Daniel D. Barron and Kelly Blessinger

[Editor's Note]: For a complete listing of schools that submitted data for this year's report, please click the
list of schools. To view the questionnaire used to gather data for this chapter, please click the questionnaire.

This chapter contains reports and summaries of the data on curriculum as reported by the responding schools for the 1997-1998 academic year.

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 is additional descriptive information that does not fit the general reporting pattern of the table but is useful in the interpretation of the question.

All 56 ALA schools reported this year; two non-ALA schools also submitted data. All of the questionnaires received were usable; however, as has been the case each year, some respondents did not complete all the questions; therefore, the totals in all tables may not always add up to the 56 responses received.

In a departure from past years, tables III-1 through III-29 describing the structure of the schools' programs (type of academic year division, number of weeks in a term, number of credit hours for various degree programs, joint degree programs, minimum and maximum time for completion of degree programs, methods of course reduction, residency requirements, credit transfer, fieldwork requirements, graduation requirements and the like) are not included in the printed version of the Report but are published only in the web version ( Only highlights from these tables are included below in the print version.

Following some preliminary comments on structural changes that have occurred in the past year, the remainder of this chapter presents data on more volatile aspects of curriculum issues, e.g., distance education, use of regular and adjunct faculty, faculty teaching loads, cross-listed courses, curriculum committees, and curricular changes.

Program Structure

Brief comments with references to the web-published tables are provided for tables III-1 through III-29.

  • Academic Year. Most schools (53) are organized in a semester or trimester basis; 3 follow a quarter system (See Table III-1 - Type of Academic Year Division and Table III-2 - Number of Weeks Per Term by School).

  • Undergraduate Degree. The number of schools offering undergraduate majors in some aspect of LIS increased from 9 to 10; the number of undergraduate minors increased from 12 to 13. (See III-3 - Undergraduate Major Degree Academic Hour Requirements and Table III-4 - Undergraduate Minor Degree Academic Hour Requirements).

  • Master's Degree. Length of program is generally between 36 and 54 hours for Master's degrees.  (See III-5 - Master's Degree Academic Credit Hour Requirements and III-8 - Summary of Degree Hour Requirements by School).

  • Post-Master's Programs. The number of schools offering a post-master's degree (variously labelled Sixth Year, Specialist, Advanced Certificate) increased from 33 to 36. (See III-6 - Post-Master's Degree Academic Credit Hour Requirements and III-9 - Certificate Programs by School).

  • Doctoral Programs. The number of schools offering doctoral degrees increased from 22 to 25. (See Table III-7 - Doctoral Degree Academic Year Requirements.

  • Joint Programs. Twenty-eight schools report offering 78 joint degree programs (up from 26 schools offering 75 programs last year). History and Law are the most common. (See III-10 - Joint Degree Programs Academic Hour Requirements.

  • Program Length. The maximum and minimum times to complete degree programs varies widely. The minimum ranges from 8 to 24 months for the Master's degree, from 8 to 18 months for the post-Master's and from 15 to 48 months for the doctoral degree.  Maximum times range from 3-10 years for the Master's degree, 2-7 years for the post-Master's and 4-14 years for the doctoral degree. (See Table III-11 - Minimum Time for Completion of Degree Program, III-12 - Maximum Time for Completion of Degree Program, and 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 but data from the 1998 edition are available at III-14 - Methods of Course Revalidation after Maximum Time.

  • Residency Requirements. Thirty-four of the ALA schools had some kind of residency requirement for the Master's degree; twenty-two had none. The majority of schools reporting had no residency requirement for the post-Master's degree.  Undergraduate and doctoral program residency requirements varied widely. (See III-15 - Residency Requirements for all Degree Programs by School).

  • Required Course Work. Requirements range from 6 to 48 hours of courses in Master's programs on the semester system and from 30 to 60 hours for those on the quarter system. The average, among schools on the semester system, is 19 hours. The average number of required hours for the post-master's is 5 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 or doctorate.The most common method is evidence of a similar course taken elsewhere via a transcript and/or syllabus. Seventeen schools offer written exams as an exemption method. In programs that allow exemption of required courses, 23 allow the exempted courses to count toward the Master's degree and seven toward the doctorate. (See Table III-18 - Exemption of Required Courses by Degree Program, III-19 - Methods of Exempting Required Courses, III-20 - Credit Gained through Exemption of Required Courses, and III-21 - Number of Hours that may be Exempted.)

