Library Catalog: home page http://lib.wvmccd.cc.ca.us http://lib.wvmccd.cc.ca.us
What is Information Competency? According to the 1998 ASCCC adopted paper, “Information Competency in the California Community Colleges”: “Information competency is the ability to recognize the need for information and to find, evaluate, use and communicate information in all its various formats. It combines aspects of library literacy, research methods, and technological literacy. It includes consideration of the ethical and legal implications of information. It requires the applications of both critical thinking and communication skills.”
Key Components: (outlined by the ASCCC) Students must be able to demonstrate the following skills: State a research question, problem, or issue. Determine information requirement in various disciplines for research questions, problems, or issues. Use information technology tools to locate and retrieve relevant information. Organize information.
In addition they should be able to: Analyze and evaluate information. Communicate using a variety of information technologies. Understand the ethical and legal issues surrounding information technology. Apply the skills gained in formation competency to enable lifelong learning.
This all sounds nice, but why should we care? It will be the law! The Board of Governors of California Community Colleges proposed amendments to Title 5 of the Education Code. When enacted by the legislature, the changes would mandate Information Competency as a component for General Education and Associate degrees.
What the law will say: A definition of Information Competency that includes “aspects of library literacy, research methods and technological literacy.” Under 55805, Philosophy & Criteria for Associate Degree and General Education, a line will be added, “to find, evaluate, and communicate information in all its various formats.” Under 55806, Minimum Requirements for the Associate degree: “demonstrated information competency.”
Whoa! Where did this come from? Librarians and other faculty members have long recognized the need for students to be able to find, evaluate, and use information. Hey, it’s what we do! This took on various names including information literacy, information competency, and bibliographic literacy. National standards were established by the Association of College and Research Libraries. Then the ASCCC got involved.
In 1996: The ASCCC responded to knowledge that a “Board of Governors member plans to propose at the November 1996 Board of Governors’ meeting that the 10% Fund for Instructional Improvement be set aside and used for the development of information competency component.”
Also in 1996 The Senate passed a resolution urging the Chancellor’s Office and the Board of Governors to acknowledge that any development of information competency components and/or programs be the primary responsibility of the Academic Senate.
In 1998: The ASCCC passed several resolutions on Information Competency including a definition (Resolution 16.01). It also authorized the acceptance of a position paper on Information Competency
In 2001: The ASCCC passed resolution 9.01. This resolution: Recommended to the Board of Governors that Information Competency be a locally designed graduation requirement for degree and Chancellor’s Office approved certificate programs. It supported the concept that each college could determine how to implement the IC requirement on their own campuses.
As a result: The Chancellor’s Office Information Competency Task Force drafted regulations for review which will change Title 5, Chapter 6. Curriculum and Instruction, Subchapter 10. Degrees and Certificates. These changes will make Information Competency part of the minimum requirements for the Associate Degree.
As it stands now: A Board of Governors meeting was held in July 2002. The Board called for public comment on the proposed Title V changes. These comments were due by August 15. If the recommendations had been approved at the September 2002 BOG meeting, the regulations would have become effective August 1, 2003, giving colleges 10 months to determine local implementation of the regulations by Fall 2003.
What happened: Information Competency was taken off the September Board of Governor’s agenda because the Department of Finance decided that implementation would “result in reimbursable mandated costs.” This effectively tabled implementation until financial issues are resolved. However, the State Academic Senate recently reaffirmed their belief that Information Competency is still considered to be of primary importance to student success and that colleges should proceed with implementation whether or not the State mandates it.
So how can Information Competency be integrated into the curriculum? Separate courses and/or tutorials Added units to existing courses Information Competency “across the curriculum” – Many current classes now incorporate Information Competency skills.
Separate courses: Many community college libraries, including Mission, have stand-alone credit courses or tutorials on Library/Information literacy. Some classes are self-paced, workbook based. Some are online Web-based. These courses could meet Information Competency requirements.
Some colleges add units to existing courses: Cabrillo College offers a one-unit Information Research course as a co-requisite with English 1A. Librarians partner with faculty to integrate Information Competency components into their existing courses, like at Shasta College.Shasta College
IC across the curriculum: At Cayamaca College, before new courses are sent to the Curriculum Committee, all new courses are evaluated by librarians to ensure: That the library has sufficient resources to support the class Which library resources would be appropriate for the class That the class has components that meet Information Competency requirements.
So who’s talking about IC? According to the 5/2001 National Information Literacy Survey:
Who has primary responsibility for teaching Information Competency?
So how will Mission College implement upcoming Information Competency standards and requirements? The Academic Senate will take the lead. Librarians will be involved. Other faculty will be involved. Staff and administration will be involved.
So what do we need to do now? Educate ourselves, like we’re doing today. There are many models to study. Work together now to think of creative ways to implement Information Competency in our curriculum. Decide how to assess whether or not our efforts are successful.
Some Examples: Taft College San Francisco State University