Academic journal article Journal of Education for Library and Information Science

International Perspectives in LIS Education: Global Education, Research, and Collaboration at the SJSU School of Information

Academic journal article Journal of Education for Library and Information Science

International Perspectives in LIS Education: Global Education, Research, and Collaboration at the SJSU School of Information

Article excerpt

Introduction

As educators and researchers, the San José State University (SJSU) School of Information (http://ischool.sjsu.edu/) faculty is engaged in a wide range of activities that focus on key trends impacting the information environment, including access to information with new technologies, online education for global learning, hyper-connected communities, and the global information environment (IFLA, 2015). The importance of incorporating global perspectives in the curriculum to reflect changes in the way that communities around the world access and share information is the focus of numerous studies. The SJSU iSchool has been an early adopter of practices to increase the range of international education, outreach, and research initiatives. This article provides examples of curricular, research, and collaborative projects that our faculty has developed, both for our students and for the global community of information professionals. Together, these sections show the diverse ways the iSchool is addressing the need in higher education to reach across national borders, especially in the information field.

SJSU School of Information Overview-Michelle Holschuh Simmons

The SJSU School of Information (iSchool) has been 100% online since 2009, and the virtual nature of the program provides incomparable opportunities for global outreach and partnerships. With approximately 1800 students spread across 50 states and 18 countries, and with faculty members hailing from across the United States as well as Canada, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, and others, our program truly is global.

The iSchool is a unit of the College of Applied Arts and Sciences (CASA) at San José State University, which is part of the California State University system in the United States. The iSchool offers the following degree programs:

* Master in Library and Information Science (MLIS)

* Master in Archives and Records Management (MARA)

* Post-master's certificate program for working professionals

* Gateway Ph.D. program in cooperation with Queensland University of Technology in Queensland, Australia.

All of these degree programs prepare graduate students for careers as librarians and information professionals who work in a wide variety of environments and positions.

The American Library Association (ALA) has accredited the MLIS program continuously since 1969, with full accreditation through 2021. The MLIS program at the SJSU iSchool was the first fully-online program to receive full accreditation from the ALA, having earned reaccreditation in 2014. The SJSU iSchool is a recognized leader in online learning, earning the 2013 Sloan Consortium Effective Practice Award (http://ischool.sjsu. edu/about/news/detail/sjsu-slis-receivessloan-c-award-honoring-innovation-online-learning) for innovation in online education and the 2014 Online Learning Consortium Award (http://ischool.sjsu. edu/about/news/detail/sjsu-school-information-wins-outstanding-online-programaward-online-learning) for Outstanding Online Program.

The iSchool's mission incorporates a global perspective: "In support of the University's mission, the School of Information educates information professionals who are highly competent in virtual and physical environments and who contribute to the well-being of our global communities" (SJSU iSchool, n.d., Mission and Governance). This mission has several strategic directions, with Strategic Direction 1.8 directly relating to global perspectives: "Identify and implement ways to build in internationalization and globalization components into the curriculum" (SJSU iSchool, 2015, January).

The mission statement and the strategic direction are made concrete for students in the iSchool's core competencies of the MLIS degree; these core competencies serve as our program learning outcomes. The relevant core competency states, "Each graduate of the Master of Library and Information Science program is able to contribute to the cultural, economic, educational, and social well-being of our global communities" (SJSU iSchool, n. …

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