New Open Learning Opportunity: Current and Future Information Professionals Can Take SJSU SLIS Graduate-Level Courses through the i.School Open Classes Program


A diverse array of graduate-level courses for information professionals is now open to everyone. The School of Library and Information Science at San José State University (SJSU) is now offering current and future information professionals the opportunity to enroll in one or more fully online, graduate-level courses, and earn college credit.

The i.School Open Classes program offers more than 60 of the school’s electives to information professionals who want to update their skills, position themselves for leadership opportunities, explore emerging trends, and learn more about how to use the latest technology to better serve clients. The program also makes it possible for individuals who are considering enrolling in a graduate program to try out courses before applying for admission. If they decide later to enroll in a master’s program, they can transfer the units earned in the Open Classes program and be one step closer to completing a master’s degree.

“We’ve heard from many people that they want to take just one or two of our courses as part of their professional development plans, and in response, we decided to offer our Open Classes program,” said Dr. Sandra Hirsh, the SJSU information school’s director. “For example, I regularly hear from our alumni, who tell me they want to update their knowledge by taking another class, and now they can.”

According to Hirsh, the new Open Classes program is also a way for individuals who don’t hold a master’s degree to explore emerging trends in depth, beyond what they can do by attending a professional conference or workshop. “Many individuals aren’t able to commit right now to completing a master’s degree, but they want a rich, interactive learning experience that will help them address workplace challenges,” said Hirsh.

The courses are open to everyone, with no course prerequisites and no minimum educational requirements to enroll. They’re also easy to access because all of the courses are fully online. Individuals can live anywhere while taking a class. Most course content is offered asynchronously, making it possible to complete assignments and interact with instructors and classmates when it’s most convenient.

Courses in the Open Classes program are electives offered in the school’s ALA-accredited Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) and Master of Archives and Records Administration (MARA) programs. The courses cover a wide range of topics, including emerging technology, digitization and digital preservation, records management, web usability, data mining, information visualization, collection management, digital asset management, and library services for children and teens. In addition, many courses are focused specifically on building leadership skills.

The i.School Open Classes program is available during the summer, fall, and spring sessions. Courses available for the summer 2014 session are posted on the school’s website, and fall 2014 courses will be posted soon. The deadline to sign up for summer courses is May 15, 2014, and individuals will be able to enroll on a space available basis.

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