The Sloan-C Award and You

iStudent Blog

Recently SLIS received an important and prestigious award – the Sloan Consortium Effective Practice Award – which honors excellence in online education.

But what does this mean for you as a new student, or for that matter, any SLIS student (including me)?

It means we have chosen to attend a school that excels in online education. Although San Jose State University is a traditional university with thousands of students who attend classes on campus, SLIS delivers all of its programs totally online. There are no in-person classes. While some MLIS programs offer a mix of onsite and online courses, or offer both online and in-person tracks, SLIS focuses solely on online education. By choosing to be a completely online school SLIS can offer its students an education tailored specifically to their environment. Staff, faculty, classes, technology, everything is dedicated to you, the online student.

And the best part is, this narrowing of focus, this dedication to online learning and the online student, means that SLIS has become a leader, a school that excels in online education.

So, again, I ask, what does this mean for you beyond simple bragging rights?

In a recent news article posted on the SLIS website, faculty member Debbie Faires shared that the school uses the Sloan-C Quality Scorecard for the Administration of Online Education Programs to conduct annual self-assessments. These assessments have helped school leaders identify the need to expand technology support for students. The self-assessment also indicated a need for additional faculty training to enhance their skills as online educators. The school has responded to both of these opportunities, and implemented changes that benefit us.

Did you know that SLIS has a ton of help for you as an online student? SLIS wants to provide you with as much help, guidance, and tools as you need.

Technology help – Have any questions about our learning management system, our web conferencing system, or other technology tools? There are many tutorials and videos that can help, or there are always staff members who are just an email or phone call away. Check out this page for more details.

Writing help – Are you nervous about attempting to write a graduate level paper? Or perhaps you have never used APA for citations. SLIS has a plethora of writing resources for you and any questions that might arise during your semester. There are also writing tutors available for you provided by the SJSU Writing Center, whom you can meet virtually through Collaborate web conferencing.

Career help – While you may just be getting started with your graduate degree, it’s never too early to start thinking about your future as an information professional. The career development pages on the SLIS website feature a wealth of information specific for information professionals. Jill Klees, the career center liaison to SLIS, is always available to help as well. She publishes a blog, hosts webinars, and provides loads of tips for acquiring your first job.

Professional development – SLIS provides multiple ways for students to add skills and professional experience to their resumes, all in a virtual setting. Students can join student chapters of professional associations, apply to become a student assistant, and even complete internships virtually.

Advising – Every student is assigned a faculty advisor upon acceptance into SLIS. You can expect to receive a welcome email from your advisor at the beginning of the semester. But it is important to remember that he or she will be more than happy to meet with you virtually, answer your questions via phone or email, or help you through discussion boards on our learning management system. Your advisor is here to help you navigate your path towards degree completion.

All of this support from SLIS has been tailored for online students. There are no in-person office hours to meet your instructor or advisor (only virtual office hours), and there’s no need to visit a physical career center (you can get help from a career advisor virtually). The faculty and staff at SLIS work diligently to focus singularly on online education. That could be one reason why the school won the Sloan-C award, and is certainly why the school continues to strive towards excellence in online education.

Additional pages to peruse:

The Sloan Consortium

Our School’s Sloan-C Quality Scorecard