Ohio University Libraries is excited to join the Guarantee+ program to further the Libraries’ commitment to supporting student success. Librarians are actively collaborating with instructors and the Provost’s office to integrate information literacy into the fall 2021 core courses and beyond, to ensure that all students have the skills necessary to succeed in their academic and personal lives.
The OHIO Guarantee program is well-known among students for providing an assurance that tuition, room and board rates will remain the same for four years at Ohio University. Now, the OHIO Guarantee+ program is expanding to help students create an individualized graduation plan with tangible goals to guide them throughout their time at the University.
For the Libraries part in the expanded Guarantee+ program, librarians will focus on teaching students about information literacy, which according to Paul Campbell, is being able to find, access and evaluate information, as well as expanding critical thinking skills.
“Information literacy has implications not just in your academic life, but other places too,” said Campbell, who is the subject librarian for the social sciences. “You don’t only need to be information literate for your coursework, you need information literacy to be an informed citizen.”
Information literacy can help students with everything from writing better research papers to being more informed voters. Librarians will work with faculty to include information literacy activities into core courses for each major, ensuring that all students have a solid foundation in and exposure to the concept of information literacy.
Hanna Schmillen, interim head of subject liaison services and health sciences subject librarian, said that by next fall, all undergraduate programs will be integrated into Guarantee+, which will allow the Libraries to interact with students in a more proactive way and build relationships with them from the beginning of their experience at the University.
Students in the Guarantee+ program will be guided by their advisors through a pathway of activities and experiences, including the Libraries’ information literacy activities, that will help them graduate on time and achieve academic success during their undergraduate career.
“Hopefully, this reduces students’ library anxiety, and they are more willing to engage with not only [the] Libraries’ resources online for their research projects, but hopefully it will connect them with people like me if I’m their subject librarian,” Campbell said.
Schmillen also said that overall, the University’s Guarantee+ program will give students more opportunities to expand their professional and civic experiences and skills.
“Students will work with their advisor to craft a graduation plan that includes milestones, which are selected by the faculty and the Libraries, that will help the student become a more well-rounded person,” she said. “The program [will have] more opportunities to engage with career fairs and the Libraries and other things that aren’t always on students’ radar.”
Librarians’ involvement in Guarantee+ will allow faculty, students, staff and the OHIO community in general to be more aware of the resources and assistance that the Libraries offers.
“More importantly,” said Dr. Kelly Broughton, “Integration of information literacy activities into the academic milestones of the Guarantee+ program will systematically advance all OHIO students’ abilities to find, critically evaluate, and ethically use information, contributing not only to their success academically but also in the workforce and as engaged citizenry.”
The activities offered by the Libraries will also allow students to better understand how to interact with, use and create information generally.
“It’s about connecting students to the resources they have, but it’s also about connecting them to skills to be able to evaluate information…and from there, empowering students to the point where they feel confident in themselves and their academic success,” Schmillen said.
Graphic design by Victor Lowe/Ohio University Libraries