MARA 284-12
Seminar in Archives & Records Management
Topic: Navigating the archives and records/information management job market (1-Unit)
Summer 2021 Syllabus

Connie "CJ" Rodriguez

Office Hours: By appointment via telephone or online

Syllabus Links

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Canvas Information: Courses will be available beginning June 1, 2021, 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.

This course will be available beginning July 1, 2020, at 6 am PT. This course is worth 1 unit and runs from July 1st – 31st.

You will be enrolled in the Canvas site automatically.

Course Description

This course prepares students to enter the competitive and varied archives and records/information management job market. Projects are designed to provide students with a dossier (consisting of a job market strategy plan, adaptable application package, and adaptable interview preparation documents) that they can adapt and reuse as they continue to prepare for their entrance onto the job market and as they begin to seek out and apply for relevant job opportunities.

Course Requirements & Assignments

Course Grading
Grading will be based on a total accumulation of possible 100 points, distributed as follows:




Percentage of grade


Introductory discussion

The student introduction posting is due by 11:59 pm PT on Friday, July 9. In addition to introducing yourself, at least one response to another student's posting is due by 11:59 pm PT on Friday, July 10.




Developing a job search strategy

Based on analysis of the archives and records management job market, students complete a job search strategy plan outlining the types of positions that they would be most interested in finding and the core requirements most often listed for the types of positions that interest them. Students will consider what existing skills and experience they have that might fulfill some of these core requirements, where gaps in their skills and experience might require attention prior to entering the job market, and how they might begin to actively work on addressing those gaps while still at SJSU.

Due by 11:59 pm PT on July 17. 




Preparing the application package

Students select a recent position posting from a provided list and craft a cover letter and resume or CV based on their analysis of the job description and requirements, and their own skills and experience. Students are encouraged to select a posting based on their own interests and career goals and are encouraged to seek out a relevant posting if nothing on the provided list speaks directly to their interests. 

Due by 11:59 pm PT on July 24.




Preparing for the interview

In pairs or small groups, students will be asked to record mock interviews as if they are a candidate for the position selected as part of the Preparing the application package assignment.

Due by 11:59 pm PT on July 31.




Course Calendar

This schedule is subject to change with fair notice to students. Any changes will be announced via email and Canvas.





July 1 - 9

Analyzing the archives and records/information management job market


July 10 - 16

Interpreting archives and records/information management position postings


July 17 - 23

Understanding the archives and records/information management hiring process


July 24 - 31

Developing strong interviewing skills

Weekly readings will be posted on the Canvas course site.


There is a 10% penalty per day for assignments turned in up to one week late. No assignments will be accepted if more than one week late.

Should you need to request an extension, please do so at least three days prior to the due date. No extensions will be granted for weekly discussion posts or Preparing for the interview assignment, as both are collaborative assignments and students are dependent on each other's work.

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

MARA 284 has no prequisite requirements.

Course Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Describe and evaluate the types of positions available to new professionals in the archives and records management field.
  2. Describe and prepare for the application and hiring process across the archives and records management field.
  3. Identify archives and records management job opportunities relevant to their interests and skills, and set attainable goals as to how they will build their skillset while in school in order to meet common requirements.
  4. Analyze and interpret position postings.
  5. Identify and explain the core values and skills required of archives and records management professionals.
  6. Effectively articulate how their skills and experience as a new professional transfer to the archives and records management workplace.

Core Competencies (Program Learning Outcomes)

MARA 284 supports the following core competencies:

  1. A Articulate the ethics and values of archivists, records managers, and/or information professionals and discuss their role in social memory and organizational accountability.


No Textbooks For This Course.

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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