Information Literacy Requirement

Statement of Policy

In this age of information proliferation, students must acquire the necessary skills to understand and discern the wide range of content across all mediums. Students must be able to determine where to locate and effectively access information, critically evaluate the source and use the information within legal and ethical parameters. For these reasons, Excelsior College graduates will demonstrate competency in information literacy as part of the general education curriculum for an undergraduate degree.

Students must successfully complete the minimum of a one-semester hour course or examination in information literacy with a grade of C or better to satisfy this requirement. Because of the rapid evolution of information literacy, the course needs to have been taken within five years prior to the date of the current enrollment at Excelsior College to satisfy the requirement.

The information literacy requirement may be satisfied by passing the Excelsior College INL 102 Information Literacy online course; by passing the Excelsior College MLS 500 Graduate Research and Writing online course; by passing an approved, comparable course; or in the case of special populations, by taking INL 103 (the print version).

If a transfer course is not on the approved list of comparable courses in the SIS course library, its syllabus must be submitted to the Excelsior librarians for review.

Information literacy is a foundation requirement for upper level courses and it is required that students take it before all others. The information literacy requirement must be completed within the first 13 Excelsior College credits attempted, or earlier, as determined within the individual schools. Students enrolled prior to December 31, 2012 must complete the information literacy requirement before May 1, 2014.

Exceptions to the policy: Students who have completed a U.S. master’s or higher degree from a regionally accredited or otherwise approved source of credit, or who have earned a degree from an institution outside the U.S. deemed equivalent to a U. S. master’s degree or higher by the College’s international credential evaluators, may be exempt from the information literacy requirement if the degree was earned within five years prior to enrollment at Excelsior.

Enrolled students who have satisfied the information literacy requirement and transfer to another program will not be required to satisfy the requirement again. (In other words, students who remain continuously enrolled at Excelsior will be required to satisfy the information literacy requirement only once during their period of enrollment, regardless of whether they transfer from one degree program to another, and regardless of a resultant change in their academic policy date.)

Excelsior College alumni who have satisfied the information literacy requirement, and then enroll in another Excelsior College degree program will not be required to satisfy the requirement again. However, because INL 102 is continually updated, these alumni will be encouraged to retake it (no cost, no credit) upon enrollment. Furthermore, any Excelsior alumnus who graduated with credit for an outside course in information literacy, and then enrolls in another degree program at EC, will be allowed to keep credit for that outside course in the subsequent degree program.

Students who for whatever reason are prohibited from using computers may request an exception to take the print version of the course (INL103). All requests for exceptions should be submitted to the dean or designee of the School of Liberal Arts.

Any other exceptions to the completion of the information literacy requirement will be managed on a case-by-case basis by the dean or designee of each school.

Rationale for the Five-Year Limit on Transfer Courses/Examinations

 Because the field of information literacy is ever-changing, Excelsior does not accept transfer courses/examinations that were completed more than five years prior to the student’s date of enrollment. The following developments were considered in the implementation of the five-year limit: the emergence of Internet based interactive, multimedia and collaborative tools such as weblogs (blogs, wikis), RSS feeds, social networking, social bookmarking and tagging, synchronous chatting; and the use of mobile devices to access academic information, i.e., academic journals, electronic books; podcast lectures by professors, and so on.


As per standard procedure, students will seek approval of courses to meet the requirement. Once approval is given by an academic advisor, students wishing to take Excelsior College’s INL 102 will be directed to the College’s website to register for it.