ASIS&T Issues Study on Graduate Information Programs and Accreditation
SILVER SPRING, MD—The Information Professionals Task Force of the Association for Information Science and Technology (ASIS&T) has issued a report reviewing the current status of information professional programs and related accreditation activities. The report, Graduate Information Programs and Accreditation: Landscape Analysis and Survey, is available at http://www.asis.org/news.html.
As stated in the report, “There is a concern that the proliferation of information programs poses a problem of legitimacy, accountability, consistency, and quality assurance within the information field.” This situation led task force chair and ASIS&T President Nancy Roderer to commission, Samantha Becker and Bo Kinney, graduate students at the University of Washington’s I-School, to conduct the study with support from the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR).
The report includes the following key findings:
About 900 distinct information-related master’s programs exist across 468 institutions. Some are designated as majors and others as concentrations in a major. A total of 220 distinct majors or concentration areas were found in 500 academic units.
Slightly more than one third of the programs are located in four core disciplinary domains: engineering, computer science, information science, and applied information science/informatics.
Of the remaining programs, fully half were found within the business domain. Most of the remaining programs are distributed among biological and health sciences, library science, public administration, communications, and education.
- 60% of the programs have majors or concentrations in at least one of the following categories: information systems, informatics, information technology, and information science.
The study’s appendixes provide a directory of master’s information programs and profiles of 19 information school programs, including how each is accredited.
In September, ASIS&T and CLIR will cosponsor an invitational meeting of information organizations to discuss the establishment of a new accreditation process for the range of master’s degree programs that educate information professionals.
For more on the goals of the Information Professionals Task Force and its efforts, see the ASIS&T Presidential White Paper at http://www.asist.org/news.html.
Since 1937, ASIS&T has been the society for information professionals leading the search for new and better theories, techniques, and technologies to improve access to information. ASIS&T brings together diverse streams of knowledge, focusing what might be disparate approaches into novel solutions to common problems. Information about ASIS&T is available at www.asist.org
CLIR is an independent, nonprofit, organization whose mission is to expand access to information, however recorded and preserved, as a public good. In partnership with other institutions, CLIR helps create services that expand the concept of "library" and supports the providers and preservers of information. Information about CLIR and its work is available at www.clir.org