INFO 287-11
Seminar in Information Science 
Adult Literacy
Summer 2022 Syllabus

Tiffany Curtin

Other contact information:text (720-773-2398)
Office location: Zoom
Office Hours: By appointment  Monday - Friday after 5 pm Pacific or Weekends

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Canvas Information: Courses will be available beginning June 1st at 6 am PT unless you are taking an intensive or a one-unit or two-unit class that starts on a different day. In that case, the class will open on the first day that the class meets.

You will be enrolled in the Canvas site automatically. 

Course Description

In this course, we will cover the scope of Adult Literacy services primarily in public and secondarily community college libraries. Adult Literacy Learners (ALLs) include individuals over the age of 16 who are engaged in an adult education program to develop their literacy skills in reading, writing, and/or basic numeracy. This population includes adults who are preparing to take a High School Equivalency Exam (HSE) or may also be preparing for the challenges of higher education or entering a trade school. This population also includes adults who are learning English and those preparing for their citizenship exam.

We will discuss current issues and best practices in serving our patrons with these needs in a variety of communities and library settings including serving and engaging these populations in times of crisis. 

Regular participation in discussions is required for the course.

Course Requirements

Students will be expected to complete a self-evaluation for their major assignments as well as a final self-evaluation using the rubrics.  

To earn full credit on the discussion posts, students should include a thoughtful analysis of the assigned readings and may include outside research and or personal connection.  For full credit, students are expected to engage with at least one classmate’s post. 


  • Community Needs Assessment. Paper. (CLO 1) Due June 27, 11:59 pm (100 pts)
  • Create an Adult Literacy Collection Development Plan. Group Paper. (CLO 35) Due July 11, 11:59 pm (100 pts)
  • Adult Literacy Action Plan. Presentation and paper. (CLO 245) Due Aug. 1-5 (presentations may be scheduled the week prior.  (150 pts.)
  • Questions and reactions to guest speakers. Paper. CLO 45) Due June 6, June 13, July 25 (10 points each)
  • 5 Discussion posts Due June 6, June 13, June 28, July 11, July 25 (5 points each) 


June 1- June 5

Introductions, The Scope of Adult Literacy, Freire's Pedagogy of the Oppressed 

June 6-12

High School Equivalency and Career Online High School; Introduce Assignment - Community Needs Assessment for Adult Literacy

June 13-19

- ESL and Citizenship; Introduce assignment - Collection Development; Guest presenters Rural Libraries Lisa Hughes and Rural/Urban district Marina Valenzuela (June 16)

June 20-26

Serving Adult Learners in Diverse Library Settings and in times of Catastrophe 

June 27- July 3

Mid-term live one on one meetings to be scheduled 

July 4-10 

Adult Basic Education and Family Literacy - July 7 Guest presenters Kathy St. John and Marilyn Dippel)

July 11-17

Introduce Adult Literacy Action Plan (Final); Collaborations with Department of Corrections (DOC); Interdepartmental Collaboration

July 18-24

First Generation & HSE Grads in Higher Ed. - July 22  Guest lecturers, Anna DelRosario and Jodi Terwilliger Stacy of Arapahoe Community College.

July 25 - 31

Raising Awareness and Influencing Policy

Aug 1-5 (Final week)

Throughout this course and through the assignments, students will have opportunities to reach out to interview library staff in their own regions. However, students can be successful in the course who are limited to looking into community stats through online resources if they are not able to schedule interviews or visits.

Each week a 15-25 minute lecture will be posted and available starting Monday mornings. Students are expected to watch the recorded lecture each week. It is recommended that students view the lecture early in the week. 

Assignments, including discussions, are due at 11:59 PM Pacific on Mondays. Students should not expect to receive credit, even reduced credit for late assignments unless a request for an extension has been granted in advance.

There are two group assignments during this course.  Each group member is expected to review and approve the work of their group members prior to submitting the final assignment.

During the semester, we will have three live guest lecturers.  Students are encouraged to attend these special sessions live if they are able.  If not able to attend live, students are expected to view the recording of the special sessions within the week. 

Students are expected to provide thoughtful discussions on the assigned readings demonstrating that they have read and critically thought about the readings. Students are also expected to read and comment on their classmates' posts each week. 

  • Discussion participations = 20% of grade; Assignment completion = 80% of total grade.
  • There will be no extra credit offered this term.
  • Late or missed work will not be accepted without prior approval of the instructor.  

