Master of Library and Information Science - MLIS

Vision

Empowering people through information and technology for a more just, equitable, and compassionate world.

Mission

The St. Catherine University MLIS program is a student-centered and social justice oriented graduate program. We prepare students to be critical thinkers and leading information professionals who promote equity through access, use, evaluation, sharing, and creation of information.

Values Statement

Empowerment through information

  • We promote access to, creation, and use of information to empower people to be critical thinkers, engaged learners, and creative problem solvers.

Social justice

  • We are passionately focused on examining and eliminating the root causes of social injustice including racism, sexism, classism, ableism, and other forms of oppression both in and beyond our profession.

Women’s leadership

  • We seek to prepare information professionals who can understand and create leadership opportunities for women in the LIS profession.

Student centered

  • We are committed to the academic, professional, and holistic well-being of our students.

Authentic learning experiences

  • We provide educational experiences that maximize student learning through the deployment and assessment of best practices in teaching and real-life applications.   

Community engagement

  • We build strong collaborations and partnerships within and beyond LIS communities to enhance student learning and create positive impact on society.  

Goals and Objectives

Education: The MLIS Program's first goal is to empower students to become leaders in the information professions.

  1. To provide a rigorous curriculum that ensures general competencies and specializations in the fields of library and information science and encompasses ethical leadership, critical thinking, technological fluency and diverse perspectives.
  2. To recruit, retain and support a highly-qualified, diverse student body.
  3. To recruit, retain and support a talented, dedicated and diverse faculty who are excellent teachers as well as active participants in the library and information science professions.
  4. To provide a quality learning environment for students and faculty.

Research: The MLIS Program's second goal is to contribute knowledge to advance the discipline and improve practice.

  1. To create new knowledge.
  2. To disseminate research results.
  3. To create and nurture a productive research environment.
  4. To promote students' research.

Service: The MLIS Program's third goal is to use our expertise to serve, lead and collaborate with our communities.

  1. To increase awareness of our program's identity and purpose to better serve our communities.
  2. To serve, lead and collaborate within the department and across academic units of St. Catherine University.
  3. To serve, lead and collaborate with academic and professional communities at the local, national and international levels.
  4. To serve, lead and collaborate with community partners.

Sustaining Environment: The MLIS Program's fourth goal is to ensure excellence in the program's foundations and resources to enable it to achieve its goals and objectives.

  1. To ensure ongoing planning within the MLIS program and St. Catherine University, as well as among partner institutions and individuals.
  2. To ensure ongoing support for the program's learning and research environment.

Student Learning Outcomes

The outcomes of the MLIS degree program are to develop information literate, reflective practitioners who have the ability to:

  1. Understand the philosophical, historical, and ethical foundations of the field.
  2. Through understanding the relationships among information, people, and technology, apply library and information science principles and practices.
  3. Demonstrate understanding of research methods and the interdisciplinary nature of LIS knowledge.
  4. Apply research knowledge and skills to improve practice, critically evaluate the works of others, and answer questions in the profession.
  5. Understand the social, cultural and ethical implications of technologies on individuals, organizations, society, and the library and information professions.
  6. Critically analyze, select, use, apply, and evaluate technologies in the information environment.
  7. Understand issues of power, privilege, and marginalization in society and how they relate to the library and information professions.
  8. Analyze inequities in library and information services and work to empower marginalized groups.
  9. Understand and promote literacy for self actualization and participation in a global society.
  10. Understand learning principles and pedagogy to educate users according to their needs.
  11. Understand and apply principles of leadership, management, advocacy, and communication.
  12. Articulate your own philosophy, principles, and ethics of library and information science and apply them to professional practice.

Accreditation

The Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) program is accredited by the American Library Association (ALA). It is the only Minnesota-based library and information science program, and one of only 63 programs at 58 institutions in North America, to be so recognized. See the ALA website for Directory Information: http://www.ala.org/accreditedprograms/directory.

Contact information for the American Library Association (ALA): 50 E. Huron, Chicago, IL, 60611; phone: (800) 545-2433.

Incomplete Grades

No more than six credits of incomplete grades may be accumulated at one time. If incomplete grades exceed this level, students will be restricted from further registration until incomplete course work is completed.

Years to Complete the Program

The degree program must be completed within five years.

Transfer of Credit

Up to six semester credits earned from a regionally accredited college or university in a graduate level discipline demonstrably relevant to library and information science may be accepted at the point of admission for transfer into the MLIS program. Transfers must be requested in writing to the MLIS Associate Dean for approval.

