and data reflecting the use of the results of evaluations
  • Descriptions of institution-wide opportunities for faculty, staff, and student participation

VI. Physical Resources and Facilities

  • Facilities map or floor plans, including satellite facilities
  • Description of ADA compliance for all relevant facilities
  • Information on the library that supports the school and program: budget, collections, service, usage data
  • Information on library support and access to materials and other resources for distance education students and faculty
  • Descriptions of technology resources: support services, computer labs and equipment, faculty and staff computing equipment, network resources
  • Information on technology support for distance education students and faculty
  • Description of institutional facilities available to faculty, students, and staff

II.6.5 Synthesis and overview

The final section of the Program Presentation synthesizes the principal character, strengths, limitations, and challenges of the school and program. This summary concisely reiterates the evidence for compliance with the Standards. It may also describe unique features, and the culture and context of the program, school, or institution in order to improve understanding of the program.

II.6.6 Format requirements

The Program Presentation should be prepared in accordance with a recognized style manual. In alignment with ALA practices, the COA recommends The Chicago Manual of Style, although the program is free to choose a different style manual as long as it is followed consistently throughout.

The final Program Presentation should be prepared as follows:

Print version with:

  • Table of contents
  • Numbered pages
  • Double-sided printing or copying
  • Binding that allows document to lie flat when opened
  • Margins and font selection that follow the guidelines of the chosen style manual
  • Appendices should not be included in the print version


Electronic version (flash drive) with:

  • PDF of printed Program Presentation
  • All appendices
    • In separate file(s) from the Program Presentation
    • A table of contents for the appendices, listing document name, file name, and a brief description (i.e., Appendix A, appendix_a.pdf, SLIS Committee Structure)
  • Electronic file names should be concise and indicative of the content of the document (i.e., appendix_a.pdf or program_presentation.pdf)

Instructions regarding number of copies and distribution are sent to the program approximately three months before the due date of the final Program Presentation.