Prism: the Office for Accreditation newsletter, Fall 2022

prism masthead

Fall 2022, Volume 30, Number 2 • ISSN 1066-7873 • Susana Stoll, editor
Comments, questions, and suggestions are welcomed. Please contact us at accred@ala.org

In this issue:  
ALA accreditation by the numbers Spring 2022
News and announcements Previous Editions
COA announces accreditation actions
From the Director of the Office: Of Note
From the CoA Chair: Perspective
In profile: Courtney McDonald
External Review Panelists acknowledged
AASL-CAEP recognition news

 


Accreditation by the numbers

68 ALA-accredited programs
64 institutions with ALA-accredited programs
35 U.S. states (including Washington, DC, and Puerto Rico) with ALA-accredited programs
5 Canadian provinces with ALA-accredited programs
42 ALA-accredited programs offering 100% online programs †
1 Program with candidacy status
19,997 total students enrolled in ALA-accredited programs in fall 2020 *
 6,956 graduates of ALA-accredited programs during the 2019-2020 academic year *

† As identified by the programs
* As reported by programs to the Office for Accreditation 

 


News and announcements

Interim Reporting

The annual email with instructions for regular interim reporting was sent to program-designated contacts (heads of programs and those designated by program to also copy) on November 10, 2022. Any head of a program who has not received the emailed instructions should contact the Office at accred@ala.org. The Committee on Accreditation (COA) will review the reports in preparation for its Spring 2023 Meeting (April 20-21, 2023) and prepare a response at that time. The Accreditation Process, Policies, and Procedures (AP3) [docx] manual has guidance on interim reporting. 
 

Leadership Updates
To report leadership changes affecting an ALA-accredited program, fill out the Leadership Update Form and email it to accred@ala.org.

 

Annual Accreditation Fees
Annual accreditation fee invoices were emailed to heads of programs at the beginning of October. Questions on an invoice go to the Office at accred@ala.org.

 

Update on the 2022 Proposed Revision to the ALA Standards
The first proposed draft revision of the ALA 2015 Standards for Accreditation of Master's Programs in Library and Information Studies was released for comment to the public on April 4, 2022. The Office and the Committee on Accreditation (CoA), especially its Subcommittee on Standards Review, extend sincere thanks to all stakeholders who have provided feedback thus far. A second revision is being prepared for release following the CoA Fall Meeting, November 17-18, 2022. The proposed revision is available from this link: https://www.ala.org/aboutala/2022-update-ala-standards-accreditation-mas...


COA announces accreditation actions

At the COA meeting at the 2022 ALA Annual Conference

Continued Accreditation status was granted to the following programs with the next comprehensive review visit scheduled to take place in spring 2029.

Master of Library and Information Science at Louisiana State University. Follow-up reporting required on October 1, 2022, and March 1, 2023 in Special Reports, regarding LSU Online: Provide any written policies on the relationship between programs and LSU Online, including website content and communication with prospective and current students. Describe how this relationship works in practice between LSU Online and SLIS. Identify 1) Where the authority resides for making final decisions regarding public information about the accredited program, and 2) How and by whose authority a comprehensive description of the accredited program is made available. Such comprehensive information would include program requirements that enable prospective and current students to make well-informed decisions. Provide updates on faculty hires and efforts to balance uneven workloads, especially regarding student advising. Provide evidence of adequate support for a growing body of students, especially for the school librarianship specialization (II.3, III.1, IV.5.3). on Standards I.1 (program's mission and goals pursued through implementation of an ongoing, broad-based, systematic planning process), I.1.4 (communication of planning policies and processes to program constituents), II.3 (curriculum provides opportunity for students to construct coherent programs of study), II.5 (procedures for continual evaluation of curriculum), II.6 (documented evidence to substantiate evaluation of curriculum), III.1 (faculty capable of accomplishing program objectives), III.6 (faculty with diversity of backgrounds and skills and an intellectual environment that enhances the accomplishment of program objectives), IV.5.3 (students receive academic and career advisement and consultation), IV.6 (applies the results of evaluation of student achievement to program development), IV.7 (documented evidence to substantiate the evaluation of student learning outcomes), and V.1 (program is an integral yet distinctive academic unit within institution). Subsequent Special Report due by March 1, 2023: Describe the student services offered to SLIS Online students by SLIS or the University to meet their needs and how they compare to services offered to LSU Online students (IV.5.4) Provide updates on a broad-based systematic planning process that involves all constituencies the program seeks to serve (I.1, I.1.4) Show that evaluation of the curriculum includes input from representatives from those served including “students, employers, alumni, and other constituents”) (II.5). Demonstrate that the program has the “administrative infrastructure, financial support, and resources to ensure that its goals and objectives can be accomplished,” including availability of institutional information to address the lack of compliance with the above mentioned standards (V.1).

