Daniel D. Barron and Sue Anne Spears
[Editor's note]: For a complete listing of schools that submitted data for this year's report, please click the list of schools.
This chapter contains reports and summaries of the data on curriculum as reported by the responding schools for the 1996-1997 academic year.
The abbreviations used in the tables are: "ALA" which is used to designate schools which have master's degree programs accredited by the American Library Association (ALA) and "Non-ALA" which is used to designate schools which do not have master's degree programs accredited by ALA.
For those schools on the quarter system, the notation "qt" is used. Some schools have indicated that "units" or "courses" are used instead of a specific number of hours of credit as guidelines for degree requirements. In such cases these units are indicated as the respondents reported them. Following each table will be listed descriptive information which does not lend itself to the general reporting pattern of the table but is important to the interpretation of the question asked.
All 56 ALA schools reported this year. All of the questionnaires received were usable; however, as has been the case each year, respondent, in some instances did not complete each item; therefore, the totals in all tables may not always add up to the 56 responses received.
Academic Year Division
Type of Division
Respondents were asked to describe the division of their academic year. Table III-1 is a summary of their responses.
Number of Weeks per Term
Table III-2 contains data related to the academic year division by individual schools. Trimester systems are indicated with a "T" preceding the number of weeks in the "Trimester/Semester" column. The summer terms are described by combining the number of sessions with the number of weeks in each session (number of sessions/number of weeks in each session).
Degree Programs and Credit Hour Requirements
In this section the various degree programs are described. These include the requirements for undergraduate, both major and minor degree; master's; post-master's; and doctoral programs.
A total of nine schools with ALA accredited programs reported having undergraduate majors in library and/or information science. An undergraduate minor is offered in twelve schools with accredited programs. The number of hours required by each school for a major is displayed in Table III-3. The number of hours required for a minor is displayed in Table III-4.
Master's Degree Programs
Table III-5 contains data related to the number of hours a person must complete to be awarded the master's degree. All schools report having a master's degree program.
A variety of labels are used for the degree which immediately follows the master's (e.g., Sixth Year, Specialist, Advanced Studies). Thirty-three schools indicate that they offer a degree program that is to be considered between the master's and doctoral programs. For convenience, such a degree is called "post master's" in this report. Table III-6 contains a summary of the data gathered from the questionnaire in which respondents were asked whether or not they had a post master's degree program and how many hours were required for it. Some respondents indicated that a certificate, not a degree is awarded, while other indicated that a certificate is related to the degree. A summary of those data follow in the section, "Certificate Programs."
Table III-7 contains a summary of the academic credit hour requirements reported by the twenty-two schools, which offer the doctoral program.
Summary of Degree Requirements
Table III-8 contains a summary of all of the degree requirements for all programs as reported by the respondents.
Respondents were asked to indicate if they offer a certificate program and whether or not it is related to a degree. Table III-9 provides a summary of these data. In the table, CAS stands for Certificate of Advanced Studies.
Table III-10 contains a summary of the data related to joint degree programs. These are programs that the Library and Information Science program shares with one or more other academic disciplines or units in the institution. In some instances, joint degree programs are reported to have been developed between separate institutions as well as within the parent institution of the LIS program.
With the following exceptions, all programs permit part-time students into their programs:
Minimum and Maximum Times for Completion of Degree Programs
Tables III-11 through III-13 contain data related to the minimum and maximum times allowed for completion of degree programs among the schools responding. The minimum time ranges from nine to twenty-four months for the master's, eight to twelve months for the post-master's, and fourteen to forty-eight months for the doctoral degree.
The maximum time allowed for completing a degree ranges from three to ten years for the master's, three to seven years for the post-master's, and five to fourteen years for the doctoral degree.
Status of Courses after Maximum Time
After the maximum time allowed for completing the degree, thirty-six schools indicate that the courses are obsolete for the master's and thirty cancel them. For the post-master's, twenty-one schools indicate that they are obsolete and fourteen cancel them. Fifteen schools with doctoral programs indicate that courses are obsolete and twelve cancel them. Exceptions and clarifications as indicated by the respondents are listed in Table III-14.
Respondents were asked whether they had a residency requirement on their home campus for any or all of their programs. Table III-15 contains a summary of the data related to that question.
Required Course Work
Tables III-16 through III-21 present data related to the required course work in the various programs. Required course work is defined as that which is required for all students in a given degree program. Requirements range from six semester hours to seventy-eight semester hours of courses in the master's program. The range for schools on the quarter hour system is from twelve to thirty hours. The average, among schools on the semester system, is nineteen hours at the master's level. The average number of required hours for the post-master's is eleven and the average number for doctoral programs is seventeen hours.
Exemption of Required Courses
Methods of Exemptions
The most common method for exemption is evidence provided with a transcript and/or syllabus from another program. Other exemption requirements include "approved" projects, written examination or a combination of approvals from the dean or the student's committee or advisor. Frequently, all of these options were indicated as being available to the student. Other methods reported included syllabi from other courses, oral examinations, portfolio presentation, written petition, substitution of selected courses based on the student's experience or courses from another ALA accredited program, and "proven experience." Table III-19 is a summary of the methods by which students may exempt courses.
