MLIS Program Performance


Program Based Assessment

SLIS has developed a set of Program Learning Outcomes  that are focused on the core competencies of our profession.  The culminating e-Portfolio serves to assess a student's mastery of all program learning outcomes (core competencies)  for the MLIS degree before graduation.

Review and Measurement of Individual Program Learning Outcomes.

Starting with the Fall 2007 semester, SLIS has collected data  each semester on the number of revisions needed to satisfactorily demonstrate achievement of a defined subset of 5 of the MLIS Program Learning Outcomes or Core Competencies presented in students' culminating electronic portfolios. Our goal is to have 90% or better of LIBR 289 (e-Portfolio) students who need no or only 1 revision to a Statement of Competency, the essay in which they demonstrate achievement of a specific Program Learning Outcome. If less than 90% of students submit work at that level, then that identifies for the faculty a need for curricular review of the courses that address that Program Learning Outcome..

Since 2007 we have collected datasets on all of our competencies and are in the process of reviewing all of them a second time as part of our ongoing curricular review process.

Assessment of Individual Program Learning Outcomes Reports MLIS

Course Student Learning Outcomes and Course Mapping to Program Core Competencies (Program Learning Outcomes)

Each course has both student learning outcomes - linked to assignments - as well as core competencies (program learning outcomes) defined for that particular class. - See

External Inputs into the Curriculum

Field Based Program Advisory Committees

International Advisory Council

Emerging Job Trends and Titles -annual survey

Retention Data

As a student progresses through the MLIS program there are three key transition points where we can see retention rates.

1. After the required one unit LIBR 203. This class - Online Social Networking - is the first class taken by students admitted into the program. Students are required to pass the class in order to continue. One of the purposes of the class is to help determine if a student is equipped for the online environment.

Table 1. LIBR 203 Retention and Pass Data

Semester Total Enrolled by SLIS Withdrawn/dropped Still Enrolled at Semester End NC CR Retention Rate Pass Rate
Fall 2010 436 61 375 6 369 86% 98.50%
Spring 2011 291 28 263 3 260 90% 98.90%
Fall 2011 532 86 446 3 443 84% 99.3%
Spring 2012 429 83 346 1 345 81% 99.7%
Fall 2012 506 81 425 5 420 84% 98.8%
Spring 2013 236 26 210 2 208 89% 99%
Fall 2013 404 68 336 4 332 83% 99%
Spring 2014 355 65 290 1 289 81.7% 99.7%


2. Core Courses. All students are required to make a B in each of the core classes (LIBR 200 (Information and Society), LIBR 202 (Information Retrieval), LIBR 204 (Information Organizations and Management)). Students who fail to make a B are placed on administrative probation. They have one more chance to take the class before they are disqualified from the program. The SLIS’ faculty’s target is that 85% of graduate students will successfully make a B in 200, 202, and 204 on the first attempt. This requirement regarding earning a grade of B or higher in each core course ensures that our new students themselves have proven that they possess sufficient interest, aptitude, and qualifications for successful completion of the program and subsequent contribution to the field.

Table 2a. Data about Students Making Less than a B in Core Classes

  200 Total Enrolled # of less than B grades % 202 Total Enrolled # of less than B grades % 204 Total Enrolled # of less than B grades %
Spring 2011 274 27 9.85 264 19 7.19 260 11 4.23
Fall 2011 469 47 10 381 37 9.71 329 24 7.29

Spring 2012


327 34 10.39 325 24 7.38 304 16 5.26

Fall 2012


383 41 10.7 314 28 8.9 311 19 6.10

Spring 2013


219 22 10 219 19 8.6 226 18 7.9

Fall 2013


298 26 8.7 233 18 7.7 219 9 4.1

Spring 2014


290 17 5.8 295 20 6.7 251 11 4.3


Table 2b. Students who Successfully Retake Core classes and Move Forward To Electives


200-Successful Repeats 202-Successful Repeats 204-Successful Repeats
Fall 2011 11 (of 27 Sp 2011 who did not make a B at the first attempt) 7 (of 19 Sp 2011 who did not make a B at the first attempt) 3 (of 11 Sp 2011 who did not make a B at the first attempt)
Spring 2012 21 (of 47 Fa 2011 who did not make a B at the first attempt) 13 (of 37 Fa 2011 who did not make a B at the first attempt) 7 (of 24 Fa 2011 who did not make a B at the first attempt)
Fall 2012 11 (of 34 Sp 2012 who did not make a B at the first attempt) 6 (of 24 Sp 2012 who did not make a B at the first attempt) 3 (of 16 Sp 2012 who did not make a B at the first attempt)
Spring 2013 19 (of 41 Fall 2012 who did not make a B at the first attempt) 8 (of 28 Fall 2012 who did not make a B at the first attempt) 6 (of 19 Fall 2012 who did not make a B at the first attempt)
Fall 2013 5 (of 22 Spring 2013 who did not make a B at the first attempt) 2 (of 19 Spring 2013 who did not make a B at the first attempt) 4 (of 18 Spring 2013 who did not make a B at the first attempt)
Spring 2014 13 (of 26 Fall 2013 who did not make a B at the first attempt) 7 (of 18 Fall 2013 who did not make a B at the first attempt) 3 (of 9 Fall 2013 who did not make a B at the first attempt)


3. In order to graduate with their MLIS degree students must complete as a culminating experience either LIBR 289 (e-Portfolio) or LIBR 299-Thesis.

