Master’s Program at San Jose State University Reaccredited by the American Library Association
The Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) program at the San José State University (SJSU) School of Library and Information Science was recently granted reaccreditation by the American Library Association (ALA). The school’s MLIS program has been continuously accredited by ALA since 1969, and the recent decision by ALA extends the program’s full accreditation another seven years, through 2021.
“We are elated to receive full reaccreditation from ALA,” said Dr. Sandra Hirsh, director of the SJSU information school. “Over the past year, our faculty and staff have worked extremely hard to demonstrate our adherence to ALA standards and represent the excellence of our MLIS program. I am grateful to everyone who played a role in the reaccreditation process.”
Hirsh also noted that the school’s MLIS program was the first exclusively online master’s program to undergo ALA reaccreditation. According to Hirsh, during the reaccreditation process, “we were able to demonstrate our school’s technology-rich, collaborative online learning environment.” Members of ALA’s external review panel explored online courses and interacted virtually with students and faculty, as panelists reviewed the program.
Every seven years, all ALA-accredited library and information science master’s programs must be reaccredited. The reaccreditation process for the MLIS program at the SJSU information school took more than a year, including submission of an extensive written report to ALA in January 2014, a site visit during March 2014 by a six-member external review panel, and a meeting with ALA committee members in June 2014.
The school’s students, alumni, and advisory board members, as well as employers of MLIS program alumni, were instrumental in the reaccreditation process. “Many individuals stepped forward, participating in interviews with the external review panel and providing information we included in our written report,” said Hirsh. “We value their contributions.”
According to the report from the ALA external review panel, the school’s students and alumni “are enthusiastic about both the program’s offerings and their choice of careers. They spoke warmly of the access that they have to the faculty, of their capacity to collaborate with colleagues, and of the support that they receive from the school’s staff.”
In their report, the panel also noted the commitment of the school’s faculty members “to adopting and promoting innovative online teaching and integrating technology into distance education.”
The ALA Committee on Accreditation made the decision to grant reaccreditation for the maximum possible term of seven years to the school’s MLIS program on June 29, 2014. The next comprehensive review of the school’s MLIS program by ALA is scheduled for 2021.