Simmons.edu

Mission, Vision, & Objectives

Mission

As a single school offering degrees in the three areas of library and information science, children's literature, and computer science, the Simmons School of Library and Information Science prepares students for inspired service, advocacy, and leadership in library and information science, archives, computer science, and children's and young adult literature.

Vision

The Simmons College School of Library and Information Science imagines an interconnected world with a diverse and engaged citizenry empowered by information, cultural heritage, and technology; in which the information disciplines and creativity improve lives; and where literature, knowledge, and collective wisdom are preserved and celebrated.

Mission and Vision voted in at the November 12, 2014 Faculty Meeting; reaffirmed at the November 18, 2015 Faculty Meeting. Reaffirmed at the SLIS retreat on August 25, 2016. 

Strategic Planning 2016-2020 Framework

SLIS listens carefully to a wide range of feedback from its students, alumni, and faculty and seeks input from our constituencies to improve our programs, including curricular, co-curricular, and extra-curricular initiatives.  From responses collected across a variety of forums, we have identified five areas to focus our work. 

We commit to widespread attention to diversity and inclusion so that all our students, alumni, and the people we hope to serve in our professions can feel a sense of belonging. 

Our Boston campus and western Massachusetts locations thrive as vibrant academic communities. We seek to extend and enrich that vibrancy by bringing in new audiences through a variety of course delivery techniques, including online courses.  We aim to reach beyond our historic and current student populations as we enter more national and global discussions about service, advocacy, and leadership.  And we seek to invite and welcome increasingly diverse voices to participate in those discussions.

Our students and alumni remain key to our future stability and growth. Thus, we seek innovative ways in which to expand and deepen our engagement with them and their engagement with us.

Similarly, our faculty remain the intellectual lifeblood of our School and their connections with alumni   unite SLIS over time. We embrace the opportunity to put their scholarly, teaching, and service development at the core of our strategic planning.

SLIS Specific Initiatives:

Informed by two years of results from intentional assessments, we have identified five areas on which to focus the strategies of the School.  Through open discussion with faculty, staff, students, and alumni, we commit to the strategic goals below.

Intentional Assessment
  • Engage in continual assessment of our Program Learning Outcomes and Course Learning Outcomes.
  • Engage in curricular review to address diversity and inclusion, tracks and concentrations, course prerequisites, and professional competencies.
  • Review assessment tools and methods, including sampling strategies (i.e., stakeholders reached), tool design, and response rates.
  • Identify ways to communicate the results and outcomes of SLIS assessments to faculty, staff, alumni, employers, and the rest of the broader College community. 
  • Clarify dual degree admission policies, procedures, and attrition.
  • Modify course offerings to create more robust curriculum.
  • Continually review and update curriculum to adhere to curriculum standards and competencies and keep abreast of technology innovation.
Diversity and Inclusion
  • Review and revise the course evaluation form to address diversity and course climate.
  • Implement programming topics related to diversity and inclusion, including faculty development, student development, discussion groups, and expanding and diversifying student programming.
  • Expand recruitment efforts, including retention rates and creation of a mentoring system for students of color.
  • Support participation in internal and external networking events for students from under-represented populations (e.g. ACM-W, ALA Spectrum Scholars, Hopper and SoCS, Tapia).
Faculty and Staff Development
  • Provide faculty and staff training, specifically in the areas of teaching and interacting with a diverse student population, and teaching online.
  • Evaluate committee structure and service load of faculty.
  • Launch a robust and SLIS-specific new faculty orientation to on-board new tenure-stream faculty, contract faculty, and adjunct faculty.
  • Create venues to increase visibility of faculty work (e.g, conversation days, luncheons, teas, open talks) and to find new outlets for faculty to collaborate (including junior-senior faculty pairings).
  • Continue to provide workshops to support faculty scholarship (prior workshops have included the following:  “Using RAs,” “Funding Opportunities,” and “Finding the Right Journal”)
  • Provide funding for junior faculty support, specifically in lieu of teaching in the summer.
  • Further expand faculty mentoring
Students and Alumni
  • Improve communication, outreach, and connections with students and alumni through social media and direct contact.
  • Host events for alumni throughout the country.
  • Promote increased use of graduate student professional development funds
  • Create an alumni-student mentoring system.
  • Cultivate a philanthropic attitude/ culture from time of admission to graduation and beyond.
  • Increase extracurricular activities to support student success. 
  • Identify and design venues for increased student engagement (for online students with each other, for online and on-campus students) through forums, community exchanges.
Innovative Pedagogy
  • Evaluate the effectiveness, similarities, and differences of a variety of pedagogies, including online, face-to-face, and hybrid course delivery; short-term courses; women-centric teaching; and service learning.
  • Provide faculty training, support and development for online and innovative teaching, including work in UG learning communities and the P.L.A.N. core curriculum, The Simmons World Challenge, and best practices in STEM education.
  • Increase focus on the laboratory experience and experiential learning.  Upgrade and improve laboratory equipment and environment.
  • Strengthen and augment interdisciplinary curriculum.

