Monday, September 14, 2009

It's Accreditation Week!!

I'm not sure if I've mentioned it before, but UA's MLIS program is undergoing continuing accreditation this week (I've been told this is the proper way to phrase the process). Accreditation is a huge deal mainly because it affects students' ability to get a job. 99.9% of the job postings I've read in the last few weeks (which is a lot) have required "a masters degree from an ALA accredited program". Thus, it's important that these three days go well. It also means that my life is officially crazy. I'm currently serving as the acting president of the Student Advisory Committee (SAC) because the old president graduated so I have to meet with the External Review Panel (ERP) today and tomorrow. Yesterday, we had a very nice reception to welcome the committee and I spend the time running around introducing myself to the panel and making sure they felt welcomed by the student body. Yesterday's reception went nicely as did the breakout sessions that followed. Members of the panel met with students, alumni, employers, and adjunct faculty and we talked about what did and didn't like about SLIS. I was pleased to hear that most people are very satisfied with the education they are getting. I know I've been very pleased.

I had the privilege of walking the panel over from the hotel this morning (all part of my duties as a GTA apparently) and I felt that they were satisfied with how things are going so far and they didn't have a lot of probing questions for me, which I took to mean they think our program is doing okay. Really hope I interpreted that correctly, fingers crossed. I certainly don't think that SLIS is in danger of losing its accreditation, but I think our program is on the rise, and I would like it to stay that way. Today, I'm meeting with several members about SAC's involvement which makes me nervous because I haven't prepared for this at all, so I'm hoping they don't ask me anything I don't know the answer too. Tomorrow all the student leaders, including the remaining SAC members, and the officers of the various student groups are meeting with the panel to discuss student leadership. After that, my duties are over.

Mostly, I'm just hoping this visit goes well and that the panel leaves with a good vision of SLIS and its students. The weeks leading up to this visit have been incredibly stressful, so I'm definitely looking forward things calming down and life getting back to normal.

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