Jana Varlejs



Forty-five of the 56 schools with ALA-accredited programs in library and information studies submitted data on their 2000-2001 continuing education (CE) activities, one fewer than last year. The 11 that did not provide information, or reported no activity for the year were:  Alabama, Albany, British Columbia, Indiana, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Queens, Syracuse, Texas Woman’s, Wayne State, 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 table “Enrollment (FTE) 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 range from a lecture of less than an hour 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 2000-2001, the total number of contact hours of instruction, and the total number of participants.  The number of events increased by 124, or 20 percent, and the contact hours increased by 1,691 (25 percent). Participation, dropped by 3,471 (13 percent), but it should be noted that last year there was one school that had an unusually large registration due to producing a video-teleconference.


The increases in the number of events and contact hours are attributable primarily to Toronto, which runs by far the most active non-credit continuing education program of any of the schools.


More than half of the schools that held non-credit continuing education events reported fewer  than ten.  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, Simmons, University of South Carolina, and Drexel.  The next highest group includes UCLA, Pittsburgh, and Washington.  The list of schools most active in providing non-credit continuing education remains quite stable, although the rankings change to some extent from year to year.


In terms of the number of attendees of CE, Toronto and Madison are again the top two.  The next highest are not the same as the schools with the most numerous events, however.  North Carolina Central, Rutgers, and UCLA all drew over 1000 people to their events.  Looking at the number of contact hours delivered, Toronto is again at the top with over 3,500 hours, which does not even include a heavily registered self-study Internet course for which hours were not estimated.  Madison is still in the top rank, but Washington moved into second place.  


Table V-2 summarizes non-credit continuing education by type of activity.  As in previous years, workshops were the most frequent mode of delivery, but the rate of increase was an unusually high 82 percent.  The total for “Institutes, symposia, conferences, forums” dropped by 23 percent.  The number of seminars rose slightly, while the other format numbers remained about the same. 


The most notable change from last year is the dramatic increase in the use of alternative delivery methods.  In 1999-2000, 67 were reported, while there were 152 in 2000-2001, a 127 percent increase.  Almost all of this jump is attributable to Internet based delivery, with Toronto alone responsible for nearly half of it.  Other schools that are using online technology for non-credit CE include Buffalo, Drexel, Missouri, North Carolina-Chapel Hill, Rhode Island, Simmons, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin-Madison.  The level of sophistication in the use of technology is suggested by the University of Washington.  In describing the delivery methods used, Washington makes distinctions between streaming video enhanced Internet delivery and the usual Web course.    


The percentage of events for which Continuing Education Units (CEU’s) or a locally recognized measure of participation was offered was 33 percent, remaining about 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 for the most part generate the most contact hours.  The major exception is Toronto.  Twenty-one of the 45 schools reporting this year offered some kind of unit for at least one of their offerings, four more than in the previous year.  What may be happening is an increase in the number of states that require a measure of continuing education participation as a basis for re-licensure.


            Tables V-3 and V-4 present nine-year comparisons of non-credit continuing education data.  They are omitted from this year's printed report but may be found on the web-published version at V-3.htm Table V-3 - Nine-Year Comparison of Number of Continuing Education Events by Types of Events in Reporting ALA Schools 2000-2001 and V-4.htm Table V-4 Nine Year Comparison of Continuing Education Enrollments by Type of Event in Reporting ALA Schools 2000-2001.



Credit Courses


Table V-5 is intended to summarize credit courses that are specifically designed as continuing education for practitioners.  It may be more accurate, however, to say that the table reflects participation by practitioners in credit-bearing courses, some of which may be part of masters’ programs.  The number of courses remained about the same as last year, but enrollment decreased by 11 percent.  The total credits offered were 270, somewhat 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 method of reporting does not permit compilation of credit hours per school.



The nine schools that offered credit-bearing continuing education courses were:   Emporia, Iowa, Kent State, Missouri, University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill, Rutgers, Southern Connecticut,  Washington, and Wisconsin - Milwaukee.  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.


In comparison to the substantial jump in Internet use for non-credit delivery, the total number of credit-bearing courses that were presented via the Internet was actually lower than in 1999-2000.  The drop is attributable almost entirely to the sharply reduced number of credit-bearing Internet courses reported by Wisconsin-Milwaukee.  Only the entrance of Missouri into the Internet course delivery mode kept the total from dropping further.





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 45 schools reporting, 34 (75 percent) drew at least half of their attendees from within the state or province.  This is less than usual, reflecting the increase in national and international registration in Internet courses.  Twenty-two schools indicated that some of their registrants came from beyond their region.  Of these, four had national attendance that fell into the upper quadrant:  Buffalo, Clarion, University of North Carolina-Greensboro, and Toronto.  The schools that drew some international registrants were the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill, Toronto, Washington, and Wisconsin-Madison.


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.


As in the last year, over 60 percent of the schools relied on fees for the bulk of their financing.  External sources of funding were by far the exception, a pattern consistent with that seen in previous years.  Those schools that were the most active CE providers were also the ones that relied most heavily on fees.  Very few report substantial federal funding.  The University of Washington had some of its support from the third year of a federal grant program that supports innovation in post-secondary education, which was used to institute Internet delivered CE.  Illinois, Maryland, Pittsburgh, and San Jose also reported some grant funding, but the standout was the University of Missouri, with 95 percent of its expenses covered by a grant from the Institute on Museums and Library Services, awarded for introducing Web based CE.  


Table V-8 summarizes information on how instructors are compensated for their teaching efforts in both credit and non-credit situations.  The pattern is almost exactly the same as in the previous year, with flat and negotiated fees being equally ubiquitous.


Table V-9 provides a profile of the instructional force used in continuing education offerings, both credit and non-credit.  The pattern is not very different from previous years, with schools’ own faculty and practitioners providing  the majority of instruction. 


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 very similar to the previous year.


Fourteen schools have shown continuity in designating a CE coordinator.  These are:  Drexel, Emporia, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, Pittsburgh, Puerto Rico, Rutgers, Simmons, South Carolina,  Toronto, Washington, Wisconsin-Madison, and Wisconsin-Milwaukee.  The schools with the consistently most active programs have coordinators who bear a title indicating that responsibility.






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 fall into the top ranks in one or both categories usually include Drexel, Kent State, Maryland, Michigan, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, Simmons, South Carolina, Southern Connecticut, Toronto, Washington, Wisconsin-Madison, and Wisconsin-Milwaukee. It is significant that those schools that regularly record the most intensive programs are the ones that have designated directors whose primary responsibility is CE administration.  In most of those cases, the programs are financed primarily by fees and tuition.  In this category, only Michigan appears to offer its program at no cost to registrants.


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