Strategic Planning Framework voted in at the December 13, 2016 Faculty Meeting.

Program Learning Outcomes

Outcomes for Library and Information Science Students
  • Apply professional standards, tools, and best practices in the information field and across specialized areas.
  • Communicate effectively to different audiences through use of oral, written, and visual formats across multiple media.
  • Develop appropriate technology strategies across a range of information settings.
  • Critically analyze and apply research.
  • Evaluate and create information services and/or systems to reflect and respond to the needs of diverse communities and stakeholders.
  • Demonstrate individual and collaborative leadership ability.
  • Be guided by professional ethics and values.

Program Learning Outcomes voted in by the faculty on September 10, 2014.

Student Competencies and Achievements for Computer Science Students

Computer Science majors will:

  • Understand the fundamental concepts and theory of computing and their application to solving real world problems
  • Express themselves and ideas orally, in writing, and the “languages” of the discipline
  • Master current and cutting edge technologies including programming languages, algorithms, databases, systems analysis, web based technologies, networks, security and hardware
  • Think abstractly, logically, clearly, and critically
  • Work in groups both as a participant and as a leader
  • Relate theory to practice
  • Be lifelong learners and able to teach themselves
  • Understand the ethical, legal, and social implications of technology
  • Become gainfully employed in technology related jobs and/or prepared for graduate study
Learning Outcomes for the Master of Arts in Children's Literature

Students leave Master of Arts (MA) in Children's Literature with an extensive theoretical context and a broad knowledge of contemporary literature for children and young adults. In graduating, they have

  • Developed a critical voice and demonstrated the capacity for original argument;
  • Analyzed literature for children and young adults;
  • Assessed and interpreted scholarship in the field of children’s and young adult literature;
  • Applied critical perspectives across genres in children’s and young adult literature;
  • Understood historical works, contexts,  and influences in the field;
  • Valued the diversities of human experiences (re)presented in literature for children and young adults and in the scholarship in the field; and
  • Demonstrated individual and collaborative leadership.

Revised January 2015.

Learning Outcomes for the Master of Fine Arts in Writing for Children

Students leave Master of Fine Arts in Writing for Children with an extensive theoretical context and a broad knowledge of contemporary literature for children and young adults.   In graduating, they have

  • Developed a critical voice and demonstrated the capacity for original argument;
  • Analyzed literature for children and young adults;
  • Assessed and interpreted scholarship in the field of children’s and young adult literature;
  • Applied critical perspectives across genres in children’s and young adult literature;
  • Understood historical works, contexts,  and influences in the field;
  • Valued the diversities of human experiences (re)presented in literature for children and young adults and in the scholarship in the field;
  • Demonstrated individual and collaborative leadership;
  • Experimented with writing across genres;
  • Evaluated and provided meaningful feedback on manuscripts-in-development; and
  • Completed two original creative projects.

Revised January 2015.