Master of Science in Library Science and Master of Science Information Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Meets all standards. No follow-up reporting required.

Master of Library and Information Science at San Jose State University. Meets all standards. No follow-up reporting required.

Master of Science in Information Studies at the University of Texas at Austin. Meets all standards. No follow-up reporting required.

Master of Library and Information Studies at the University of Oklahoma. Meets all standards. No follow-up reporting required. 

 


From the Director of the Office: Of Note

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

Working remotely for more than two years now during the pandemic has helped hone innovative approaches to the review process, training, and all the meetings it involves. Reviewers and the Committee on Accreditation (CoA/ the Committee) continue navigating this remote terrain to great effect. Library and information studies programs are showing an enhanced ability to provide narrative and supporting data coherently by virtual means. Approaches such as brief encrypted video conference sessions are being employed to provide sensitive information normally shared in person.  Programs that accepted the CoA offer to pause the visit schedule for a year proceeded in remote mode to successfully conduct virtual visits to conclude their comprehensive reviews. 
    
This fall we welcome to the Committee three accomplished professionals with significant accreditation experience: 

  • Denice Adkins (Professor, University of Missouri School of Information Science and Learning Technologies) 
  • Pauletta Brown Bracy (Professor and Director of the Office of University Accreditation, North Carolina Central University)
  • Iris M. Lee (Head of Access Services, Burns Law Library, George Washington University)

Athena Salaba (Professor, Kent State University, School of Information) has been appointed Chair of the CoA in the fourth and final year of her CoA term. Don’t miss her inaugural column Perspective in this edition. She will continue the focus with the CoA Subcommittee on Policy and Planning on the 2022 update to the Process, Policies, and Procedures (AP3) [docx] manual as the Standards revision goes forward with the hope of having it to the ALA Council for adoption at the 2023 ALA Annual Conference. 

A working group of ALA and the Association for Library and Information Science Education (ALISE) members is forming to provide guidance on addressing equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI). Its guidance will be useful for the Standards revision and  for the revision of the AP3 manual to which LIS programs are held accountable in conjunction with the Standards.  The Standards update revision draft includes this emphasis on EDI in each of the standards: …because of their importance when framing goals and objectives, designing curricula, selecting and retaining faculty and students, and allocating resources. These elements in the proposed revision in particular address this: 

Standard I:  Systematic Planning

The program’s implementation of an ongoing, broad-based systematic planning process involves the constituencies that the program seeks to serve and results in improvements to and innovations in the program.  
I.1.  Mission and goals. The mission and goals of the unit and the educational program incorporate values of equity, diversity, and inclusion. The program’s goals are consistent with the values of the parent institution and foster quality education. 

Standard II: Student Learning Outcomes and Curriculum

The student learning outcomes that students who complete the program achieve, including descriptions of different courses of study, specializations, or other variations and the evaluation of attainment of outcomes collectively across the program.   
II.1.  Ethics and values. Student learning outcomes and curriculum are designed to incorporate the philosophy, principles, and ethics of the field, including the values of equity, diversity, and inclusion, and relevant professional codes of ethics.  

Standard III: Faculty

The faculty who supports the program: their qualifications, achievements relevant to the program, evaluation of performance, and professional development. 
III.1. Faculty diversity. The recruitment, development, and advancement of all faculty reflect the values of equity, diversity, and inclusion.   

Standard IV: Students

The processes and systems which recruit, retain, and support students and prospective students, including the evaluation and continuous improvement of those processes and systems. 
IV.1.  Student diversity. Student recruitment, retention, and support systems address student needs in a global and diverse society, explicitly advancing equity, diversity, and inclusion.   

Standard V: Infrastructure

The administrative, financial, physical, and technological resources and services which support student learning and enable program learning outcomes to be achieved, including the evaluation of such resources and services for continuous improvement.   
V.1. Values underlying infrastructure. Resources and services that affect the program incorporate values of equity, diversity, and inclusion.  Fiscal resources are distributed equitably in accordance with institutional and unit missions. 

 

The CoA Subcommittee on Policy and Planning will also continue work on a template for the Self-Study as the Standards revision process concludes. By way of the revised Standards and advice from the EDI working group, a much-improved AP3 is on the way. Stay tuned!  


