Jana Varlejs


Only 38 of the 56 schools with ALA-accredited programs in library and information studies submitted data on their 2001-2002 continuing education (CE) activities, 7 fewer than last year. The 18 that did not provide information, or reported no activity for the year were: Alabama, Albany, British Columbia, Clarion, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, North Carolina at Greensboro, Oklahoma, Queens, Rhode Island, San Jose, South Florida, Southern Connecticut, Southern Mississippi, Syracuse, Texas Woman’s, and Western Ontario.


Instructions for this section’s questionnaire state that only those educational offerings designed specifically for practicing information professionals should be included. Enrollments in courses that are part of degree programs are reported in the section on students, in the tables on “Enrollment by Program and Gender” under “other graduate.”



Continuing Education Events


Continuing professional education is offered by library and information studies programs in a wide array of formats. The length of offerings reported this year ranged from a one-hour lecture to Web-based programs extending over many hours. Participation may be recorded as simple enrollment counts, or may be recognized though the awarding of Continuing Education Units (CEU's) or academic credit. Below, data on the non-credit events and credit bearing offerings are tabulated and discussed separately.



Non-Credit Activity


Table V-1 lists the number of continuing education events that were presented during 2001-2002, the total number of contact hours of instruction, and the total number of participants. The number of events increased by 7, or one percent, and the contact hours increased by 808 (9 percent). Participation dropped by 2,831 (12 percent).


The increases in the number of events and contact hours are attributable primarily to Toronto, which again raised its already enormous number of offerings and contact hours, reporting about five times as many as its nearest competitor. It should be noted that Toronto targets other professions in addition to librarianship.


More than half of the schools that held non-credit continuing education events reported 10 or fewer. At the other end of the continuum, there were five schools that reported over 30 events. The pattern reflects that of previous years. In descending order, the schools with the greatest number of events were: Toronto, Wisconsin-Madison, Drexel, Simmons, and University of California-Los Angeles. The next highest group includes Washington, Michigan, Rutgers, and South Carolina. The list of schools most active in providing non-credit continuing education remains quite stable, although the rankings change slightly from year to year.


In terms of the number of attendees of CE, Toronto is again at the top, with Madison in third place. The others that are highest in enrollments are not the same as the schools with the most numerous events, however. North Carolina Central reported over 2,000, and Rutgers drew over 1000 people to its CE programs. Looking at the number of contact hours delivered, Toronto is again at the top with close to 5,000 hours, more than half of the total number of contact hours provided by the 37 schools reporting non-credit activity. Madison and Washington had the highest number of hours after Toronto.


Table V-2 summarizes non-credit continuing education by type of activity. As in previous years, workshops were the most frequent mode of delivery. The greatest change in the pattern is in the short course category, which increased by 58 percent. The reason for this probably is related to the increase in Internet delivery methods, which rose 47 percent for short courses, but only 29 percent for workshops. Overall, alternate delivery for non-credit courses rose 46 percent. Another change to note is in the lecture category. Formerly labeled "Colloquium/lecture," this dropped 40 percent, perhaps because fewer schools included colloquia that were meant primarily for master's students, and should not have been reported as CE in the first place. The attendance for this category decreased by 32 percent, whereas the total attendance at non-credit CE went down by 12 percent. In regard to this drop, it also must be remembered that six fewer schools reported non-credit CE for 2001-2002 than for 2000-2001.


Of the 222 events delivered by alternative methods, 141 were by Internet and mostly synchronous; 64 by Internet, mostly asynchronous; 6 by Educational Telephone Network; 5 by Webcast; 4 by correspondence; and 2 by video conference. The 222 total represents an increase of 55 percent over last year's use of alternative delivery methods. It must be noted, however, that a single school--Toronto--is responsible for 67 percent of the 205 Internet offerings. Other schools using the Internet more than one to three times were Buffalo, Catholic, Drexel, Missouri, Simmons, and Washington. The percentage of events for which Continuing Education Units (CEU’s) or a locally recognized measure of participation was offered was 32 percent, remaining almost the same as in the last few years. CEU’s are a standard way of reporting non-credit continuing education, and awarding them constitutes a kind of seal of quality. Each unit represents ten contact hours of participation in an organized continuing education activity under responsible sponsorship, capable direction, and qualified instruction -- elements spelled out in considerable detail by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training [1] , and reiterated in the American Library Association’s Guidelines for Quality in Continuing Education for Information, Library and Media Personnel (ALA, 1988). In general, the schools that offer the traditional CEU's are also the ones that generate the most contact hours. The major exception is Toronto. Sixteen of the 37 schools reporting this year offered some kind of unit for at least one of their offerings, six fewer than in the previous year.


In order to see whether there have been overall changes in non-credit activity over several decades, other than the shift toward alternative delivery modes, data from the 1980, 1990, and 2000 reports are presented in Table V-3 (Table V-3 includes data separately reported as Table V-3 and V-4 in previous edition).


