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The Standards, They Are A-Changin’

January 22, 2014

In the December 28 post, Reflecting on the Standards, we read about a special issue of Communications in Information Literacy that examines the proposed changes to the ACRL Information Literacy Standards.  Taking place in parallel to the work ACRL is doing on the Information Literacy Standards, the Middle States Commission of Higher Education has also spent the past year reviewing their current accreditation standards and have developed proposed new standards.

One of their guiding principles during this revision process focuses on the ‘Student Learning Experience’.  In particular, as quoted from their guiding principles document:

The standards should ensure that institutions of higher education succeed in educating students and providing them with the skills and competencies they need for personal success, including employment and lifelong learning.

As librarians, the work that we do, the services we provide, and the resources we purchase are all centered on enhancing the students’ learning experience.  Just as it is important that we are knowledgeable of and support the Information Literacy Standards of ACRL, we should also be aware of other standards that reflect the work we do at our institutions.

Middle States is working to simplify the current standards, Characteristics of Excellence.  They are reducing the number of standards from 14 to 7, stating their intent is to eliminate redundancies while maintaining the overall focus of the standards.  Middle States is inviting review of the initial draft as well as comments on this draft.  With ACRL currently drafting new Information Literacy Competencies, this comes at an ideal time.

Please review the Middle States press announcement, which includes links to the proposed standards as well as an area for comments:
https://www.msche.org/?Nav1=NEWS&Nav2=NEWSROOM&Nav3=STANDARDS&strPageName=

Should the above link not work, here is a direct link to the proposed revision: http://www.msche.org/documents/characteristicsdraft120913.pdf

Comments can be shared with Middle States by January 31:  https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/CHXRevisions2013

Middle States will also be hosting various Town Halls later this year.  Those dates and locations are also listed in the above press announcement link.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Beth Evans permalink
    February 4, 2014 2:20 am

    As you point out, “taking place in parallel to the work ACRL is doing on the Information Literacy Standards, the Middle States Commission of Higher Education has also spent the past year reviewing their current accreditation standards and have developed proposed new standards.” The results of what Middle States is doing is most unfortunate for libraries. Please see http://acrlog.org/2014/01/27/accreditation-standards-libraries-a-dangerous-ride-down-a-devolving-course/. There is no mention of information literacy or of libraries in the new document, though Middle States does include, as part of what a general education provides, “scientific and quantitative reasoning, critical analysis and reasoning, and
    technological competency” and notes that support of the student experience is likely to include “athletic, student life, and other extracurricular activities.” It is critical that libraries voice their concerns and be present at the scheduled town hall meetings.

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