At the 2017 Annual Conference in Chicago, the American Library Association’s Committee on Accreditation (COA) voted to continue accreditation of the University of Alabama School of Library and Information Studies’ Masters Degree in Library and Information Studies through 2024. This is exciting news for both faculty and students of the SLIS Master’s Degree program, as well as the UA College of Communications and Information Sciences.
For the past year, UA SLIS has undergone a comprehensive accreditation review of the MLIS program. SLIS faculty and staff prepared a thorough self-study in preparation for an evaluation visit by an External Review Panel (ERP). “In the spirit of continuous improvement, the accreditation process involves the strategic assessment and evaluation of a program as well as the enhancement of program operations,” stated Dr. Ann Prentice, Interim Director of SLIS.
The American Library Association Committee on Accreditation (COA) is responsible for “the execution of the accreditation program of ALA, and to develop and formulate standards of education for library and information studies for the approval of council (ALA, 2017).” The COA develops standards for accreditation through a consensus-building process that involves various communities of interest, including educators, students, and professionals in library and information studies. Throughout the standards-development process, the COA seeks, receives, and uses comments and suggestions from library and information studies communities in both the United States and Canada (ALA, 2017).
As part of the mission to develop and formulate standards of education for library and information studies, the COA reviews the Standards for Accreditation of Master’s Programs in Library and Information Studies on an ongoing basis. The 2015 Standards were adopted by approval of the Council of the American Library Association on February 2, 2015.
Congratulations, UA SLIS, on this momentous accomplishment of reaccreditation for the MLIS program through 2024!