SLIS introduces fully online master’s program

Olivia Arnette

Kent State’s School of Library and Information Science (SLIS) will offer a completely online program, eDegree, to students pursuing a master’s degree, beginning Fall 2011.

The eDegree program seeks to benefit students in pursuit of a master’s who are unable to be in a classroom at a specific time because of work, family or other obligations.

“Students are guaranteed registration in the online courses required to complete their degree and will graduate with an MLIS (master’s of library and information science) in a specified timeframe,” said Florence Cunningham, marketing communications and public relations director for SLIS.

Cunningham said SLIS expects the eDegree program to increase enrollment because of its flexibility for students.

Julius Jamison, who completed his master’s in library and information science in 2010, said if the eDegree program were offered during his time at Kent State, he would have chosen it because of its convenience.

“I think the eDegree program will be beneficial to students because it demands self-responsibility and time management to meet deadlines,” Jamison said. “Student discussions are usually more enlightening with online classes because when writing rather than casually speaking, you have to put more thought into what you say.”

eDegree will replace the 12-12-12 program SLIS has offered for the past ten years. The 12-12-12 program offered courses through interactive, two-way video conferencing and required students to travel to the Kent State campus or to the State Library of Ohio in Columbus at least two nights a week for two years. SLIS also did not design it for students wanting to specialize in a specific area.

Students in the eDegree program will be able to specialize in any one of four areas: children/young adult librarianship, public librarianship, K-12 school library media specialist and museum studies professional.

The eDegree program will offer students two timeframes to complete the required coursework. The fast track would require three courses per semester for four semesters. The two-year option would require two courses per semester over six semesters.

Contact Summer Kent Stater reporter Olivia Arnette at [email protected].