From the CoA Chair: Perspective

By Athena Salaba, 2022-23 Chair, Committee on Accreditation (Professor, School of Information, Kent State University)

It is an honor and a privilege to serve as Chair of the Committee on Accreditation (CoA/ the Committee) in my fourth and final year of appointment. I have served as an external review panelist as well as a chair and have been involved in preparing accreditation reports and program self-studies for the School of Information at Kent State University, gaining a lot of valuable experience with accreditation policies, standards, and accredited programs. 

Perhaps the most important project the Committee has underway this year is a culmination of the ongoing review of the Standards for Accreditation of Master's Programs in Library and Information Studies, 2015 edition. The Committee released a revision draft that attempts to address the needs of the profession, reduce redundancy, clarify expectations, and that places increased emphasis on a program’s demonstrated efforts and outcomes for equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI). The Committee has gathered feedback via survey, forums, and through engagement with a variety of groups of stakeholders. The revisions have been well-received, helping confirm that the changes are on track. The Committee wants to thank those who provided feedback to the draft revisions of the standards. A joint working group of ALA and the Association for Library and Information Science Education (ALISE) is forming to provide advice to LIS programs on addressing the Standards. The work underway by CoA to provide a self-study template continues and can proceed to conclusion once the Standards revision is adopted by ALA Council. 

I welcome your comments and questions during my 2022-2023 term as Chair of CoA. Feel free to contact the ALA Office for Accreditation at accred@ala.org to reach me on accreditation matters.
 


In profile: Courtney McDonald

Associate Professor and User Experience Librarian, University of Colorado Boulder

Q. Describe your career path, including any interesting projects you have been involved with lately.
I guess I started my library career path when I worked as a page at my local public library in high school! Upon finishing my BA in English, it dawned on me that libraries would be a great career for a word nerd, so I got my Master of Library Science degree at Indiana University Bloomington (when we were still SLIS!), and as part of my graduate assistantship supervised one of the dorm libraries. My first professional positions were in Chicago, first as part of the University of Illinois at Chicago Library Residency program and then at DePaul University, where I was the Assistant Coordinator of Instruction & Online Learning and simultaneously earned a Master of Science in Human-Computer Interaction. From there, I headed back to IU Libraries, where as Head of Digital User Experience, I was part of the development and launch of a new open source statewide public catalog interface and oversaw the libraries’ website, among other projects. Since 2018, I’ve been part of the faculty at the University of Colorado Boulder Libraries, as Associate Professor and User Experience Librarian. I love that my job allows me to really connect with people and to think deeply about how our services, resources and spaces can meet needs but also bring delight.

Q. When, why, and/or how did you initially become interested in serving as an accreditation external reviewer?
As an alumni and adjunct, I attended a meeting for my program’s accreditation and thought, Wow! How interesting, and what a great, direct, constructive way to participate in the future of our profession. 

Q. Do you have any thoughts on the qualities that make an effective review panelist?
As the ERP’s primary responsibility is to gather evidence, I think open-mindedness and objectivity are key – allowing the culture of the program and its practices in support of the Standards to come out clearly. It’s also important to prioritize being a good listener and active team member. 

Q. As a fairly new panelist, what advice would you give to new review panelists?
Allow yourself plenty of time to spend with the self-study draft, to prepare for the visit, and to wrap up afterward. For my first panel, it took me more time with the documents to feel ready for our ERP meetings and for the visit. Reach out to your ERP chair when you have questions and share candidly about the areas where you might feel less prepared – my ERP chairs and colleagues have been so helpful and generous with their advice and insight. Share your drafts for early feedback. And enjoy the time you have onsite! It’s a wonderful opportunity to connect with and learn from colleagues.

Q. What do you feel is the most important aspect of preparing for a comprehensive review? For programs and for reviewers?
I’d say being very familiar with the Standards, for both parties. For programs, being mindful that the reviewers aren’t a local audience. We all get used to our day-to-day details so being sure to step back, explain fully, and provide that context and that evidence. For reviewers, really having absorbed what’s in the self-study and knowing where you need to focus during the visit.

Q. What advice would you give someone involved in working on a program’s comprehensive review for the first time? For programs and for reviewers?
Call upon the advice of folks who’ve completed the process before, and of course the wonderful folks at the Office of Accreditation! I can’t say enough how grateful I am for what I've learned from my experienced colleagues. 

Q. Do you have any general observations about the accreditation process that you’d like to share?
Participating in the accreditation process has really brought all the pieces together for me, as an alumnus of a program, an adjunct, a practicing librarian and supervisor of ILS graduate students, and a faculty member. I’ve met some truly wonderful people and I always come home inspired!

