International College, Florida State University School of Information Studies Enter Into Articulation Agreement

A new articulation agreement between Florida State University’s School of Information Studies and International College will give local residents the opportunity to seek a master’s degree in Information Studies closer to home.

Beginning in May, residents of Lee, Collier, and Charlotte counties will no longer have to leave the area to pursue a master’s degree in Information Studies. International College will provide elective courses – taught by its graduate faculty – on behalf of Florida State University (FSU).

Previously, local residents had two options in earning a master’s degree in Information Studies: Move to FSU’s Tallahassee campus or complete the program online. FSU’s partnership with International College now gives local residents the chance to attend a traditional bricks and mortar classroom in their own backyard.

This is the Florida State University School of Information Studies first collaboration with another higher education institution for delivery of a degree program. Students must take a total of 12 elective courses at International College in order to fulfill their degree completion with FSU.

“This is a unique offering for students. Southwest Florida is a growing area and there is no other Information Studies program available for students to take advantage of,” said Jane B. Robbins, Dean and Professor of the School of Information Studies at Florida State University. “If a student wants to combine distance learning and face to face learning in Information Studies, they need a place close enough for them to attend. We were impressed with International College’s energy and reputation. When you have two partners who want to make something a success, it will be a success.”

Founded in 1947, FSU’s School of Information Studies is one of the top-ranked programs in the nation. The School has an enrollment of 1,150 students. Graduates in the Information Studies field are in demand and are employed by corporations, nonprofit organizations, and educational institutions as educators, information architects, information systems mangers, web developers, information scientists, librarians, network administrators, systems analysts, and computer user support specialists. The school has 36 faculty and 15 staff members.

Melody Hainsworth, Ph.D., Vice President of Information Resources and Services, believes the partnership with FSU will create new opportunities in the Southwestern region of Florida. Currently, no local colleges or university offer this master degree program.

“Having the capability to gain a graduate degree in library and information studies without leaving home will be a great convenience to the working student. It means no long commutes to Tallahassee, no relocation costs, no loss of job, and no disruption to family,” Hainsworth said. “For employers, especially the local school systems, this partnership will provide an easy way for teachers to gain their media specialist degree while remaining employed locally. Additionally, the partnership will offer the growing information technology firms in the Southwestern region of Florida with highly-trained potential employees.”

No new courses will need to be added to International College as a result of the partnership, explained Jeanette Brock, J.D., International College Executive Vice President of Academic Affairs.

“The partnership with Florida State University is yet another example of International College’s commitment to providing additional education opportunities that benefit the citizens and workforce of Southwest Florida,” Brock said.

Dean Robbins voiced her enthusiasm for the collaboration’s impact on the information studies industry.

“This collaboration creates more people, inside Florida, who have the skills focusing on information access and services for businesses,” Robbins added. “Students who complete this program will have the management ability to provide businesses with competitive intelligence. They will be prepared for employment in the kinds of industries that are 21st century industries. To me, that is an enormous contribution to our state.”
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