  • Credit Transfer. The majority of schools allow either 6 or 9 hours transfer credit for the Master's degree.  Fifteen schools will accept courses for credit taken at non-ALA accredited schools; 37 will not. (See Table III-22 - Credit Hours that may be Transferred into Programs and III-23 - Acceptance of Credit from Non-ALA Schools.)
  • Thesis Requirements. Thirty schools offer a thesis option for the Master's degree; eight require it. Eight schools offer the option for the post-Master's degree and 11 require it.  All schools offering a doctorate require a thesis.  Most schools require 6 hours for the thesis for both the Master's and post-Master's.  (see III-24 - Thesis Requirement by Degree Programs and III-25 - Number of Hours Required for Thesis.)

  • Field Work. Eleven schools require fieldwork and 38 schools offer it as an option for the Master's degree. Some schools also offer a fieldwork option for post-Master's work and the doctorate.  When fieldwork is available, it is commonly awarded 3 semester hours of credit.  (See III-26 - Field Work for Credit by Degree Programs and 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 language, master's project or portfolio, computer proficiency, among others. (See Table III-28 - Special Requirements for Graduation by Degree Programs.)

  • Entrance Requirements. The most frequently indicated tests required were the TOEFL for foreign students and the GRE and MAT tests for general admission. (See Table III-29 - Prerequisites for Entering Programs.)

Distance Education

Respondents indicated a number of ways in which they offered courses away from their home campuses at distant sites.This year 45 schools (compared to 40 schools last year) offered a total of 533 courses taught as distance education. The range is from 1 to 55 courses and the average is 12 courses per school were offered.  Table III-30 contains the data reported by the respondents related to courses taught in their distance education programs.

Thirty schools indicated that they expect to change their distance education programs.

  • Alberta — School libraries courses may become fully part of the LIS program with LIS course numbers.
  • British Columbia — Plans to use more Internet delivery in the future.
  • Buffalo — Plans to offer more Internet courses.
  • Clarion — Indicates the future establishment of sites in Pennsylvania.
  • Clark Atlanta — Beginning in Fall 1999 will offer classes at remote sites in Metropolitan Atlanta.
  • Dominican — Plans to offer more classes, with increased locations using video conferencing.
  • Drexel — Gradually increasing its asynchronous degree “sites.” There is no MS distance learning at this time.
  • Florida State — Will add an undergraduate major in information studies.
  • Illinois — Will continue to add courses as numbers of students increase; will incorporate emerging technologies.
  • Indiana — Plans to drop use of one-way video/two-way audio, and use more interactive TV and Internet applications.
  • Iowa — Plans to expand its distance education offerings to include a major part of the degree program.
  • Kent State — Plans to initiate two multiple site digital video conference networks.
  • Kentucky — Will change its distance education program by including CAP enrollment.
  • Louisiana State — Plans to expand its distance education program by adding more off campus sites, and increasing the number of classes.
  • Montréal — Is investigating the possibility of offering a service course as a distance education activity.
  • North Carolina Central — Plans to incorporate the Internet and multimedia into its distance education programs.
  • North Texas — Plans to incorporate the UNT/TWU Cooperative Master’s Program at four new sites in Texas.
  • Oklahoma — Considering adding additional delivery sites.
  • Pittsburgh — Plans to increase offerings.
  • Queens — Plans to offer two courses via the Internet.
  • Rhode Island — Plans to use two-way video delivery for one course each in Fall 98’ and Spring 99’.
  • San Jose — Plans to use web-based resources for Distance Education, and to expand its sites to other CSU campuses in California.
  • Southern Connecticut —  Plans to offer courses electronically.
  • Southern Mississippi —  Plans to identify additional sites for IVN delivery. Will offer courses via the Internet, and identify additional qualified adjunct teachers off-campus.
  • Texas Women’s — Plans to add interactive video to four new sites.
  • Washington — Plans to offer a Data Resource Management Certificate on the web. Library Trends and Development, a new certificate program, will also be developed.
  • Wayne State — Is continuing to investigate methods of delivery and increased use of off campus facilities.
  • Wisconsin – Madison — Plans increased activity with its distance education program.

