Ferris confers four Masters level degrees, a Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction, a Master of Education in Career and Technical Education, a Master of Science in Criminal Justice Administration, and a Master of Science in Information Management Systems. Beginning in fall 2003, a new Masters of Business Administration curriculum is being launched, and several other Colleges are investigating offering advanced degrees in their own respective subject areas.
Students enrolled in Doctoral and more particularly Masters level degree programs at Ferris State University come from a wide variety of academic and national backgrounds. With a common purpose; the pursuit of advanced level education, it is commonly assumed that they have an already significantly developed knowledge of the research process formulated or acquired during their undergraduate years.
Anecdotally, graduate students report most teaching faculty assume that formal information literacy skills were learned as undergraduates, however, librarians are often made aware that this is not the case. As a result the unskilled/untrained student may be put at an academic disadvantage; however, the Information Literacy Instruction Program in FLITE is well suited, and in fact, mandated, to assist those students in gaining the necessary skills to succeed.
This study will examine the existing information literacy and research process skills of graduate students entering the MBA/MISM programs Ferris State University to ascertain if erroneous assumptions exist regarding the pre-existence of these skills. More importantly, this study is intended to provide evidence of the effectiveness of library instruction, and guidance for the Information Literacy Instruction Team at the Ferris Library for Information, Technology, and Education in developing and implementing an Information Literacy curriculum specific to graduate level students on the Big Rapids campus.
The purpose of this research is to determine whether instruction by FSU librarians is having an impact on the information literacy and research skills of graduate students beginning their studies in the MBA program at Ferris State University. In addition, the survey will indicate if level of skill or successful acquisition of these skills can be correlated to or predicted by specific demographic characteristics.