Information is an integral part of all human activity. Information technologies shape many processes of individual and collective existence and form new sets of relationships. Information technologies have transformed the social landscape. The SLIS information sciences minor examines the information technologies and theories fundamental to the creation, dissemination, access, organization, analysis, and use of information. It prepares students to take an active part in the implementation and development of information handling systems that can serve human activities in a variety of environments. It helps them to understand how such developments affect a society that is increasingly dependent on information and information handling capabilities.
New information technologies are not simply tools to be applied but processes to be developed. The information sciences minor develops students' ability to think critically about the significance and potential applications of information technologies. Students are introduced to a variety of information technologies that may be employed in diverse contexts, including commerce, scholarship, culture and the conduct of individuals' daily lives. The minor also provides immediate practical advantage by enhancing students' ability to locate, analyze, assess, and use information, information resources, and currently available information technologies.
The minor is designed to complement a variety of majors and to give students the skills and abilities needed to excel in the current information-intensive environment. It is especially useful for those students who wish to contribute to the development of new innovative information systems and services that are sensitive to the human contexts in which they operate. The program introduces students to the contemporary and traditional technologies employed to capture, record, organize, retrieve, disseminate, synthesize, and analyze information. It also encourages them to examine critically the processes associated with communication and creation of new information and knowledge.
A total of 21 hours is required for the minor. Three required courses are IS 100 Fundamentals of Information Literacy; IS 201 Technologies for Building Information Systems; and IS 202 History and Effects of the Information Society. These core courses introduce theories, issues, and technologies associated with information and encourage students to understand the nature and value of new approaches to information as a resource. Students may, with the assistance of their advisors, choose the paths, or tracks, that best suit their needs. At least 6 hours must be taken in 300- or 400-level courses.