Q. What are two good books you would recommend? 
I always recommend Ex Libris: Confessions of a Common Reader by Ann Fadiman -- an erudite but (for me, anyway) laugh out loud collection of essays about books and reading. I also love mysteries, so will recommend Dorothy L. Sayers’s Gaudy Night – be warned, if you read it first as I did, you’ll spoil the series. (But, like me, maybe you won’t care that you did!)
 


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 spring 2022 academic term.

Chairs

  • Denice Adkins (Professor, School of Information Science and Learning Technologies, University of Missouri)
  • Kathleen Burnett (School of Information Director and F. William Summers Professor, Florida State University)
  • Lesley Farmer ((Professor, Librarianship Program, Department of Advanced Studies in Education and Counseling, California State University Long Beach)
  • Robert McDonald (Dean of Libraries, Professor of Library Administration, Senior Vice Provost of Online Education, University of Colorado Libraries, Boulder)
  • Lisa Hinchliffe (Professor, School of Information Sciences, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)

Panelists

  • Richard AmRhein, Professor of Library Science, Valparaiso University
  • Rick J. Block (Metadata Librarian, Seattle University)
  • Jenny Bossaller (Associate Professor, School of Information Science and Learning Technologies, University of Missouri)
  • Prudence W. Dalrymple (Professor, Health Informatics (retired), Drexel University)
  • Jean Donham (Professor, retired, University of Northern Iowa)
  • Nancy Everhart (Professor, School of Information, Florida State University)
  • Meghan Harper (Director, School of Information, Kent State University)
  • Mary E. Helms (Emerita Faculty, McGoogan Library, University of Nebraska)
  • Gretchen L. Hoffman (Professor, School of Library and Information Studies, Texas Woman's University)
  • Gregory S. Hunter (Professor, Palmer School of Information and Information Science, Long Island University)
  • Sarai Lastra (Vice Chancellor of Information Resources, Universidad Ana G. Mendez: Recinto de Gurabo)
  • June Lester (Professor Emerita, School of Library and Information Studies, University of Oklahoma)
  • Rae-Anne Montague (Assistant Professor and LIS Program Coordinator, Department of Mathematics, Computer Science & Information Studies, College of Arts & Sciences, Chicago State University)
  • Anita Ondrusek (Professor Emerita, Valdosta State University)
  • Nancy C. Pack (Director, Alabama Public Library Service)
  • Nancy Roderer (Professor Emerita, School of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University)
  • Mary Stansbury (Clinical Associate Professor, Chair, Research Methods & Information Science Department, University of Denver
  • Sara Tompson, Independent Researcher)
  • Philip M. Turner (Professor Emeritus, University of North Texas)
  • Jennifer Weil Arns (Associate Professor, Davis College, School of Library and Information Science, University of South Carolina)
  • Joyce C. Wright (Associate Professor of Library Administration and Professor Emerita)

New external review panelists sought
Find out more about what is involved in serving on an external review panel at http://www.ala.org/accreditedprograms/resourcesforerp/becomereviewer/ERP.... If you are interested or want to recommend someone, the External Review Panel Member Information Form is accessible from that page. 

Especially sought are reviewers with expertise in:

  • 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

AASL-CAEP recognition news

Spring 2022 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 2021 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. 

  • Plymouth State University, School Library/Media Specialist
  • University of Central Oklahoma, Instructional Media

Spring 2022 reviewers

We extend our appreciation to the following program reviewers and auditors who served during the spring 2022 semester:

  • Cassandra Barnett (Library Media Specialist, Curriculum Support, Arkansas Department of Education, Division of Elementary and Secondary Education)
  • Judy Bivens (Chair, Library and Information Science (MLIS) Program, Trevecca Nazarene University)
  • Audrey P. Church (Coordinator, School Library Media Program, Longwood University)
  • Sara Churchill (Assistant Professor, Teacher Education, University of Nebraska-Omaha) 
  • Sherry Crow (Professor and Department Chair, Advanced Education Programs, Fort Hays State University)
  • April Dawkins (Assistant Professor, Library & Information Science (LIS) Department, University of North Carolina at Greensboro)
  • Lesley Farmer (Professor, Librarianship Program, California State University Long Beach)
  • Ramona Kerby (Professor, School Librarianship Program, McDaniel College)
  • Ellen M. Pozzi (Professor, Educational Leadership and Professional Studies, William Paterson University)
  • Holly A. Weimar (Chair and Associate Professor, Department of Library Science, Sam Houston State University)

The next issue of Prism will be published in April 2023. Stay tuned!
Please send comments or feedback to accred@ala.org.