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Why Evaluate – Proposed Evaluation Project

September 13, 2012

I propose evaluating the College Honors Program at my institution. Based on an upcoming Middle States Accreditation Review, and upcoming departmental Program Review, the Honors Program will be evaluated to determine students’ information literacy levels present in their final research projects.

1. Would the program you detailed in Chapter One benefit from an evaluation
I believe that the College Honors Program could benefit from an evaluation. In addition to the request for this evaluation from administrators for the accreditation report, there are many benefits that could be realized for both the Library and the Honors program. This evaluation could provide evidence to College Honors faculty of information literacy levels achieved by honors students for their culminating project, a student learning outcome specified in the College-Wide Educational Objectives. Additionally, librarians could benefit from this through using this evaluation as an opportunity to expand collaboration with the Honors Program.

2. What are the inherent limitations in the evaluation of the program
Because the driving force of this evaluation is to address an accreditation and departmental program review, there is the possibility that this report would end up on a shelf without any real-world impact. Also, College Honors faculty (esteemed faculty with PhD’s) would need to accept these results from an MLS librarian conducting the evaluation. Finally, there are always interdepartmental political considerations to keep in mind during the evaluation and providing the results.

3. How might you use the results to benefit the organization
This evaluation will provide one avenue to demonstrate student learning and information literacy, a required component of College-Wide Educational Objectives, accreditation, and program reviews. Additionally, these results could directly impact collaboration between librarians and College Honors faculty to improve information literacy instruction, and collection development to support honors-level research projects. Citation analysis would clearly demonstrate if students are utilizing appropriate library resources, if the library needs to change collection development areas, and if the library  budget is being spent on appropriate materials and formats.

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