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Goals and Student Learning Outcomes

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Our Vision, Mission, Goals, and Objectives

The School has focused on creating a clear statement of its Vision, Mission, Goals and Student Learning Outcomes to guide its decisions in curriculum development, faculty searches, and student evaluation. These guiding statements were first developed in 1994, and most recently revised by the SLIS faculty and approved in 2019.

The SLIS Vision and Mission statements are found on the About SLIS page. On this page, goals and program-level student learning objectives are listed.

MLIS Program Goals and Student Learning Outcomes

The goal of the Master’s in Library and Information Studies is to educate students who understand and can apply the core competencies of library and information studies as articulated by the American Library Association. In order to achieve this goal, our six required core master’s courses align with six of the eight ALA core competencies as follows:

1. Foundations of the Profession

            LIS 5033 The Information and Knowledge Society

3. Organization of Recorded Knowledge and Information

            LIS 5043 Organization of Information and Knowledge Resources

4. Technological Knowledge and Skills

            LIS 5063 Information and Communication Technology

5. Reference and User Services

            LIS 5053 Information Users in the Knowledge Society

6. Research

            LIS 5713 Research and Evaluation Methods

8. Administration and Management

            LIS 5023 Management of Information and Knowledge Organizations


Program-level Student Learning Outcomes for the MLIS are:

SLO 1 Core Knowledge. Graduates demonstrate advanced knowledge of LIS theories, principles, and practices. Core knowledge is reflected in the ALA Accreditation Standard I.2:

I.2.1 The essential character of the field of library and information studies;

I.2.2 The philosophy, principles, and ethics of the field;

I.2.3 Appropriate principles of specialization identified in applicable policy statements and documents of relevant professional organizations;

I.2.4 The importance of research to the advancement of the field's knowledge base; (see also SLIS SLO 5)

I.2.5 The symbiotic relationship of library and information studies with other fields;

I.2.6 The role of library and information services in a diverse global society, including the role of serving the needs of underserved groups;

I.2.7 The role of library and information services in a rapidly changing technological society; (see also SLIS SLO 4)

I.2.8 The needs of the constituencies that a program seeks to serve.

SLO 2 Intellectual Skill. Graduates demonstrate an ability to find, collect, evaluate, critically analyze, organize, synthesize, and disseminate information from multiple sources.

Upon completion of the program, graduates will be able to:

a.      Demonstrate critical thinking including explaining issues and developing well-articulated arguments and conclusions

b.     Demonstrate an ability to analyze complex issues within an LIS context

c.      Demonstrate an ability to identify and utilize relevant data and reasoning as a foundation for problem solving

d.     Demonstrate an ability to engage in creative thinking and creative problem solving

SLO 3 Professional and Scholarly Communication. Graduates demonstrate effective oral and written communication skills.

Upon completion of the program, graduates will be able to:

a.      Demonstrate competence in writing effectively at the professional level in a variety of venues which may include professional interpersonal communication; creating reports, finding aids, and technical documents; writing scholarly publications, grant proposals, or presentations; communicating through social and digital media; and developing materials for instruction, programs, and services.

b.     Demonstrate competence in oral communication as applied in communicating with colleagues, staff, users, and stakeholders; in instruction, presentation, programs, and services; and in formal and informal settings.

SLO 4 Technology. Graduates are able to analyze, design, and provide solutions to information problems through appropriate technologies.

Upon completion of the program, graduates will be able to:

a.      Understand fundamentals of current technologies that facilitate information management and use in the lifecycle of recorded information, from creation through various stages of use to disposition.

b.     Apply technological tools to effectively manage information resources and provide information services.

c.      Use human-centered design to satisfy users’ information needs and solve information problems in technologically intensive environments.

d.     Understand inherent security, social, political, and ethical issues in information technology.

SLO 5 Methods and Analysis. Evaluate existing research literature and have the ability to design appropriate research methodologies

Upon completion of the program, graduates will be able to:

a.      Understand and critically evaluate research and professional literature in the LIS field.

b.     Understand the importance of research to the advancement of knowledge and practice in the LIS field.

c.      Apply appropriate qualitative and quantitative methods and techniques to conduct systematic inquiry for basic research, evaluation research, and evidence-based practice in LIS.

SLO 6 Diversity. Graduates are able to effectively participate in the ongoing active identification of and respectful responses to various information needs and perspectives of diverse communities in a global society, particularly those of marginalized or otherwise underserved individuals, groups, and populations. 

Upon completion of the program, graduates will be able to:

a.      Understand the ethical and societal value of diversity [broadly defined to include ability, age, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, gender expression, immigration status, nationality, race, religion, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status] within a democratic society, and express professional commitment to its appropriate application in various information environments.

b.     Understand the human, social, and policy issues inherent in any design for organization of information and knowledge resources, and apply appropriate theories, techniques, technologies, or tools in addressing specific user and community needs and requirements in organizing these resources.

c.      Understand the complexities of users’ diverse information needs as well as the community and cultural influences on their selection, use, and evaluation of both formal and informal information and knowledge sources and systems, and apply appropriate theories, techniques, technologies, or tools in facilitating access and in assisting and empowering users. 

d.     Understand managerial and non-managerial roles and responsibilities in creating and sustaining diverse information work environments that maximize multiple perspectives, and apply appropriate theories, techniques, technologies, or tools by which these can be implemented within specific organizational settings. 

The School’s student goal and objectives for the Bachelor of Arts in Information Studies program focus on intermediation between information, information systems, and information users.

Student Goal: Facilitate linkages between information technology workers and information users in a global society

  1. Articulate the cultural, social, political, and economic implications of the role of information within and outside of the U.S, and the importance of communication across ethnic, cultural, and social boundaries.
  2. Apply human-centered design processes to satisfy user information needs in technologically intensive environments.
  3. Analyze the information needs of organizations.
  4. Use information architecture to coordinate design, technology, and business goals.
  5. Implement and protect information systems and networks, using appropriate technological tools and processes.
  6. Demonstrate understanding of information policy, information economics, and information ethics within the information professions.
  7. Function in leadership and management roles.
  8. Utilize critical thinking, professional writing, professional judgment, and analytical skills.