Faculty Compensation

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, fifteen report various forms of additional compensation as listed below:

  • Alabama — Pays adjunct faculty on a per course basis.
  • Clarion — Faculty receive additional cash incentives or professional development funds.
  • Clark Atlanta — Gives other compensation on a regular adjunct salary rate.
  • Dominican — Pays per course for adjunct and emeritus faculty.
  • Drexel — Faculty are given the option to teach off campus and are compensated separately.
  • Illinois — Provides a reduced teacher load as compensation.
  • Indiana — Provides extra pay in the summer at the rate of 11% of the ten-month salary.
  • Oklahoma — Faculty and adjuncts receive other compensation for summer sessions.
  • Pratt — Pays adjunct faculty rates for courses taught away from home campus.
  • Rutgers — Pays other compensation for adjunct faculty.
  • South Carolina — Provides extra compensation on a per student basis in courses broadcast out-of-state.
  • Southern Connecticut — Provides other compensation on a per contract basis.
  • Southern Mississippi — Pays other compensation through a continuing education budget.
  • Tennessee — Provides release time as other compensation.
  • 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.

Telecommunications Delivery

A total of 28 schools indicated some use of telecommunications to deliver courses compared to 27 schools for 1997/98. These schools indicated the following methods of delivery:

  • Alabama — Offered 15 courses on closed circuit 2-way video/audio.
  • Alberta — Offered courses via the Internet.
  • Arizona — Offered courses via the Internet.
  • British Columbia — Offered courses via the Internet.
  • Buffalo — Offered courses via the Internet.
  • Clarion — Offered 3 courses on closed circuit 2-way video/audio.
  • Drexel — Offered courses via the Internet.
  • Emporia — Offered 15 courses via the Internet.
  • Florida State — Offered 15 courses via the Internet.
  • Hawaii — Offered 4 courses on closed circuit 2-way video/audio.
  • Illinois — Offered 15 courses via the Internet.
  • Indiana — Offered 9 courses on closed circuit 1-way video/2-way audio.
  • Iowa — Offered 4 courses using multimedia, which is a combination of interactive fiber optic network (video and audio) and the Internet.
  • Kentucky — Offered 3 courses via closed circuit two-way video/audio.
  • Louisiana State — Offered 5 courses by closed circuit two-way video/audio.
  • North Carolina – Greensboro — Offered 11 courses on closed circuit 2-way video/audio, and 2 via the Internet.
  • North Texas — Offered 6 courses by closed circuit two-way video/audio.
  • Oklahoma — Offered 17 courses on closed circuit 2-way video/audio.
  • Pittsburgh — Offered 4 courses by closed circuit 2-way video/audio.
  • Rhode Island — Used the Internet for 1 course.
  • San Jose — Used closed circuit two-way video/audio for 4 classes.
  • South Carolina — Offered 34 courses on closed circuit 2-way video/audio interactive. Web Pages, listservs, and email supported all courses.
  • South Florida — Offered 7 courses via the Internet.
  • Southern Mississippi — Offered 4 courses by closed circuit two-way video/audio.
  • Syracuse — Offered 10 courses over the Internet.
  • Tennessee — Offered 3 courses using closed circuit two-way video/audio and 5 via the Internet.
  • Texas — Offered 7 closed circuit courses using two-way audio/video.
  • Texas Woman's — Offered 3 courses via closed circuit two-way video/audio, and 1 via the Internet.
  • Wisconsin – Milwaukee — Offered 3 courses using compressed video.

Individual Course Offerings

Table III-31 below indicates how many courses each school lists in its catalog and the percent of those courses taught during 1997-1998.

Regular and Adjunct Faculty

Table III-32 below shows the number of required and elective courses taught by regular and adjunct faculty at the home campus. Full-time faculty taught 66% of all courses, compared to 75% the previous year.

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 72% of the required courses and 64% of the elective courses. Adjunct faculty taught 25% of the required courses and 33% of the elective courses. Other faculty accounted for 3% of the required courses and 3% of the elective courses offered.

Faculty Teaching Load

Table III-33 summarizes the regular teaching load for faculty during the academic year, summer, and the maximum number of hours a faculty person might be able to teach as overload. The regular load for most faculty is 12 semester hours per academic year and 6 hours in the summer.

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 summarizes 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-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.

Curriculum Changes

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 lists specific course changes by school. Table III-40 identifies the type of curriculum changes under consideration.

Specific Changes

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.

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Completed 10/25/99.
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