SLIS Faculty Receive Two Grant Awards to Develop New Curriculum


Congratulations to SJSU School of Library and Information Science (SLIS) faculty members and their SJSU faculty collaborators, who recently received two grant awards aimed at developing new curriculum.

Virtual Internship Program

SLIS Associate Professor Patricia Franks received a $27,855 grant from the university, which will allow her to extend her current research regarding virtual internships. In partnership with Assistant Professor, Nitin Aggarwal, with the SJSU Management Information Systems (MIS) Department, Franks will develop and pilot new virtual internship opportunities for SJSU students and assess the framework needed to support student success.

Although many organizations offer place-based internships, on-site field experiences make it challenging for students to participate in relevant internships across the nation and precludes involvement by SJSU’s online students, like those enrolled in the fully online Master of Library and Information Science program. Virtual internships offer one solution, allowing all students to participate, regardless of the geographic location of the student or the internship sponsor.

Building on the strong foundation of a fully developed place-based internship program currently offered to SLIS students, Franks and Aggarwal will collaboratively develop and pilot a virtual internship program that can serve as a replicable model for other SJSU departments.

One primary aim of the project is to increase the number of host sites available to students. The team’s initial focus will be identifying virtual internships of interest to SLIS students pursuing a career pathway in records management and students from the College of Business (COB) pursuing a career in Management Information Systems. SLIS and COB students will be able to participate in the new virtual internships starting in Spring 2013.

A second key aim of the project is to support Aggarwal and other COB faculty interested in developing a more robust internship program for COB students. As he explores options for enhancing internship opportunities, Aggarwal will draw upon the knowledge of SLIS faculty who have already established a successful place-based internship program and are currently developing a virtual internship model.

Interdisciplinary Chinese Language and Culture Course

SLIS Professor Linda Main received the second grant award from the university. The $7,071 grant will make it possible for the School to partner with the SJSU Department of World Languages and Literatures to develop a new interdisciplinary Chinese course for students enrolled in the Master of Library and Information Science program. This new course will prepare future librarians to serve our nation’s growing population of Chinese Americans, as well as our nation’s growing interest in Chinese culture and the ability to participate in a global marketplace.

The new Chinese course to be developed in a partnership between SLIS and the Department of World Languages and Literatures (DWLL) will cover the Mandarin language and Chinese culture. It builds upon a pilot project launched in Fall 2011, where the two SJSU departments partnered to introduce interdisciplinary, online courses in Spanish and French for SLIS students.

The online Chinese course will be developed by Chunhui Peng, a DWLL faculty member, who currently teaches face-to-face Chinese courses for SJSU students. Professor Yao Yao, coordinator of DWLL’s Chinese program, will oversee Peng’s work on the project. Yuhfen Diana Wu, an SJSU librarian and past president of the Chinese American Librarians Association, will serve as an advisor to the curriculum development team.

The online Chinese course will be piloted in Fall 2012. SLIS faculty will provide input regarding effective strategies for delivery of the course in an online environment, as well as mentoring and support during the course pilot.