Readings (in addition to the required textbooks listed below) 

(2014) Adult Literacy through Libraries: an action agenda. Retrieved from Proliteracy 

Additionally, each week, students will be assigned additional articles or videos.  Students are expected to do outside research in completing assignments.

Course Workload Expectations

Success in this course is based on the expectation that students will spend, for each unit of credit, a minimum of forty-five hours over the length of the course (normally 3 hours per unit per week with 1 of the hours used for lecture) for instruction or preparation/studying or course related activities including but not limited to internships, labs, clinical practica. Other course structures will have equivalent workload expectations as described in the syllabus.

Instructional time may include but is not limited to:
Working on posted modules or lessons prepared by the instructor; discussion forum interactions with the instructor and/or other students; making presentations and getting feedback from the instructor; attending office hours or other synchronous sessions with the instructor.

Student time outside of class:
In any seven-day period, a student is expected to be academically engaged through submitting an academic assignment; taking an exam or an interactive tutorial, or computer-assisted instruction; building websites, blogs, databases, social media presentations; attending a study group;contributing to an academic online discussion; writing papers; reading articles; conducting research; engaging in small group work.

Course Prerequisites

INFO 287 has no prequisite requirements.

Course Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of the course, students will be able to:

  1. Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to identify the need for Adult Literacy services in public or community college libraries.
  2. Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to evaluate adult literacy program models.
  3. Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to create a collection development plan or lib guide for an adult literacy collection.
  4. Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to identify the needs of and resources for immigrants seeking US citizenship.
  5. Upon successful completion of this course, students will identify ways to engage adults with low literacy levels in the library.

Core Competencies (Program Learning Outcomes)

INFO 287 supports the following core competencies:

  1. C Articulate the importance of designing programs and services supportive of diversity, inclusion, and equity for clientele and employees.
  2. J Describe the fundamental concepts of information-seeking behaviors and how they should be considered when connecting individuals or groups with accurate, relevant and appropriate information.
  3. K Design collaborative or individual learning experiences based on learning principles and theories.


Required Textbooks:

  • Friere, P. (2018). Pedagogy of the oppressed (4th ed.). Bloomsbury Academic. Available through Amazon: 1501314130arrow gif indicating link outside sjsu domain

Recommended Textbooks:

  • Hernandez–Castillo, M. (2020). Children of the land. HarperCollins. Available through Amazon: 0062825593arrow gif indicating link outside sjsu domain
  • Vargas, J. (2019). Dear America: Notes of an undocumented citizen. Dey Street Books. Available through Amazon: 0062851349arrow gif indicating link outside sjsu domain

Grading Scale

The standard SJSU School of Information Grading Scale is utilized for all iSchool courses:

97 to 100 A
94 to 96 A minus
91 to 93 B plus
88 to 90 B
85 to 87 B minus
82 to 84 C plus
79 to 81 C
76 to 78 C minus
73 to 75 D plus
70 to 72 D
67 to 69 D minus
Below 67 F


In order to provide consistent guidelines for assessment for graduate level work in the School, these terms are applied to letter grades:

  • C represents Adequate work; a grade of "C" counts for credit for the course;
  • B represents Good work; a grade of "B" clearly meets the standards for graduate level work or undergraduate (for BS-ISDA);
    For core courses in the MLIS program (not MARA, Informatics, BS-ISDA) — INFO 200, INFO 202, INFO 204 — the iSchool requires that students earn a B in the course. If the grade is less than B (B- or lower) after the first attempt you will be placed on administrative probation. You must repeat the class if you wish to stay in the program. If - on the second attempt - you do not pass the class with a grade of B or better (not B- but B) you will be disqualified.
  • A represents Exceptional work; a grade of "A" will be assigned for outstanding work only.

Graduate Students are advised that it is their responsibility to maintain a 3.0 Grade Point Average (GPA). Undergraduates must maintain a 2.0 Grade Point Average (GPA).

University Policies

Per University Policy S16-9, university-wide policy information relevant to all courses, such as academic integrity, accommodations, etc. will be available on Office of Graduate and Undergraduate Programs' Syllabus Information web page at: Make sure to visit this page, review and be familiar with these university policies and resources.

In order to request an accommodation in a class please contact the Accessible Education Center and register via the MyAEC portal.

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