About Mastery Courses
Mastery in the MSI
Beginning in the 2017–2018 academic year, the MSI Program will implement the new curriculum structure, keeping the UMSI internship program and cognate requirements and channeling the foundations courses, management distribution, research methods distribution, programming distribution, and specialization requirements into a mastery-course structure. The faculty have designed this structure to provide additional depth to the curriculum so that each MSI student will be able to reach mastery in a specific professional area.
MSI students will still reap the benefits of the current curriculum but the mastery-course curriculum will present the MSI Program from the broad perspective of available information-centered careers and the knowledge, skills, and expertise that students must acquire to successfully contend for jobs that are the launching pads for those careers.
Both mastery courses and career pathways guide students in their selection of courses and how to sequence these courses across a full-time, two-year master’s program. Sequencing is especially important so that students can achieve the depth that their future jobs and overall career goals will require.
Mastery courses are special types of courses that require students to demonstrate synthesis of the major theories, methods, and approaches to inquiry and/or schools of practice necessary for entry into a particular career in the information professions.
Mastery is defined as a student’s ability to do a task, solve a problem, produce an outcome, design a product, deliver a service, etc. at the level comparable to or exceeding a well-launched beginner in a field, profession, or discipline. Every new student in the cohort starting in fall 2017 will be required to complete one, and only one, mastery class to earn the MSI degree. Charged with a mastery course, instructors assume the role of a mentor, a facilitator, or an advisor, and their courses are driven by problem analysis, information gathering and sharing, creative solutions for a project, or a combination of these elements.