iSchool Awarded Continuing Accreditation from ALA
The American Library Association’s (ALA) Committee on Accreditation has granted continued accreditation status of the Master of Library and Information Science (MSLIS) program at the School of Information Studies (iSchool) through 2022. The committee found no deficiencies in the program and granted seven years accreditation, the standard term offered by ALA.
“Continuing accreditation affirms that the efforts of our faculty and staff to build an innovative, high-quality program have really paid off,” says iSchool interim dean Jeffrey Stanton. “I appreciate their work, as well as the intense investment of time and energy that our site visit team and the ALA Committee on Accreditation made in their review of our program.”
This ALA accreditation milestone indicates that the MSLIS program has completed a self-evaluation; undergone a thorough review by peers; and meets the standards established by ALA, which include a clear description of the program’s goals, objectives and learning outcomes; a strong and well-planned curriculum; appropriate numbers, diversity, qualifications and support of faculty, students and staff; a healthy financial status; and suitable physical resources and facilities.
The entire accreditation process included the MSLIS program’s self-study report, a site visit and report by the External Review Panel (ERP), the iSchool’s written response to the ERP’s report, and a meeting with the Committee on Accreditation (COA) in Boston during the ALA’s Midwinter conference in early January.
“Accreditation isn’t a one-time event,” explained Jill Hurst-Wahl, director of the MSLIS program at the iSchool. “It’s an ongoing cycle of communications between the program, the COA, and the Office of Accreditation. That Communication will continue as the iSchool submits regular updated to the COA. As with all ALA accredited programs, these updates help the COA to understand changes occurring within the programs and how those changes reflect changes in the profession.”
The process is akin to a dialogue, according to Hurst-Wahl. “The dialogue includes lots of data and explanations, which is especially important when considering unique aspects of the iSchool which include our ‘faculty of one’ environment and a faculty comprised of tenured, tenure-track and professors of practice.”
The library science program at the iSchool has been accredited by the ALA since 1928. Of the 59 programs currently accredited by the ALA, the iSchool’s MSLIS program has consistently ranked among the top, attesting to the quality of the faculty, curriculum, resources, and students. The iSchool is ranked fourth overall, first in information systems, third in digital librarianship, and third in school library media in U.S. News & World Report’s 2014 rankings.