Great Class Options at the iSchool for Summer and Fall 2015

iStudent Blog

Published: April 22, 2015

The iSchool offers so many exciting choices for prospective, new and current students, including Open Classes and some great topics in one-unit classes offered this summer and fall.

Open Classes for Prospective Students and Professionals
If you know you’re in for the fall but want to get a head start at the iSchool, take a look at this summer’s Open Classes. For prospective students, Open Classes are a great way to experience the program and get ahead. Certain elective courses are available every semester on a first-come, first-served basis without the need for prerequisites or core courses. If you do continue on with your coursework through the iSchool, then you’ll need to enroll in your required courses, including the introductory class, LIBR 203.

More than half of the students who enroll in Open Classes are those who want to get a head start on their graduate school coursework. Others include prospective students and current professionals who meet the requirements for Open Classes.

Electives available this summer for Open Classes students as well as current iSchool students include LIBR 240 Web Design and Programming, LIBR 281 Information Secrecy, LIBR 256 Archives and Manuscripts, LIBR 247 Vocabulary Design, LIBR 251 Web Usability, LIBR 287 STEM in Libraries and many more. Check it out—the list is pretty exciting.

Instructor Jennifer Hopwood talks up her STEM class. “STEM (an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) inclusion in libraries has been trending over the last couple of years,” she says, “and so we will focus on incorporating elements from the STEM fields into collection development and programming for youth services at the library.”

One-Unit Class Variety for Summer
Other summer classes being offered for current students are some new one-unit classes that are shorter than the usual three-unit classes and fit in really well around vacations and busy work and family schedules. Some of the short but sweet one-unit offerings this summer are LIBR 246 Fundamentals of Programming, LIBR 267 Narrative Non-Fiction, LIBR 282 Managing iPads and Other ebook Reading Devices in the Library, and LIBR 281 Community Partnerships.

Instructor Morgan Pershing, who will be teaching the Community Partnerships class, encourages all students to sign up, not just those interested in public librarianship. “Creative community partnerships can be fostered at any kind of library or archive,” she says. “This class will expand the professional knowledge of my students by taking the topic out of the theoretical and into the actual. Students who already work in libraries will be able to take their newfound knowledge directly to their workplaces.”

Pershing likes the one-unit course format because it allows her to zero in on a topic and offer creative assignments to her students. “There are simply amazing projects being run by public libraries,” says Pershing. “With a little outside-of-the-box thinking and good research into partners, libraries can do anything!”

Enrollment dates are April 13 through May 27 for summer classes (Special Session only). Those who want to enroll in Open Classes for the summer can fill out the form available beginning on May 4.

Flexible Schedules and Opportunities for Fall
One-unit classes also give you an extra boost if you have a busy schedule but want to qualify for financial aid. SJSU requires graduate students to be enrolled in at least four units to qualify for student loans. These classes also offer flexibility to those taking a full course load because they run on shorter timeframes than three-unit classes. A one-unit course typically runs for five weeks in the beginning, middle or at the end of the semester.

Student Carmen Burgess, who will be graduating this December, enrolled in three separate one-unit classes. “I needed to take 12 units this semester and thought it would be easier to break up the workload with the classes taking place at different times in the semester,” says Burgess.

The fall semester Special Session has some exciting offerings for one-unit classes, including LIBR 281 Digital Copyright; LIBR 284 Medieval Manuscripts: Codicology, taught by iSchool Associate Director Dr. Linda Main; and LIBR 210 Reference Collections in the 21st century, taught by Dr. Johanna Tunon.

Tunon’s one-unit Reference Collection class (as well as her two-unit class Reference in the Age of Google: Marketing, Outreach, Management, and Evaluation) is for students who already have some familiarity with reference services. Taking LIBR 210, Reference and Information Services is a good beginning. (LIBR 210 is three units, but an excellent course for anyone who wants to learn the basics and practical applications of finding information. I took it as a summer class and loved it.)

Tunon says of Reference Collections in the 21st Century, “We will talk about collection development issues for reference services, including the importance of having a collection development policy, the criteria and selection tools for collecting reference resources, the pros and cons of digital resources, and how to evaluate reference collections.”

One-unit offerings in Regular Session are Tunon’s LIBR 210 Reference Collections in the 21st Century class, LIBR 246 Fundamentals in Programming, Main’s LIBR 284 Medieval Manuscript courses (one- and two-unit offerings) and Pershing’s LIBR 281 Graphic Novels class. I took Graphic Novels during the Spring semester and loved it—it opened my eyes not only to a whole new genre of literature but how and why this art form is so important. I highly recommend this course, not just because it is fascinating, but because I had so much fun doing it!

Fall semester registration dates are June 2–August 16 for Special Session and by appointment for Regular Session students. For those interested in taking Open Class courses in the fall, the link to those can be found here and the form will be available beginning on July 15.

Related content:
1-Unit Courses Offer Financial Solutions, Further Flexibility and Finding Career Opportunities

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

Get an Early Start on Your Courses with Open Classes

image courtesy of: Ohmega1982

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