Change in Curriculum for Fall 2013

Recently, the GSLIS community received news that beginning with the incoming class of 2013, the curriculum will be changing.  The core requirements are changing (Evaluation of Information Services will be replaced with a Foundations course), the program will increase to 39 credits, and most importantly to me, that there will be a new capstone requirement put in place.  For me as a SLT student, my capstone experiences are my practica, both at the elementary and the high school level.  It's part of the state licensing requirements, but as I draw to the end of my elementary practicum, I realize just how valuable an experience this is, so much so that before this announcement was made, I was going to write a blog post exhorting new students to sign up for LIS 501, a 150-hour, hands-on internship.

Here's why I approve of this change.

As a GSLIS student, you will read many articles.  These articles will tell you about a wide range of issues that are relevant to librarians, such as conducting reader's advisory interactions, having a successful reference encounter, how to evaluate the ease with which users can locate materials in your library, etc.  You'll discuss these situations, some of your classmates who have real experiences in these areas will share their perspective, and you'll leave class feeling well-informed and thinking to yourself, "yeah, I've got this."  But really, you don't.  It's not until you either have your own library or (better, in my opinion), you get a trial run before having (in my case) a job managing your own program that you really get to put into practice what you've discussed, that the abstract becomes real.  It's a tremendously informative and satisfying process.  That all GSLIS students will now be encourage to pursue some sort of capstone experience is excellent news, and if you can find time to do both a capstone project and an internship, do.  The more experience you get, the better.  The more mentors you find through the process, the better.

It's also nice to see that the GSLIS faculty are committed to continual evaluation of the curriculum and considering how best to meet the needs of students.  What made sense in the past doesn't necessarily make sense anymore, so it's nice to see reflection and well-considered change.  So although these changes will not affect me, I say kudos to the faculty of the GSLIS community for making these changes.

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