Acceptance of transfer credit is based on the following conditions:

  • the credits were part of the institution’s approved curriculum and were offered in a program leading to a degree or certificate
  • the credits were not taken through the institution’s extension program
  • the credits were earned with a grade of B or better
  • the credits were earned within the past five years

A decision on whether to grant the transfer of credit will be made as soon as possible after the request is received, but no later than the first term during which the student is enrolled.

Conditions for Probation and Dismissal

Students are expected to make appropriate academic progress leading to the successful completion of their degrees. Students are expected to maintain a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 (B) throughout the program. MLIS students must have a final GPA of 3.0 in order for the degree to be awarded.

If the GPA falls below 3.0 upon taking nine semester credits, students are placed on probation. If placed on probation, they must achieve a 3.0 cumulative GPA by the end of the term when the total credits taken equal or exceed 18.

Students not achieving the minimum GPA after taking 18 credits will be dismissed from the program. St. Catherine University’s MLIS program reserves the right to deny registration to any student who, in the opinion of the Program, is not progressing satisfactorily toward a degree.

Students must receive a grade of B- or greater in the following MLIS core courses or must retake the course.

MLIS Core Courses
LIS 7010Introduction to Library and Information Science3
LIS 7030Organization of Knowledge3
LIS 7040Information Access Services3
Choose one of the following3
Management of Libraries and Information Centers (Required for MLIS)
School Libraries (Required for SLMS)
Total Credits12

Students must receive a grade of C+ or greater in the following core course or must retake the course the following semester:

MLIS Core Courses
LIS 7050Research Methods for Library Information Science3
Total Credits3

Opportunities for Work Experience and Independent Study

Practicum

Practicum is a supervised, unpaid student work experience of 120 hours (generally 10 hours x 12 weeks) in an approved library or information center under the direction of a MLIS faculty member. Students meet with the faculty member in a seminar setting. Certain key assignments must be completed.

Students enrolling in the Practicum must have completed the core courses and have approval from the instructor or MLIS Associate Dean. Students are encouraged to register for a practicum after completing 24 credits or higher. Academic credit is received for this course.

Independent Study

Students wishing to research a topic that is related to library and information science that is not covered in the MLIS curriculum may register for independent study (LIS 8010 Special Studies in Librarianship), working closely with a faculty member whose expertise and interests lie within the proposed research area.

Independent studies are designed for students who have completed eight courses of their program and have a grade point average of 3.3 or better or with permission of the MLIS Associate Dean. The form for submission of an independent study proposal is available online on the Registrar's Forms page. No student may complete more than two independent studies.

Students must have sufficient background to work independently and must develop a proposal for independent study that meets the approval of the faculty supervisor and/or the Associate Dean. The independent study should be of sufficient academic and scholarly substance and merit to be worthy of at least three credits, and it should result in a product that will document both the substance and merit of the study. An independent study is not a substitute for taking a class.

Internship

No academic credit is given for an internship. An internship is a student work experience in a library or information center for which the sponsoring institution may or may not pay the student for hours worked. The sponsoring institution sets the hours, interviews the student, and provides any job training required. The MLIS office posts notices of internships.

MLIS Articulation Program for St. Catherine Undergraduate Seniors

The Articulation Program offers qualified seniors enrolled at St. Catherine University the opportunity to take 1-2 courses (up to 6 credits) in the MLIS program while completing their undergraduate degree. These graduate credits count as electives toward the bachelor’s degree, or (with approval) as course replacements within the student’s major in the undergraduate program. Additionally, the credits apply toward the graduate degree if the student is admitted into the MLIS program after completing the bachelor’s degree.


Eligibility
Undergraduate students must meet the following conditions to be eligible for the Articulation program:

  • Current enrollment in a St. Catherine bachelor’s degree program (CFW or CFA)
  • Completion of at least 92 semester credits by the first day of the graduate class
  • Completion of at least 16 credits in residence in the CFW or CFA bachelor’s program
  • An institutional cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher
  • In need of elective credits (or approved course replacement within the major) to complete their bachelor’s degree requirements
  • Approval from the Academic Advising Office

Please note: being eligible for the Articulation program (based on the above criteria) does not guarantee approval by the MLIS program director to enroll in a graduate-level course.


