Daniel D. Barron and Christine Westbrook


            This chapter contains reports and summaries of the data on curriculum as reported by the responding schools for the 1999-2000 academic year.


            For those schools on the quarter system, the notation "qt" will be 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 schools with ALA accredited programs reported this year.  All of the questionnaires received were usable; however, as has been the case each year, respondents, in some instances did not complete each item; therefore, the totals in all tables may not always add up to the 56 responses received.


            Following some preliminary comments on aspects of structural changes, the remainder of this chapter presents data on more volatile aspects of curriculum issues, such as distance education, use or regular and adjunct faculty, faculty teaching loads, cross-listed courses, curriculum committees and curriculum changes.



Program Structure


Following the practice of the past two years, Tables III-1 through III-29 dealing with various structural elements of the program are not included in the printed version of this Report.  They are published in the web version (  Some comments about and highlights from these tables follows:


  • Academic Year.  Most  schools (53) are organized in a semester or trimester basis; three follow a quarter system.  Semesters are typically 15 weeks long with a range of 13-17; quarters are 10 weeks long.  Summer sessions vary but most schools offer two sessions of 5 weeks each.  See Table III-1 – Type of Academic Year Division and Table III-2 – Number of Weeks Per Term by School.



  • Master’s Degree.  The number of academic credit hours required for a Master’s degree varies from 30 to 54 hours with the majority of schools requiring 36.  (See Table III-3 – Master’s Degree Academic Credit Hour Requirements.


  • Post-Master’s Programs.  Thirty-two schools indicate that they offer a degree program considered to be between the Master’s and doctoral programs.  A variety of labels are offered for this degree (Sixth Year, Specialist, and Advanced Certificate).  See Table III-6 Post-Master’s Degree Academic Credit Hour Requirements   In some cases respondents indicate that a certificate but not a degree is awarded for post-master’s work.  A list of certificate programs may be found in Table III-9 – Certificate Programs by School.


  • Doctoral Programs.  Twenty-six schools report academic credit hour requirements for a doctoral degree.  The requirements vary from 24 to 90 hours.  See Table III-7 – Doctoral Degree Academic Year Requirements.



  • Joint Programs.  Twenty-seven schools report offering 78 joint degree programs (compared to 27 schools offering 73 programs last year).  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.  The most common joint degree is with history (12 instances) followed by law (10 instances).  Business, Music, English and Education were also identified between 4-6 times each.  See Table III-10 – Joint Degree Programs Academic Hour Requirements.


  • Program Length.  The maximum and minimum times to complete degree programs vary widely.  The minimum time ranges from 8 to 24 months for the Master’s degree, from 8 to 12 months for the Post-Master’s and from 15 to 48 months for the doctoral degree.  Maximum times range from 3 to 10 years for the Master’s degree, 3 – 7 years for the Post-Master’s, and 3 to 14 years for the doctoral degree.  See Table III-11 – Minimum Time for Completion of Degree Program, Table III-12 – Maximum Time for Completion of Degree Program, and Table III-13 – Minimum and Maximum Times for Completion of Degree Programs by School.


  • Status of Courses after Maximum Time.  This table was omitted in this year’s edition.  The last time it appeared was in 1998.  The data from the 1998 edition are available at Table III-14 – Methods of Course Revalidation after Maximum Time.


  • Residency Requirements.  Thirty-four of the ALA schools had some residency requirements for the Master’s degree.  Most had no such requirement for the Post-Master’s degree.  Requirements for the undergraduate and doctoral program varied widely. Table III-15 – Residency Requirements for all Degree Programs by School


  • Required Course Work.  Requirements range from 6 to 29 semester hours and from 30 to 32 quarter hours for the Master’s program.  The average for those on a semester hour basis is 19 hours.  The average number of required hours for the Post-Master’s is five, and the average number for doctoral programs is 22 hours.  See Table III-16 – Required Course Work Hours by Schools and Table III-17 – Required Course Work by Hours.


  • Exemption from Required Courses.  Most schools provide opportunities to exempt courses at the Master’s level; fewer offer the option for the Post-Master’s program or doctorate.  The most common method is evidence of a similar course taken elsewhere via a transcript and/or syllabus.  Other methods include syllabi from related courses, oral examinations, written petition, substitution of courses, and courses from another ALA accredited program.  Three schools accept experience.  Fourteen schools offer written exams as an exemption method.  In programs that allow exemption from required courses, sixteen allow the exempt courses to count toward the Master’s degree.  Most schools do not provide the credit for exempt courses.  See Table III-18 – Exemption of Required Courses by Degree Program, Table III-19 – Methods of Exempting Required Courses, Table III-20 – Credit Gained through Exemption of Required Courses, and Table III-21 – Number of Hours that may be Exempted.



  • Thesis Requirements.  Thirty-two schools offer a thesis option for the Master’s degree; five require it.  Six schools offer the option for the Post-Master’s degree and five require it.  One school even offers an option for the thesis at the doctoral level; all other schools require it.  See Table III-24 – Thesis Requirement by Degree Programs and Table III-25 – Number of Hours Required for Thesis.


  • Field Work.  Eleven schools require field work and 38 schools offer it as an option for the Master’s degree.  Some schools also offer a field work option for Post-Master’s work and the doctorate.  When field work is available, it is commonly awarded 3 semester hours of credit. See Table III-26 – Field Work for Credit by Degree Programs and Table III-27 – Number of Hours Given for Field Work by Degree Programs.


  • Graduation Requirements.  The most common graduation requirement for all degree programs was a comprehensive exam.  Other requirements mentioned were foreign language competence, computer proficiency, master’s project, portfolio, or “culminating experience.”  See Table III-28 – Special Requirement for Graduation by Degree Programs.


