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 1998-1999 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.

A total of 56 schools reported this year as compared to 58 last 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.

In accordance with last year's report, 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 (../2000/Curriculum). 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 curriculum changes.

Program Structure

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

  • Academic Year. Most schools (53) are organized in a semester or trimester basis; 3 follow a quarter system (See ../2000/Curric/tb3-1.html Table III-1 - Type of Academic Year Division and ../2000/Curric/tb3-2.html 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 10 to 11; the number of undergraduate minors increased from 12 to 13. (See ../2000/Curric/tb3-3.html TableIII-3 - Undergraduate Major Degree Academic Hour Requirements and ../2000/Curric/tb3-4.html 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 ../2000/Curric/tb3-5.html Table III-5 - Master's Degree Academic Credit Hour Requirements and ../2000/Curric/tb3-8.html Table III-8 - Summary of Degree Hour Requirements by School).
  • Post-Master's Programs. The number of schools offering a post-master's degree (variously labeled Sixth Year, Specialist, Advanced Certificate) increased from 36 to 39. (See ../2000/Curric/tb3-6.html Table III-6 Post-Master's Degree Academic Credit Hour Requirements and ../2000/Curric/tb3-9.html Table III-9 - Certificate Programs by School).
  • Doctoral Programs. The number of schools offering doctoral degrees increased from 25 to 29. (See ../2000/Curric/tb3-7.html Table III-7 - Doctoral Degree Academic Year Requirements).
  • Joint Programs. Twenty-seven schools report offering 73 joint degree programs (down from 28 schools offering 78 programs last year). History and Law are the most common. (See ../2000/Curric/tb3-10.html Table III-10 - Joint Degree Programs Academic Hour Requirements).
  • Program Length. The maximum and minimum times to complete degree programs varies widely. The minimum range 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 to 10 years for the Master's degree, 2 - 7 years for the Post-Master's, and 5 to 14 years for the doctoral degree. (See ../2000/Curric/tb3-11.html Table III-11 - Minimum Time for Completion of Degree Program, ../2000/Curric/tb3-12.html Table III-12 - Maximum Time for Completion of Degree Program, and ../2000/Curric/tb3-13.html 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 ../2000/Curric/tb3-14.html Table III-14 - Methods of Course Revalidation after Maximum Time.
  • Residency Requirements. Thirty-four of the ALA schools had some kind of residency requirements for the Master's degree; twenty-two had none. The majority of schools reporting had no residency requirements for the Post-Master's degree. Undergraduate and doctoral program residency requirements varied widely. (See Table 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 program on the semester system and from 24 to 32 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. Fifteen schools offer written exams as an exemption method. In programs that allow exemption of required courses, 22 allow the exempted courses to count toward the Master's degree and seven toward the doctorate. (See ../2000/Curric/tb3-18.html Table III-18 - Exemption of Required Courses by Degree Program, ../2000/Curric/tb3-19.html Table III-19 - Methods of Exempting Required Courses, ../2000/Curric/tb3-20.html Table III-20 - Credit Gained through Exemption of Required Courses, and ../2000/Curric/tb3-21.html Table 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. Seventeen schools will accept courses for credit taken at non-ALA accredited school; 37 will not. (See ../2000/Curric/tb3-22.html Table III-22 - Credit Hours that may be Transferred into Programs and ../2000/Curric/tb3-23.html Table III-23 - Acceptance of Credit from Non-ALA Schools).
  • Thesis Requirements. Thirty schools offer a thesis option for the Master's degree; six require it. Seven schools offer the option for the Post-Master's degree and eight require it. All schools offering a doctorate require a thesis. Most schools require six hours for the thesis for both the Master's and Post-Master's. (See ../2000/Curric/tb3-24.html Table III-24 - Thesis Requirement by Degree Programs and ../2000/Curric/tb3-25.html Table III-25 - Number of Hours Required for Thesis).
  • Field Work. Eleven schools require field work and 39 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 ../2000/Curric/tb3-26.html Table III-26 - Field Work for Credit by Degree Programs and ../2000/Curric/tb3-27.html 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 language, master's project or portfolio, computer proficiency, among others. (See ../2000/Curric/tb3-28.html 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 MAT tests for general admission. (See ../2000/Curric/tb3-29.html Table III-29 - Prerequisites for Entering Programs).

Distance Education

Respondents indicated a number of ways in which they took 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.

76% of the responding schools offered one or more courses away from the home campus in 1997-1998. This year forty-four schools reported a total of 489 courses taught as distance education. The range is from 2 to 34 courses and the average is 11 courses per school were offered.

