Standards for Accreditation

Following is a much-abbreviated form of the 2008 Standards (complete document):

I. Mission, Goals, and Objectives
A school's mission and program goals are pursued, and its program objectives achieved, through implementation of a broad-based planning process that involves the constituency that a program seeks to serve. Consistent with the values of the parent institution and the culture and mission of the school, program goals, and objectives foster quality education.

Program objectives are stated in terms of educational results to be achieved and reflect

  • the essential character of the field of library and information studies; that is, recordable information and knowledge, and the services and technologies to facilitate their management and use, encompassing information and knowledge creation, communication, identification, selection, acquisition, organization and description, storage and retrieval, preservation, analysis, interpretation, evaluation, synthesis, dissemination, and management
  • the philosophy, principles, and ethics of the field
  • appropriate principles of specialization identified in applicable policy statements and documents of relevant professional organizations
  • the value of teaching and service to the advancement of the field
  • the importance of research to the advancement of the field's knowledge base
  • the importance of contributions of library and information studies to other fields of knowledge
  • the importance of contributions of other fields of knowledge to library and information studies
  • the role of library and information services in a rapidly changing multicultural, multiethnic, multilingual society, including the role of serving the needs of underserved groups
  • the role of library and information services in a rapidly changing technological and global society
  • the needs of the constituencies that a program seeks to serve

II. Curriculum
The curriculum is based on goals and objectives and evolves in response to a systematic planning process. Within this general framework, the curriculum provides, through a variety of educational experiences, for the study of theory, principles, practice, and values necessary for the provision of service in libraries and information agencies and in other contexts.
The curriculum is concerned with recordable information and knowledge, and the services and technologies to facilitate their management and use. The curriculum of library and information studies encompasses information and knowledge creation, communication, identification, selection, acquisition, organization and description, storage and retrieval, preservation, analysis, interpretation, evaluation, synthesis, dissemination, and management.

III. Faculty
The school has a faculty capable of accomplishing program objectives. Full-time faculty members are qualified for appointment to the graduate faculty within the parent institution and are sufficient in number and in diversity of specialties to carry out the major share of the teaching, research, and service activities required for a program, wherever and however delivered. Part-time faculty, when appointed, balance and complement the teaching competencies of the full-time faculty. Particularly in the teaching of specialties that are not represented in the expertise of the full-time faculty, part-time faculty enrich the quality and diversity of a program.

IV. Students
The school formulates recruitment, admission, financial aid, placement, and other academic and administrative policies for students that are consistent with the school's mission and program goals and objectives; the policies reflect the needs and values of the constituencies served by a program. The school has policies to recruit and retain a multicultural, multiethnic, and multilingual student body from a variety of backgrounds. The composition of the student body is such that it fosters a learning environment consistent with the school's mission and program goals and objectives.

V. Administration and Financial Support
The school is an integral yet distinctive academic unit within the institution. Its autonomy is sufficient to assure that the intellectual content of its program, the selection and promotion of its faculty, and the selection of its students are determined by the school within the general guidelines of the institution. The parent institution provides the resources and administrative support needed for the attainment of program objectives.
The parent institution provides continuing financial support sufficient to develop and maintain library and information studies education in accordance with the general principles set forth in these standards. The level of support provides a reasonable expectation of financial viability and is related to the number of faculty, administrative and support staff, instructional resources, and facilities needed to carry out the school's program of teaching, research, and service.

VI. Physical Resources and Facilities
A program has access to physical resources and facilities that are sufficient to the accomplishment of its objectives.

If readers have questions about the process or other aspects of accreditation, please contact SLIS. General information about the accreditation process may be found at the ALA website under the Office of Accreditation.

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