One interesting comparison that can be made on the basis of this somewhat arbitrary longitudinal data is that between the 1980 and 2000 reports, a far greater number of activities generated relatively moderate increases in hours and attendance. The 2001-2002 data continue to show an increase in the number of activities, without reaching the record number of hours and attendees of 1988-1989.     



Credit Courses


Table V-5 is intended to summarize credit courses that are specifically designed as continuing education for practitioners. The number of courses remained exactly the same as last year, but enrollment increased very slightly. The total credits offered were 251, 7 percent less than last year. These credits were not very comparable, as the contact hours equivalent to one credit ranged from 10 to 16 hours.


The eight schools that offered credit-bearing continuing education courses were: Emporia, Kent State, Missouri, University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill, Puerto Rico, Rutgers, Washington, and Wisconsin - Milwaukee. As was true last year, Kent and Washington reported the greatest number of courses. Kent's courses were primarily one-credit weekend courses, while almost all of Washington's carried three credits. It should be noted, however, that one credit hour at Kent equals 15 contact hours, while Washington's equals 10 contact hours due to Washington operating on the quarter system. Due to Washington operating on the quarter system, credit hour totals were calculated. Washington and Kent State achieved the highest numbers, followed by Rutgers. When contact hours for both credit and non-credit activities were added, Washington, Kent, and Rutgers had the highest number also, exceeding Toronto's hours.


Twenty-six courses were delivered over the Internet, primarily in the asynchronous mode. Ten of the 26 were from Rutgers. In contrast to the sharp increase in alternatively delivered non-credit activities, the total was only one course more than in 2000-2001.  



The Continuing Education Environment


Table V-6 shows that the audience attracted to the schools’ continuing education events was largely local. The pattern of distribution for the most part is similar to that of previous years. Of the 38 schools reporting, 25 (66 percent) drew at least half of their attendees from within the state or province. This continues a trend toward an increase in national and international registration. Nine schools reported some international registration: Drexel, Kent, North Carolina-Chapel Hill, Rutgers, St. John's, Toronto, Washington, Wayne State, Wisconsin-Madison. Toronto drew the greatest number, not surprisingly, given its large number of Internet offerings.


Schools were asked to indicate how their CE programs are funded. The percentages of funding sources include salaries for the CE portion of administrators and support staff, stipends or salaries of instructors, travel, facility rental, and other direct costs. Excluded are overhead costs for the use of the school's own office space and other facilities for which no direct charges are incurred. The data are summarized in Table V-7.


Fifty-three percent, somewhat fewer than usual, relied on fees for the bulk of their financing. Those schools that were the most active CE providers were also the ones that relied most heavily on fees. For the first time this year, schools were queried about their financial agreement with their parent institution. Six schools that derived 75 to 100 percent of their financing from fees say that they do not have to return any of their net income. At the other end of the spectrum, Simmons returns all to its institution; Toronto, 60 percent; and Kent, 50 percent. Drexel, Pittsburgh, and Rutgers return 15 to 17 percent.


The only school that received substantial government grant money this year was Arizona. Other funding was rare, and 14 schools still bore the entire cost of their CE program.


Table V-8 summarizes information on how instructors are compensated for their teaching efforts in both credit and non-credit situations. The pattern is similar to that of previous years.


Table V-9 provides a profile of the instructional force used in continuing education offerings, both credit and non-credit. The pattern resembles that of other years, with schools’ own faculty and practitioners providing the majority of instruction. Under the "other" category, children's book authors and illustrators and schools' own non-faculty staff were used to a great extent, while schools' own students, visiting scholars and "luminaries," and practitioners from other fields were used to some extent.


The last question asks schools to indicate who administers and coordinates continuing education activities. The results for this year, presented in Table V-10, are quite similar to those in previous years.


Ten schools have positions with titles that indicate that continuing education is in the job description. These are: Drexel, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, South Carolina, Toronto, Washington, Wisconsin-Madison.. There are some other schools that have had the same faculty coordinator for CE for many years, most notably Simmons and Puerto Rico. Continuity in the CE leadership generally is reflected in the stability of the programs.





Contact hours for non-credit offerings and credit hours for academic courses may be used to measure effort in providing continuing education. In recent years, the schools that are in the top ranks when the categories are combined usually include Drexel, Kent State, Maryland, Michigan, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, Simmons, South Carolina, Southern Connecticut, Toronto, Washington, Wisconsin-Madison, and Wisconsin-Milwaukee. This year, two schools that in the past had active credit-bearing CE programs -- Southern Connecticut and Wisconsin-Milwaukee -- dropped out of this list: the former did not report, and the latter considerably reduced its effort. Nevertheless, there were no dramatic decreases in most of the measures. The most interesting trend seems to be the rise in alternate delivery of non-credit offerings. Also of interest in this year's report on CE is the information about the amount of CE fee income that programs are required to return to their parent institutions. This was collected for the first time, and proved to be surprisingly varied.


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