Thirty schools indicated that they expected to change their distance education programs. These changes include:

  • Alberta — Indicates that is still developing the school libraries courses' relationship with the LIS program.
  • Buffalo — plans to offer more Internet courses, and to deliver course via TV.
  • Clarion — plans to add an off-campus program at a location in Western Pennsylvania.
  • Clark Atlanta  — Plans to offer its first course utilizing distance-learning technologies in spring semester 2000.
  • Dominican — Plans to add more classes and to increase locations using video conferencing.
  • Drexel — Is gradually increasing its asynchronous MSIS degree "sites." There are no distance education MS courses at this time.
  • Emporia — Indicates a possible increase in the number of Telnet and Internet course offerings.
  • Florida State — Expects to increase the variety of courses offered, and perhaps their frequency.
  • Hawaii — May offer courses via the Internet.
  • Illinois — Plans the continued addition of courses as numbers of students increase, the use of emerging technologies, and an increase in the size of the technology staff.
  • Indiana — Plans a trial run with web delivered courses.
  • Kent State — Plans an increase in the number of the distributed education offerings.
  • Kentucky — Plans to use the Internet for courses.
  • Louisiana State — May try its first asynchronous Internet course. The course is nearly ready for testing.
  • Maryland — Plans to offer off-campus courses at one remote site.
  • Missouri — Plans to continue to offer more courses via the Internet and at off-campus locations.
  • North Carolina Central — Plans to use the Internet and multimedia for distance education.
  • North Carolina - Greensboro — Plans to add a full time coordinator for its program in Charlotte, NC. Funding for distance education has been consolidated at the system level; all funding now comes directly to the campus and department.
  • North Texas — Plans to continue to develop course offerings on the web.
  • Oklahoma — Indicates possibly adding additional delivery sites.
  • Pittsburgh — Plans to resume offerings.
  • Queens — Plans to increase offerings.
  • Rhode Island — Plans to increase the number of TV delivery courses, and add Internet courses.
  • South Carolina — Indicates that they will recruit for a Fall 2000 MLIS program in Maine.
  • Southern Connecticut — Plans to offer the entire MLIS online.
  • 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.
  • Wayne State — Plans to teach another course with TV delivery, and to continue to integrate electronic delivery into courses including on and off-campus sections.

Faculty 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 other forms of 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 other compensation for summer sessions.
  • Pratt — Pays adjunct faculty rates for courses taught away from home campus.
  • Rhode Island — Provides travel reimbursement.
  • South Carolina — provides extra compensation on a per student basis in courses broadcast out-of-state.
  • Southern Connecticut — Provides a stipend to faculty preparing the course online for the first time.
  • Southern Mississippi — Pays other compensation through a continuing education budget, Gulf Park Campus budgets, and USM program budget.
  • Tennessee — Provides released 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, equal to the 28 schools for 1998/99. 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.
    • Dalhousie — Offered 5 classes through Telecommunications.
    • Dominican — Offered classes via videoconferencing.
    • Drexel — Offered courses via the Internet.
    • Emporia — Offered 6 courses via the Internet, and 3 through a statewide computer teleconference system.
    • Florida State — Offered 15 courses via the Internet, and 3 via the web.
    • Hawaii — Offered 4 courses on closed circuit 2-way video/audio.
    • Illinois — Offered 18 courses via the Internet.
    • Indiana — Offered 7 courses on closed circuit 1-way video/2-way audio.
    • Iowa — Offered 8 courses using multimedia, which is a combination of interactive fiber optic network (video and audio) and the Internet.
    • Kent State — Offered 1 class via TV delivery.
    • Kentucky — Offered 3 courses via closed circuit two-way video/audio.
    • Louisiana State — Offered 6 courses by closed circuit two-way video/audio.
    • Missouri — Offered courses via the Internet.
    • NC - Greensboro — Offered 5 courses on closed circuit 2-way video/audio, and 3 via the Internet.
    • North Texas — Offered 7 courses by closed circuit two-way video/audio, and 1 via the web.
    • Oklahoma — Offered 17 courses on closed circuit 2-way video/audio.
    • Queens — Offered 1 course through the Internet.
    • Rhode Island — Used the Internet for 2 courses.
    • Rutgers — Offered 1 class via the Internet.
    • San Jose — Used closed circuit two-way video/audio for 7 classes.
    • South Carolina — Offered 22 courses on closed circuit 2-way video/audio interactive. Web Pages, listservs, and email supported all courses.
    • South Florida — Offered 10 courses via the Internet.
    • Southern Connecticut — Offered 6 classes using the Internet.
    • Southern Mississippi — Offered 12 courses via the Internet.
    • Tennessee — Offered 3 courses using closed circuit two-way video/audio, 5 via the Internet, and 1 through multimedia.
    • Texas — Offered 7 closed circuit courses using two-way audio/video.
    • Texas Woman's — Offered 2 courses via closed circuit two-way video/audio, and 1 via the Internet.
    • Wayne State — Offered 1 class via TV delivery.
    • Wisconsin-Milwaukee — Offered 1 course using compressed video, and 9 via the Internet.

    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 1997-1998. 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 76% of the required courses and 62% of the elective courses. Adjunct faculty taught 22% of the required courses and 33% of the elective courses. Other faculty accounted for 3% 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.

    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.

    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.

    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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