Mission & Accreditation
The School of Information (iSchool) at Kent State University offers five master’s degree programs: two Master of Library and Information Science (M.L.I.S.) programs in Library and Information Science and School Library Media K-12, and three Master of Science (M.S.) programs in Health Informatics, Knowledge Management and User Experience.
The Master of Library and Information Science degree in the School of Information at Kent State University is accredited by the American Library Association (ALA) Committee on Accreditation, with the status of Continued accreditation.
Assessment — the systematic collection, review and use of this information — is an integral part of the M.L.I.S. degree. In an effort to make this information publicly available and to comply with the ALA Office on Accreditation requirements, this page provides information on program goals, student learning outcomes and assessment.
(Kent State University enjoys institutional design program accreditation through the National Association of School of Art and Design (NASAD), which covers accreditation for our user experience design program.)
Mission & Strategic Principles
At the iSchool, we are transforming the global information environment collaboratively through dynamic learning, innovative research, and interdisciplinary synergy.
The following principles were adopted in March 2012:
- Strategic Principle 1: To prepare students to be successful information and knowledge professionals.
- Strategic Principle 2: To advance the School’s role as an exemplary, comprehensive, and professional school of information.
- Strategic Principle 3: To foster scholarship and research.
- Strategic Principle 4: To contribute to the success of the College of Communication and Information and the University.
- Strategic Principle 5: To enrich society through collaboration with diverse communities of practice.
Systematic Curriculum Planning
The iSchool Curriculum Committee generates ideas from several channels of input. Individuals submit ideas for new workshops or courses; suggestions and feedback are solicited during exit surveys and workshop surveys; and course offerings and workshops are reviewed annually by the committee. When a proposal is made, the committee completes an initial review of the suggested workshop or course. If it is determined that the new offering will meet student needs and be a sound addition to the curriculum, the proposal is returned or delivered to the individual who will develop it into a full-fledged course or workshop proposal. After development, the proposal is again reviewed by the Curriculum Committee, who will either return it for revision or submit it to the Faculty Advisory Council (FAC) for approval and then to the College Curriculum Committee (CCC) for additional paperwork and alignment to the CCC guidelines.
Areas of growth or change are also identified from our interactions with other constituencies, especially through our iSchool Advisory Group meetings.
The curriculum is continuously reviewed at the iSchool in alignment with its Strategic Plan commitments. Input from the school’s constituencies is sought and considered in the curriculum review and planning. These constituencies include students, alumni and the iSchool Advisory Group. In addition, annual objectives related to the curriculum are identified each academic year, and actions and outcome measures are set. At the end of each year a curricular recap is created by the Curriculum Committee and shared with the iSchool faculty. The annual curricular recap details program, policy, handbook and course revisions, as well as the creation or inactivation of courses and workshops. The master recap reflects comprehensive curricular changes from the last seven years. This recap details the innovation and review cycle of the curricular process.
Evaluation & Assessment of Student Achievement
Student Learning Outcomes Assessment
iSchool courses are offered on a regular basis in order to comport with the ALA Accreditation Standard II.2 and to satisfy the M.L.I.S. program’s learning objectives.
Discussions of learning outcomes involve assessment of evidences of learning. Have the learning objectives been achieved? What evidence exists that students have learned new skills? New attitudes?
Learning outcomes may be measured directly or indirectly. At the iSchool, we use a variety of direct measures, including written exams (several courses use these), licensure exams (for school librarians), oral and digital presentations (several courses use these), projects (some courses require projects), assessment of case studies (used in management courses, for example), simulation (as found, for example, in reference courses), and portfolios (including the Culminating Experience Practicum portfolios).
We also employ a number of indirect measures (e.g., surveys of graduated students, focus groups of employers of our graduates, input from advisory boards, data on job placement).
Our learning outcomes are implicit in our school objectives. For example, our objectives address the employability of our graduates and include both internal and external evaluation measures.
Student Achievement & Program Development
A variety of procedures and practices are in place for systematic evaluation of the effectiveness of the degree. These include, but are not limited to, standing committees of the school, which may include both students and staff (e.g., the Curriculum Committee, the Faculty Advisory Council, feedback from the Core Constituency Advisory Teams, student course evaluations, annual reviews of strategic and instructional objectives, annual setting of objectives, actions and outcome measures, and formal and informal feedback from individual students or the student organizations). The school also conducts several surveys that aim to evaluate student services by faculty and staff members. The surveys include the alumni survey, the program exit survey of students who have completed the program and the survey of new students.
In addition, the school director closely monitors the progress of students, especially those students challenged by the program, and makes recommendations regarding policies and practices conducive to student success. The school director and the faculty advisors work together to help students identify areas for improvement and formulate strategies for future success.
iSchool course development is directly affected by student evaluations. After final grades are submitted, each faculty member is given the opportunity to view individual course evaluations and data summaries of evaluations and to make changes to the course based on student feedback.