Credit Through Exempted Courses
In programs that provide for the exemption of required courses, twenty allow the exempted courses to count toward the master's degree, three toward the post master's, and six toward the doctorate. More frequently, schools do not provide credit for exempted courses. Table III-20 displays the data related to this question.
Number of Hours that May be Exempted
Table III-21 displays the data related to the number of credit hours that may be exempted in programs reported in this survey. Included in the responses were indications that the number of courses exempted from the program was determined by the director; other schools indicated that it depended upon the experience base of the student and/or the student's committee or advisor.
Transfer of Credit Hours
Respondents were asked whether or not they allowed the transfer of credit hours into their various degree programs. Table III-22 presents the data related to their responses.
Respondents were asked to comment on their requirements for a thesis or dissertation for their degree requirements. Table III-24 presents their responses. Table III-25 displays information related to number of hours required for the thesis.
Supervised experience for academic or program credit, known generally as Field Work, was the basis of the next series of questions. Tables III-26 and III-27 present the data related to the responses. Table III-26 shows the number of schools offering field work for credit and Table III-27 the number of hours given for field work. Nine accredited programs require field work of all students in the master's degree program. They are Albany, British Columbia, Clark Atlanta, Long Island, Michigan, North Carolina-Greensboro, North Texas, Syracuse, and Wisconsin-Madison.
A number of variations for field work were listed which include such requirements as student must attendance at seminars, presentation of papers related to the field work, and the availability of field work only for school library media program students.
Special Requirements for Graduation
Table III-28 contains information related to the special requirements that respondents indicated are necessary for students completing their programs. While some respondents indicated on the questionnaire that a dissertation was a requirement for the doctorate, these data were not reported since the dissertation is assumed to be a common requirement among all schools offering the Ph.D.
Other requirements for the master's degree
Other requirements for the post-master's degree
Other requirements for the doctoral degree
Prerequisites for Entering the Program
Table III-29 presents data related to the requirements made of students who enter the various programs. The most frequently indicated tests required were the TOEFL for foreign students and the GRE and MAT tests for general admission.
Respondents indicated a number of ways in which they delivered courses away from their home campuses to students at distant sites. Table III-30 contains the data reported by the respondents related to courses taught in their distance education programs.
This year forty-two schools reported a total of 1,056 courses taught by distance education, which is 176 more courses than reported last year. The range is from 1 to 196 courses and the average is 18 courses offered per school.
Twenty-seven schools indicated that they expecting to change their distance education programs. These changes include:
Faculty was compensated for teaching distance education courses within their regular teaching load in all of the schools that reported teaching away from the home campus. Of these, five schools make provisions for an overload and twenty-one report various forms of other compensation as listed below:
A total of 27 schools indicated some use of telecommunications to deliver courses compared to 23 schools for 1995/96. These schools indicated the following methods of delivery:
Individual Course Offerings
Respondents were asked to indicate how many courses they list in their catalog and what percent of those courses were taught during 1996-1997. They were also asked to indicate the number of courses that were restricted to students in specific academic programs. Table III-31 presents data related to their responses.
Regular and Adjunct Faculty
Respondents were asked to indicate the number of required and elective courses taught by regular and adjunct faculty on the home campus of their school. Table III-32 contains a summary of those responses. Regular, full-time faculty taught 74% of the required courses and 76% of the elective courses. Adjunct faculty taught 22% of the required courses and 20% of the elective courses. Other faculty accounted for 4% of the required courses and 4% of the elective courses offered.
Faculty Teaching Load
Respondents were asked what was the regular teaching load for faculty during the academic year, the summer load, and the maximum number of hours a faculty person might be able to teach as an overload. Table III-33 contains a summary of these data. Emporia, Missouri and Pittsburgh have faculty on 12 month appointments and, therefore, require those faculty to teach in the summer. All but one other school offer summer teaching as an option.
Courses Cross-Listed with Other Units
Respondents were asked to list courses that were cross-listed with other units in their respective institutions and to indicate which unit had the major teaching responsibility for the individual courses. Table III-34 contains a summary of the data related to the courses for which the Library and Information Science unit had the major teaching responsibility. Table III-35 contains a summary of the data related to the courses that were cross-listed and for which another unit in the institution had major teaching responsibility.
Respondents were asked to describe the composition of their standing committees on curriculum. Table III-36 and Table III-37 presents the data related to their responses. Two schools indicated that they did not have a curriculum committee. Many schools specified staff and others as committee members. Those specifications are noted beneath Table III-36.
Respondents were asked to indicate the nature of changes within their curriculum during the past year. Table III-38 contains a summary of those responses. Following the table are the specific changes as indicated by the individual schools.
Table III-39 shows the specific course changes indicated by the respondents. The changes are listed by school.
Respondents were asked to indicate the nature of curriculum changes under consideration within their school during the past year. Table III-40 contains a summary of those responses.