The great majority of students select e-Portfolio. The goal of the e-Portfolio is to provide a program-based assessment to ensure that each student demonstrates mastery of all program learning outcomes (core competencies) for the degree before graduation.

The e-Portfolio can be completed in one semester though the preparation happens all throughout the student's program.

The completion of a thesis represents an organized research effort, where the student makes an original contribution to the field. It may take as many as two or more years, although most theses require about a year to complete. Between Fall 2010 and Spring 2013, 11 students selected a thesis. Four have completed; one has withdrawn from doing a thesis; the others are in progress. In 2012 a SLIS graduating student -Jack Tilney- won the University's outstanding graduate thesis award. To see MLIS theses  in the King Library use  the Scholarworks information in point one on this page

Table 3. LIBR 289: e-Portfolio Statistics

  Total Enrolled Passed No Credit* Incomplete Incomplete (cont'd)
Fall 2010 332 295 (88%) 13 24 0
Spring 2011 368 345 (93%) 11 12 6
Fall 2011 323 288 (89%) 15 14 6
Spring 2012 346 312 (90%) 11 18 5
Fall 2012 285 253 (89%) 11 20 3
Spring 2013 327 296 (90%) 18 13 1
Fall 2013 293 253 (86%) 19 21 1
Spring 2014 305 282 (92%) 12 11 6

*Students who obtain a No Credit in Libr 289 have one more chance to retake the e-Portfolio course.  A No Credit is awarded if a student fails to submit at least 10 satisfactory statements of competency with supporting evidence. If a student receives a second No Credit, they are disqualified from the MLIS program.  Between Fall 2010 and  Spring 2014, there were five disqualifications due to failing to produce a satisfactory e-Portfolio after two attempts.

Graduating Student Exit Survey Data

Alumni Survey Data

We survey our alumni 13 months after they graduate to track employment trends, ensure that our curriculum remains relevant, and help us anticipate shifts in the job market. In our most recent survey (of graduates who completed the MLIS program in December 2012), 92% of respondents indicated that they are working either full-time or part-time. In addition, the majority of respondents consistently “agree” or “strongly agree” that the skills and knowledge they gained in the MLIS program prepared them for their careers.

Survey results also indicate that our alumni are increasingly getting jobs outside of traditional library environments, demonstrating that they are able to apply the skills and knowledge they gain in our program in many settings. When asked about the type of organization where they work, during the most recent survey (conducted in January 2014), 27% of respondents said they work as an information professional in a non-library environment, in settings such as software companies, the financial services industry, and insurance companies.

In addition to viewing our survey results (below), we invite you to learn more about where our alumni are working, browse our alumni career spotlights, and read stories about the accomplishments of our alumni.

NOTE: When viewing the survey results shared below, the chart labels reflect the semester the respondent graduated, rather than the date the survey was conducted. Surveys are conducted 13 months after students graduate. See the table regarding response rates for more information regarding when surveys were conducted.

Are You Currently Employed?

Current Employment Graph

How Long Did it Take for You to Find Your First Job Following Graduation?

NOTE: Only survey respondents who were unemployed at the time they graduated were asked to respond to this question. For example, for fall 2012 graduates, 44% of respondents were employed at the time of graduation, and thus were not asked to respond to this question. Many of our students find jobs while enrolled in our program, and others earn their MLIS in order to expand career opportunities with their current employer.

Time Graph

The Skills and Knowledge I Learned in the MLIS Program Prepared Me for My Job

Skills and Knowledge Graph

Number of Survey Responses
Graduated Survey Conducted Responses
Fall 2010 January 2012 56
Spring 2011 June 2012 92
Fall 2011 January 2013 75
Spring 2012 June 2013 81
Fall 2012 January 2014 103


Sample of Comments from 2012 Employer Survey

  • We have hired two recent graduates from SJSU SLIS and they definitely excel at using technology to serve our customers, at adapting to change, and ability to deliver exceptional customer service across the board.    Graduates Job Titles: Virtual Services Librarian; Librarian 1/II; Manager
  • We currently have one SJSU SLIS graduate and she is excellent across the board. She is a new graduate and is fully prepared to contribute to every project we've given her.   Graduate Job Title: Electronic Resources Specialist
  • Our Corporate Library employs 2 librarians and one is a SLIS graduate. We also, over the last 8 years, have hired 4 summer interns from your program. ALL SLIS students that worked with us graduated and are now employed. All of these students were well prepared and trained. Our company benefited from their employment and we plan on hiring more for future intern positions as they come up. In my estimation, your program has done an excellent job of preparing your students. As the library world goes digital, there will be more opportunities for librarians to take key positions as digital asset managers and electronic resource librarians and morph into whatever comes along. The great thing about librarians is that they can easily transition into so many non-traditional positions...they just have to believe they can. I guess that is where your school can be most them the skills and confidence and vision for a broader scope of possibilities   Graduates Job Title: Research Librarian
  • I thoroughly enjoy my SJSU employee - she has a great foundation in library science and technology, and is a great asset to the library and our company. Graduate Job Title: Digital Initiatives Librarian