Interested students must meet with Academic Advising to confirm eligibility and to obtain guidance in completing the following application requirements for MLIS consideration:

  • Personal statement indicating professional background and personal goals (one page)
  • Current résumé
  • One recommendation completed by a St. Kate’s faculty member, attesting to the student’s readiness for graduate academic rigor

Students who are eligible for the Articulation Program will submit the above required documents to their academic advisor, who will forward the material (along with a copy of the student’s current St. Catherine University transcript) to the MLIS program director for review. If the program director approves the request for graduate-level enrollment, the director and student will discuss course options for the upcoming semester(s). The student then works with her academic advisor to register for the graduate course(s) during the upcoming registration period.

Both the Academic Advising Office and the MLIS program reserve the right to limit the number of undergraduate students in the graduate courses. Articulation students who receive approval for graduate enrollment will be registered for specific graduate courses on a first-come, first-served basis. Undergraduate students must complete all of the course work and meet the same academic expectations required of the graduate students in the MLIS classes.

Acceptance as an Articulation student and enrollment in a graduate-level course does not guarantee admission into the full MLIS degree program (or other St. Catherine University graduate programs) if the student applies for graduate admission in the future.

Non-Degree Seeking Students

Applicants in the following categories may be admitted as non-degree seeking students:

  • students in other graduate library and information science programs, if the institution in which they are enrolled will accept credit earned at St. Catherine University as part of the requirements for their graduate degree
  • students enrolled in other graduate degree programs needing a course to complete certification requirements for a specific degree, and with permission of the MLIS Associate Dean
  • students with a previously earned MLIS degree

Tuition for a graduate non-degree seeking student is the same as for degree-seeking students. Non-degree seeking students are limited to two MLIS courses for a total of six semester credits, and are not eligible for financial aid.

MAOL Information Services and Technology Concentration

Students in the Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership (MAOL) may choose to take MLIS courses to complete a master’s concentration in Information Services and Technology, or a post-graduate certificate in Library Leadership.

See the Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership section of this catalog for more information.

Master of Library and Information Science Program

The MLIS program is designed to educate entry-level librarians and information specialists and provide the educational foundations for lifelong professional development. Students may prepare for positions in public and academic libraries, schools or specialized libraries in the public and private sectors.

The 36-credit curriculum is composed of a range of courses to prepare students for professional responsibilities in a diverse spectrum of libraries and information organizations. There is no thesis requirement.

The maximum load is nine credit hours per semester and six credit hours in the summer session. Courses are offered weekends and evenings on the St. Paul campus. Not all courses are offered on the weekend.

Degree Requirements: MLIS

The degree of Master of Library and Information Science is conferred upon candidates who have met the following requirements:

  • completion of a minimum of 36 graduate semester credits in Library and Information Science, with a minimum of 30 credits completed in St. Catherine University’s MLIS program
  • attainment of a minimum grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale
  • satisfactory completion of the required core courses and approved ePortfolio
  • Students in the MLIS/SLMS track must complete a pre-student teaching interview, student teaching experience and an approved ePortfolio
  • completion of the degree program within five years
  • filing an Intent to Graduate form with the Office of the Registrar in the semester before the anticipated graduation date
  • current resume submitted to the MLIS program office during the last semester (required as part of the ePortfolio)

Students graduating also are asked to complete the graduating student survey.

Curriculum

Required Core Courses
LIS 7010Introduction to Library and Information Science3
LIS 7030Organization of Knowledge3
LIS 7040Information Access Services3
LIS 7050Research Methods for Library Information Science3
LIS 7700Management of Libraries and Information Centers3
Online ePortfolio
Electives21
Total Credits36

All courses require LIS 7010 Introduction to Library and Information Science as a prerequisite, and therefore LIS 7010 Introduction to Library and Information Science is the recommended first course for all MLIS students. Students should schedule the other core courses as early in their program of study as possible.

The majority of the elective courses require one or more courses as prerequisites. Prerequisites may be waived by the instructor. Students should contact the instructor if requesting a prerequisite waiver. Note: core courses LIS 7010 Introduction to Library and Information Science, LIS 7030 Organization of Knowledge and LIS 7040 Information Access Services are prerequisites for all 8000-level courses.

Master of Library and Information Science with School Library Media Specialist License Program

This option within the Master of Library and Information Science degree program is designed to educate students wishing to become school librarians. The prescribed course sequence  fulfills the requirements for the Minnesota School Library Media Specialist (SLMS) license. 

By pursuing this option, students learn the principles of librarianship in general and service to children and young adults in particular. Developmental psychology of the child, pre-adolescent, and adolescent is woven into the literature courses. The philosophy of education for elementary, middle and secondary school levels is an integral part of the curriculum.

