After reading through my last post, I realized that it could be seen as a rather negative review of Emporia State’s Library Science Program. I wanted to write another post that highlighted some of the positives of my graduate program as well.
A bulleted list of things Emporia does really well for those who don’t like to read long blog posts:
- Networking Opportunities
- Asynchronous Learning
- Cohort Bonding Experience
- Basis in Theory
1. Networking Opportunities
Emporia employs faculty from around the globe, which means that the opportunities for networking are fantastically varied. During my time in the program they had professors from Finland, Florida, Texas, India and Indiana. They also had adjunct professors from a variety of backgrounds (Health Information Management, Law, Informatics, etc…) that supplemented the learning experiences of students throughout the SLIM program. I was really impressed by the wide variety of faculty teaching at Emporia, and they made sure to let students know when positions became available at institutions were they had connections.
2. Asynchronous Learning
Most of the faculty at Emporia were well-versed in using the LMS to facilitate asynchronous learning. There were a few who had migrated directly from face-to-face instruction that had some difficulty, but overall they provided resources that allowed students (especially those that like to work ahead) with the ability to set a comfortable pace throughout the program. There were only a few times that I felt like I was behind in the program and it was mostly due to waiting on group members or waiting on the professor to provide further instructions.
3. Cohort Bonding Experience
After talking with friends who were in other LIS programs, I definitely think that Emporia provides a support network better than almost any of the other graduate programs. The program provided plenty of opportunities to get to know your fellow grad students and even though I began to loathe the “Introduce Yourself Hour,” it helped me remember all of the students in my class and ultimately I appreciated the fact that this was a requirement. I definitely came away from the experience with AWESOME friendships, and I miss seeing some of my classmates!
4. Basis in Theory
Emporia’s curriculum is heavy on theory which, while it can be a bit dry, is helpful to those thinking of pursuing a PhD or teaching. Each course had a section devoted to the theory behind the particular course and every professor was comfortable discussing the theory (or theories) behind a particular topic. The focus on theory really provided a strong foundation for ESU-SLIM graduates and the theories played a major role in the completion of our ePortfolios.