Thanks to Debbie Yang for providing the minutes. The formatting is a little ugly - I just wanted to get them up right away.
MLIS Advisory Council
5 March 2009
I. Welcome and Introductions – Mary
II. COA Decision
c. Faculty Research
IV. Annual MLIS Summit – April 27, 2009
MLIS Advisory Council
5 March 2009
Present: Jerry Baldwin, Marilyn Cathcart, Liz Scheibel, Margaret Gillespie, Karen Harwood, Bob Horton, Chris Jacobs, Patricia Post, Susan Shoemaker, Sehri Strom, Ann Treacy, Mary Wagner and Debbie Yang.
Debbie Yang took the minutes.
I. Welcome and Introductions
a. Everyone introduced themselves.
II. COA Decision
a. At the January meeting 25th meeting with COA decided to continue the College of St. Catherine’s MLIS program on candidacy. This decision affects all students and in particular those who have graduated from the program or are planning to do so in May 2009, as they will not have a degree from an accredited program. The faculty and College administrators are preparing additional documentation for COA to address the issues in their decision letter. The documents will be sent to COA on March 13, in preparation for meeting with COA on April 17th. Andrea Lee, IHM, the President of College of St. Catherine, Colleen Hegranes, Senior Vice President, and Jennie Robinson Kloos, Director of the Office of Institutional Research, Assessment and Planning, will be at the COA meeting on the April 17th. Mary Wagner, Director of the MLIS program, will also be attending.
b. Mary read excerpts from the decision letter from COA continuing candidacy for the MLIS program. COA has six standards for LIS programs. Out of these six standards, COA had concerns with the MLIS program on Standard I, II, and III. COA’s concerns on Standard I: Mission, Goals, and Objectives included assessment in terms of what data does the program collect and how is it used. Their concerns with Standard II: Curriculum include the changes being made to the curriculum with the IMLS grant. For Standard III: Faculty, COA is concerned with the support for faculty research.
c. Faculty have been working in two groups on response documentation - one on curriculum (Standard II) and the other on assessment (Standard I). The response to the support on Faculty Research will be addressed by Sister Andrea and Colleen Hegranes.
i. Members of the Advisory Council were asked to look through the Assessment document within the next few days and to send any comments to Mary. The final document will be sent out on Friday, March 13. The purpose of the Assessment document is to show that we do assessment through data collection, analysis of data and this is used in decision making for program effectiveness and student learning. The Advisory Council was asked to focus on whether the document is successful in making this case to COA.
ii. The Advisory Council was asked for any immediate questions or comments on the assessment document. The argument for the response is that the MLIS program has met the standard. It includes data from the program presentation (pulling assessment pieces from throughout the program presentation into one) as well as including new data in an effort to make the information clearer to COA.
iii. The 2012 date in the COA letter is flexible, so the MLIS program is asking for a focus visit on these three standards in Fall with a new decision in January. For current grads and students ready to graduate, a look back for two years will be suggested. It is not known if there were any reversals in COA history, but COA has agreed to our request to meet on April 17th. If Advisory Council members want to write a letter to COA (especially as they have employed or are employing students from the MLIS program), they should write about the program in terms of the standards as it is ALA’s responsibility to see that programs meet them. MLA will send a letter to COA, the ALA president, and the ALA Executive Director. Mary will talk to SGO on whether they will send a letter to COA from students. The site visit was from the External Review Panel (ERP) who gave positive feedback. They wrote a report and sent it to COA to review. The decision for accreditation comes from COA based on this review and the program presentation from the MLIS program.
i. The Curriculum document was sent to the Advisory Council electronically. Faculty member, Marilyn Cathcart, walked the Advisory Council through the Curriculum document. In summary, the program does meet the standard, the curriculum has been mapped to the Standards, the curriculum has had some changes as classes have been added and some have been taken away, and the IMLS grant is being used to enhance the curriculum and is not being used to do a major re-design. Since the External Review Panel was here, faculty have continued to work on the curriculum and added a research course and portfolio requirement. The current curriculum is synched with ALA Standards, and the College of St. Catherine student learning objectives. The Curriculum document quotes the concerns from COA letter on Standard II and addresses each concern.
ii. The Advisory Council was asked for any immediate questions or comments on the curriculum document. If Members have comments in the next few days, they can send them to Mary or Marilyn. It was suggested to put the tables in the appendices. In support of the first table (illustrating new courses, etc) it should be mentioned that the MLIS program communicates with the Advisory Council and this influences change in courses. LIS 7240 is an example of a course change based on assessment data. This summer the course will include use of various technologies including clickers, e-book readers and smartboards. To clear up some confusion on old and new versions of course, samples of old and new syllabi could be added as evidence. The MLIS program has been teaching an ALA accredited curriculum (from Dominican University) with some changes. It is the responsibility of faculty to continue to move forward with curriculum, incorporate suggestions from the Advisory Council, and connect to the College of St. Catherine as an institution. Dominican was on conditional accreditation for 3 years, and received full accreditation in Spring 2008. This situation of the MLIS program obtaining accreditation is unique because of the partnership with an already accredited institution.
c. Faculty Research
i. The President and the Vice President of the College of St. Catherine will be addressing this issue at the April 17th meeting.
ii. In talking to Karen O’Brien, the COA concerns about faculty research were faculty productivity, having many junior faculty, and support for research. The College does hire junior faculty. And these junior faculty members are at the beginning of their productivity. Also need to consider that College of St. Catherine is not a Research I institution.
iii. Advisory Council Member, Bob Horton agreed to draft a paragraph for the response document to address COA and set the tone for the documents. Mary has met with employers such as MELSA and CLIC. She has been talking to the professional community about a timeline and the implications in hiring or working with students. Mary will be talking with SLA and MALL.
iv. As soon as the MLIS program hears from COA, they will let everyone know any changes. Students will then be making decisions about this term. Some have delayed completion of the program for this term. Those in the middle of their program will decide if they want to slow down their program. Those who started this January will decide whether to stay in the program or transfer to another. There are approximately 10 students on leave right now and are waiting to hear about the decision. There are also about 70 new applicants for the Fall term and 20 prospective students at the Graduate Information Sessions. The president of the College of St. Catherine and the president of Dominican University are in conversation.
IV. Annual MLIS Summit. The MLIS Summit will be on Monday, April 27 at 5:30pm in the ballroom. There will be more information about accreditation at this gathering of students, faculty, adjunct faculty, alums, employers and others interested in the program.