Some of the topics in the curriculum include

  • information literacy
  • educator collaboration
  • integration of the library media program into school curriculum
  • instructional technology
  • literature-based curriculum
  • program administration
  • communication
  • professional development

Students graduate from this program with a firm understanding of the roles of the school librarian and the library media program within the school context and the extended school learning community. Graduates become educational leaders in their schools and school districts.

Degree Requirements: MLIS with SLMS Licensure

To fulfill the requirements for the MLIS degree with the Minnesota School Library Media Specialist licensure, students must:

  • fulfill all the requirements for the MLIS Degree substituting LIS 7730 for LIS 7700
  • complete the prescribed SLMS sequence of eleven courses plus one elective (36 semester credits)
  • successfully complete the pre-student teaching interview and the clinical experience/student teaching with a digital portfolio
  • if you do not hold a Minnesota teaching license:
    • meet the general education and professional education requirements of the State of Minnesota
    • complete an edTPA (Teacher Performance Assessment) portfolio
    • pass the National Evaluation Series (NES) basic skills test prior to clinical experience/student teaching
    • pass the Minnesota Teacher Licensure Examination (MTLE) pedagogy
  • pass the Minnesota Teacher Licensure Examination (MTLE) content area – library media specialist
  • file an application for licensure with the Education Department, St. Catherine University

Students with Minnesota State Education Credentials

If students already possess Minnesota state education credentials, the following program of eleven specific LIS courses, one elective, pre-student teaching interview and student teaching meets the requirements for the MLIS degree plus the Minnesota School Library Media Specialist license.

Curriculum

Required Core Courses
LIS 7010Introduction to Library and Information Science3
LIS 7030Organization of Knowledge3
LIS 7040Information Access Services3
LIS 7050Research Methods for Library Information Science3
LIS 7160Leadership in Theory and Practice3
LIS 7210Library Materials for Children3
LIS 7220Library Materials for Young Adults3
LIS 7240Technology for Teaching and Learning3
LIS 7250Curriculum and School Libraries3
LIS 7730School Libraries3
LIS 7283Clinical Experience/Student Teaching3-6
or LIS 7286 Clinical Experience/Student Teaching
Electives3
Total Credits36-39

Note: Students who leave the School Library Media Specialist track must take LIS 7700 Management of Libraries and Information Centers to complete the requirements for the MLIS degree.

Clinical Experience/Student Teaching in School Libraries – Required

To put into practice the knowledge gained from course work, students complete field experiences in a variety of school library settings. Upon completion of required course work, students with a teaching license register for LIS 7283 Clinical Experience/Student Teaching. Students who do not have a teaching license must register for LIS 7286 Clinical Experience/Student Teaching.

LIS 7283 Clinical Experience/Student Teaching (3 credits) is for educators with a current Minnesota teaching license. This is a combination of 200 hours of clinical observations and supervised student teaching.

LIS 7286 Clinical Experience/Student Teaching (6 credits) is for students who do not possess Minnesota teaching credentials. This is a combination of 400+ hours of clinical observations and supervised student teaching.

Students Who Do Not Hold Minnesota Teaching Credentials

If students do not hold Minnesota teaching credentials, they must complete the courses listed above (eleven specific LIS courses and three elective credits) and the following education and psychology courses required to meet Minnesota state licensing requirements. These courses may be taken before or at the same time as the core MLIS courses.

Required Education and Psychology Courses

EDUC 5070Teachers as Leaders for a Changing Society4
EDUC 5090General Methods: K-12 and Secondary4
EDUC 5490School Health and Chemical Health1
EDUC 7551Literacy in the Content Areas: Secondary2
PSYC 1001General Psychology with Lab4
PSYC 2025Lifespan Developmental Psychology4
Total Credits19

Minnesota School Library Media Specialist Licensure without the MLIS Degree

If students hold Minnesota state teaching credentials, they must complete LIS 7010, LIS 7030, LIS 7040, LIS 7160, LIS 7210, LIS 7220, LIS 7240, LIS 7250, LIS 7730, and LIS 7283 (30 credits) and pass the content area – library media specialist Minnesota Teacher Licensure Exam.

If students do NOT hold Minnesota state teaching credentials, they must complete LIS 7010, LIS 7030, LIS 7040, LIS 7160, LIS 7210, LIS 7220, LIS 7240, LIS 7250, LIS 7730, and LIS 7286 (33 credits); complete the education and psychology classes (19 credits); pass the NES basic skills exam; pass the MTLE pedagogy exam; pass the MTLE library media specialist content area exam.