Get a Head Start or a Sneak Peak at the SJSU iSchool with Open Classes

iStudent Blog

Want to take a School of Information course before beginning your master’s program? You can do it through the school’s Open Classes program.

Open Classes are a great way to get a head start on your master’s program and explore what the iSchool is all about. Alumni and other professionals who already hold a master’s degree also take Open Classes to strengthen their current professional skills.

Most of the school’s electives are available to you through Open Classes, and if there is space available in the course, you can sign up. (As a future master’s student at our school, you can rest assured that we give our MLIS and MARA students the opportunity to enroll in the classes first, before offering open seats to others.)

If you are admitted for the fall 2015 semester and want to get a head start on your MLIS or MARA coursework through Open Classes, you can sign up for the spring or summer sessions (or both) for up to 3 units each semester.

Enrolling in Open Classes will also give you a feel for the school’s exclusively online environment. With many 1-unit courses available, you can take a class that will give you a taste of the School of Information’s curriculum, without diving in too deep—testing the waters, so to speak. This is a great way to immerse yourself in the online environment and see what the MLIS or MARA program is all about.

Open Classes student Gabriella Terzian is currently taking LIBR 260A Programming and Services for Children before she officially enrolls in the MLIS program for the spring 2015 semester. She has been working in libraries for the past 15 years, and while she just missed the deadline to apply for enrollment in fall 2014 in the MLIS program, she’s filling in her time this semester with one of the iSchool’s electives offered through Open Classes. Gabriella is pursuing her MLIS to broaden her understanding of youth services in order to apply for a librarian position with the San Diego Library system where she currently uses her design and architecture expertise to teach and mentor teens.

Before you dive into an Open Classes elective, remember that you won’t have the benefit of taking your intro course, LIBR 203 or the MARA equivalent, prior to taking your Open Classes elective. LIBR 203 and the MARA equivalent introduce new master’s students to our school’s fully online environment. Since they’ll miss out on LIBR 203 before taking an elective (though accepted students will be automatically enrolled in LIBR 203 their first semester) Open Classes students learn to navigate the school’s online learning environment through a self-paced online tutorial. Students who took Open Classes during summer 2014 said the tutorial was a helpful tool, calling it a “good information resource” and a “wonderful setup for my first time doing online courses.” So you’ll be fine.

Whether you are a prospective student, planning to apply for admission in fall 2015, looking forward to beginning officially in the spring, or still awaiting acceptance, take a look at the Spring 2015 Open Classes course schedule, and the enrollment dates, and see if there’s something that looks interesting to you—I dare you not to find an interesting class in there! The iSchool offers courses on a range of fascinating topics, and in addition to 3-unit courses spanning 15 weeks, offers briefer 1-unit courses as well as 3-unit intensives for accelerated learning.

Are you considering Open Classes? What looks good to you and why? Tell us about it!


For further reading, check out:
Get an Early Start on Your Courses with the New iSchool Open Classes Program
Fall is in the Air and the Spring 2015 Course Schedule is Here

image courtesy of  David Castillo Dominici


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