Published November 28, 2023
The American Library Association (ALA) recently granted continued accreditation status to the Master of Science in information and library science program in the Department of Information Science at the University at Buffalo’s Graduate School of Education. This accreditation status is a significant milestone for the program, reaffirming its commitment to excellence in education and preparing information professionals for the challenges of the digital age. The accreditation decision also encompasses the Master of Science in school librarianship program.
The accreditation decision, made by ALA’s Committee on Accreditation (CoA), ensures that the program meets the rigorous standards set by ALA. Accreditation is vital as it signifies that the program has met or exceeded the established benchmarks for quality education and professional development.
Granted earlier this year, the decision was based on a self-study report, an external review panel report, a meeting with the full CoA at the ALA Annual Conference, as well as additional ongoing accreditation and assessment activities of the department.
“The accreditation process ensures that we’re meeting the standards of today’s information professions. Many of our graduates will go into jobs where having an ALA-accredited degree is a requirement—not just a preferred qualification—for applying for that job. It connects us to the profession and opens up career paths and opportunities for our students,” said Dan Albertson, professor and chair of the Department of Information Science.
“Going through the review process also gives us feedback and provides a review of how we’re doing academically,” Albertson continued. “That connection to the profession and the standards impacts the students that we bring in, in terms of our enrollments, as many students are seeking an accredited degree program.”
He notes that Heidi Julien, GSE professor of information science, served as lead writer of the self-study report. “Every person I’ve heard from said that it was an outstanding report—one that’s very comprehensive. Those comments were received from local people all the way up through the CoA,” he said.
This recognition reflects the program’s commitment to excellence in education, diversity and student support. The ALA accreditation review process takes place every seven years. The master’s program has been continuously accredited since 1970.
Offered fully online, the information and library science master’s program focuses on enabling students to seek professional employment in a wide range of information careers in the United States and around the world. It offers specialized program options, including focused coursework in librarianship, technology and information organization.
“As department chair, it validates that we are achieving our mission to deliver high-quality, excellent programs for our students. We thank and appreciate the feedback and efforts of the external review panel and the CoA,” said Albertson.