University at Albany Libraries Support Albany High International Baccalaureate Diploma Students
Contact: Catherine Herman (518) 437-4980
ALBANY, N.Y. (April 26, 2006) -- The University at Albany Libraries are now offering research support to Albany High School students in the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme. High school students in the pre-university program are required to complete an extended research project of 4,000 words and are encouraged to select a well-focused topic as preparation for university studies. The essay is rigorously assessed by an international Board of Examiners.
The pilot project targets students enrolled in the program through Albany High School, and is part of the University's ongoing partnership with the City School District of Albany to leverage combined strengths for the development of young talent and the prosperity of the Albany community. When the alliance was formalized last year, University at Albany President Kermit L. Hall said, "It's all about creating and maximizing existing opportunities. Most important — it fosters student involvement and opportunity and promotes education as a K-16 reality, rather than just a K-12 mentality."
Twelve students are in the initial IB Diploma class, with an expected increase in students for the second cohort. The goal for the University Libraries is to eventually expand the project to students in Schenectady High School's IB program.
"Students who are successful in locating, evaluating, and using information are more likely to thrive academically," said Frank D'Andraia, dean of Library Faculty and director of Libraries at UAlbany. "This program strengthens our commitment to our partners in the community by expanding the resources available to students in this enrichment project."
Students will have an opportunity to enhance their knowledge of research tools such as scholarly online databases, and improve their searching skills by working with University Libraries faculty to introduce them to resources unavailable to them.
The University Libraries have a record of success teaching students information literacy skills. A team from the University Libraries was selected to participate in the highly selective Best Practices in Information Literacy Information Conference sponsored by the Association of College and Research Libraries in 2002.
Features of this pilot program include development of student-centered workshops and instruction, one-on-one reference assistance by professional librarians including subject specialists, and research support by a trained graduate assistant. Students will be able to make use of laptop computers to enhance their access to information while they are doing research for and writing their extended essays.
The project librarian would administer a web log for IB students that will facilitate discourse and the communication of information about research and the Libraries. Library faculty will also facilitate the creation of individual "blogs" for students in the IB program.