  • Entrance Requirements.  The most frequently indicated tests required were the TOEFL for foreign students and the GRE and/or MAT tests for general admission.  Grade point average is also a major factor.  See Table III-29 – Prerequisites for Entering Programs.


Distance Education


            Respondents described a number of ways in which they offered courses away from their home campuses at distant sites. Table III-30 contains the data reported by the respondents related to courses taught in their distance education programs.  Because of the inconsistency in the surveys, classes were only counted once, even if they were taught more than once in the year.


            A total of 76% of the responding schools provided one or more courses away from the home campus in 19997-2000. This year forty-three schools reported a total of 522 courses taught as distance education.  The range is from 1 to 38 courses and the average is 12 courses offered per school.


            Thirty schools indicated that they expecting to expand their distance education programs.  These changes include:


·         British Columbia — Plans to offer two new courses in September 2000.

·         California – Los Angeles — Plans to make scheduling more convenient on many courses for those coming from great distances.

·         Clarion — Plans to offer more Internet courses.

·         Clark Atlanta — Planning its first course utilizing distance-learning technologies.

·         Dominican — Plans to add more classes and more locations using video conferencing.

·         Drexel —  Hopes to offer the MS degree with a concentration in Management of Digital Information in Fall 2000.

·         Florida State — Expects to add at least two new courses per year at the graduate level and three courses per year at the undergraduate level to be delivered via the Internet.

·         Hawaii — Will offer one course via the Internet.

·         Illinois — Plans the continued addition of courses not previously taught via the Internet and use of emerging technologies.

·         Kent State — Plans an increase in the number of distributed education offerings.

·         Kentucky — Plans to add five new Internet-based courses in Fall of 2000, and then two additional courses each year thereafter.

·         Maryland — Plans to offer off-campus courses at one remote site.

·         North Carolina - Chapel Hill — Is offering one course using a web-based approach during the Fall of 2000.

·         North Texas — Plans to continue developing course offerings on the web.

·         Oklahoma — Plans to review and develop a comprehensive distance education plan and to introduce web-based courses.

·         Pittsburgh — Plans to introduce a FastTrack MLIS in Summer 2001 pending Provost approval.

·         Queens — Plans to increase offerings.

·         Rhode Island — Plans to increase the number of TV delivery courses and add Internet courses.

·         Rutgers — Plans to increase offerings via distance education.

·         St. John’s — Is evaluating a new online elective course to determine the feasibility of this method of delivery for other parts of the curriculum.

·         San Jose — Plans to offer web-based courses.

·         South Carolina — Reports that it began a second MLIS program cohort in Maine during the Fall of 2000.

·         Southern Connecticut — Is beginning a 2-year assessment of online courses and plans to offer additional support (e.g. mentoring) and a student portfolio assessment after initial core courses are completed.

·         Southern Mississippi — Plans to offer more Internet courses, more courses with the Internet as a component, and to involve a higher percent of the faculty in distance education.

·         Tennessee — Plans to migrate from interactive television to synchronous web-based delivery.

·         Texas — Plans an increase in web-supported courses.

·         Texas Woman’s — Plans a moderate increase in Internet course delivery.

·         Washington — Plans to add an MLIS distance education program in the Summer of 2001.

·         Wayne State — Plans to increase the amount of electronic course delivery with off-campus classes.

·         Western Ontario — Plans to allow limited access to some courses by distance.



Faculty Compensation for Distance Education


            Faculty members were 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, nine report various forms of other compensation as listed below:


·         Alabama — Pays adjunct faculty on a per course basis.

·         Clarion — Faculty receive additional cash incentives or professional development funds.

·         Dominican — Pays per course for adjunct and emeritus faculty.

·         Drexel — Indicates that faculty are given the option to teach off campus and are compensated separately.

·         Illinois — Indicates a reduced teacher load as compensation.

·         Oklahoma — Regular full-time faculty and adjuncts receive additional compensation for summer sessions.

·         Rhode Island — Provides travel reimbursement.

·         South Carolina — Provides extra compensation on a per student basis in courses broadcast out-of-state.

·         Southern Mississippi — Pays additional compensation through a continuing education budget, Gulf Park Campus budgets, and USM program budget.

·         Wayne State — Reports that full-time faculty teach regular distance education courses within load plus expenses. Salary and expenses are calculated on a per course and location basis for part-time faculty.



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 1999-2000.  Table III-32 (was III-31 in last year’s edition) presents data related to their responses.      


Regular And Adjunct Faculty


            Respondents were asked to indicate the number of required and elective courses taught by both regular and adjunct faculty on the home campus of their school. Table III-33 (was Table III-32 in last year’s edition) contains a summary of those responses. Regular, full‑time faculty taught 76% of the required courses and 63% of the elective courses. Adjunct faculty taught 21% of the required courses and 32% of the elective courses. Other (undesignated) faculty accounted for the remainder.


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-34 (was III-33 in last years report) contains a summary of these data.



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-35 (was 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-36 (was 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.



Curriculum Committees


            Respondents were asked to describe the composition of their standing committees on curriculum. Table III-37 and Table III-38 (these tables were III-36 and III-37 last year) 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-37.



Curriculum Changes


            Respondents were asked to indicate the nature of changes within their curriculum during the past year. Table III-39 (as III-38) contains a summary of those responses. Following the table are the specific changes as indicated by the individual schools.


Specific Curriculum Changes


            Table III-40 (formerly 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-41 (was III-40) contains a summary of those responses.


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