INFO 287-14
Seminar in Information Science
Topic: Adult Literacy
Summer 2017 Syllabus

Professor Tiffany Curtin
Other contact information: Available by phone or text at 720-982-3281
Office Hours: Available for live chat/video conference by appointment

Syllabus Links
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Canvas Information: Courses will be available beginning June 5, 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 into the Canvas site automatically.

Course Description

In this course, we will cover the scope of Adult Literacy services in public and 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 be preparing for the challenges of higher education or entering a trade school. This population also includes adults who are learning English and many are also 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. 

Regular participation in discussions is required for the course.

Course Requirements


  • Identify the need for adult literacy services in libraries. Paper. (CLO 1)
  • Create an Adult Literacy Collection Development Plan. Paper or Lib-Guide.  (CLO 3, 5)
  • Adult Literacy Program Services Evaluation and Proposal.  Presentation. (CLO 2, 4, 5)
  • Discussion participation is required and graded.

Course Calendar
(Subject to minor changes with advance notice.)

Module 1 - Introductions, The Scope of Adult Literacy, Introduction to Friere's Pedagogy of the Oppressed 

Module 2  - Adult Basic Education, High School Equivalency, and Family Literacy; Introduce Assignment - Community needs Assessment for Adult Literacy

Module 3 - ESL and Citizenship; Introduce assignment - Collection Development 

Module 4 - Community Needs Assessment due; Guest Lecturer (tentative) 

Module 5 - Mid-term live one on one meetings to be scheduled 

Module  6 - Collection Development Plan Assignment Due; Adult Basic Education and Family Literacy

Module 7 - Introduce Services Evaluation and Proposal Assignment (Final); Collaborations. 

Module 8 - Guest Lecturer (tentative); First Generation & HSE Grads in Higher Ed

Module 9  - Raising Awareness and Influencing Policy

Module 10 - Final Presentations

End of term 



  • Discussion participations = 20% of grade; Assignment completion = 80% of total grade.
  • Opportunities to earn up to 12 points of extra credit will be offered during the term.
  • Late or missed work will not be accepted without prior approval of the instructor. 

Other Relevant Information
Discussions may be posted in video or written format.  Unless otherwise stated, video posts should be no longer than 5 minutes and written discussion posts should not greatly exceed 500 words. Responding to two classmates in the discussion thread is required for full credit on the discussions. Responses to your classmates should be written. 

You will be encouraged to collaborate with a classmate on the final assignment.

Your class assignments will also be subject to peer review of your classmates. 

In addition to the required textbooks, other articles and PDF documents will be considered required reading each week. These will be accessible through the King Library or as free resources available on the web. 

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 200, other prerequisites may be added depending on content. 

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 Recognize the diversity (such as cultural and economic) in the clientele and employees of an information organization and be familiar with actions the organization should take to address this diversity.
  2. I Use service concepts, principles, and techniques to connect individuals or groups with accurate, relevant, and appropriate information.
  3. K Design instructional programs based on learning principles and theories.


Required Textbooks:

  • Freire, P. (2000). Pedagogy of the oppressed. New York: Bloomsbury Academic. Available through Amazon: 0826412769arrow gif indicating link outside sjsu domain

Recommended Textbooks:

  • Weibel, M. C. (1992). The library as literacy classroom: A program for teaching. American Library Association. Available through Amazon: 083890596Xarrow 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;
    For core courses in the MLIS program (not MARA or Informatics) — 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.

Students are advised that it is their responsibility to maintain a 3.0 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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