Starting next summer, GSLIS will change the on-campus residency requirements for students enrolled in the LEEP online option. Beginning with Cohort 20 (Summer 2015), distance students will no longer be required to visit campus after completing the initial seven-day residency, affectionately known as Boot Camp. By eliminating the previous requirement for students to come to campus each semester, GSLIS will ensure that our top-ranked master’s program remains accessible and affordable to students around the world for generations to come.
For nearly two decades, the LEEP online option has been at the forefront of distance education, serving as a model of excellence for other schools in the field. The hallmarks of LEEP have been innovation and access, with students benefiting from participation in live lectures and collaboration through interactive online technologies. The program has served students well through its hybrid model of course delivery, combining web-based classes with brief periods of on-campus instruction.
“LEEP was designed 19 years ago; today, students interact more robustly online than was previously imaginable,” said Kate McDowell, associate professor and assistant dean for student affairs. “Students make connections online with faculty and students alike. Changing the program by eliminating mid-semester travel will make our program more accessible to current and future students in terms of cost, time management, and geography.”
The initial required residency will continue to provide the same valuable benefits for GSLIS students. It introduces them to graduate study in LIS and allows them to complete a required course: Libraries, Information, and Society (LIS 502). It connects them with GSLIS staff who can provide resources relevant to program success, including staff in student affairs, information technology, instructional technology, and the library. And, perhaps more importantly, it fosters strong social ties among our students, which result in valuable professional connections and lifelong friendships.