MLIS Partners Program

The University of Pittsburgh School of Computing and Information offers its MLIS students a unique opportunity to gain real-world experience through its Partners Program. Your organization can make a significant impact on our graduate students by providing a placement where they will strengthen their skillsets while providing valuable expertise to your organization’s programs and projects.

We strive to consistently deliver excellence in education and to build community strength. Experiential learning is a defining feature of our MLIS program and is integrated and embedded into a curriculum that offers pathways to help students meet their career objectives. We aim to provide students with an opportunity to “practice” what they learn in the classroom, to gain experience in the information professions, and to begin to create a professional network that will sustain them throughout their career. For this reason, the Partners Programs has been joining MLIS students and information-focused organizations in meaningful placements since the 1990s, and we cordially invite your organization to participate in this tradition as a Partners Program host site.

As a host site for the Partners Program, your organization will benefit from the additional work effort provided by a placed student. Each student will work for your organization 10-15 hours per week, under the supervision of one of your staff members. Your organization will enjoy the rewarding experience of mentoring students in the information professions and providing them with the practical, real-world experience so essential to their future successes, amplifying their graduate education and their resumes.

Policies & Requirements

  • Our newly-enrolled part-time or full-time Master of Library and Information Science students who are U.S. citizens may apply for a Partners Program placement.
  • Students are employed for 10-15 hours/week.
  • Student applications to the Partners Program are due in early spring. Completed applications and resumes will be sent to host site supervisors for consideration. Host site supervisors contact students directly either by telephone or email to request an interview. In most cases, a telephone interview is most appropriate; however, if a student is local, an in-person interview may be requested.
  • The host site supervisor will make the determination of which student best fits their opportunity. They will make an offer to the student, as well as contact the Partners Program office to advise that an offer has been extended.
  • Each Partners Program placement begins in the fall term (early September) and continues for three consecutive terms -- fall, spring, and summer.
  • Students are responsible for contacting their placement supervisor prior to the first day of the fall term to select a start date and exchange any necessary information. The start date should be no earlier than the second week of classes in the fall term.
  • Any student working more than 15 hours per week (but less than 20 as mandated by the University of Pittsburgh), as agreed upon by both host site and student, should receive the appropriate additional compensation. Any conditions outside the parameters of the Partners Program, such as summer employment, must be agreed upon by the host site and the student per the organization’s normal employment procedures.
  • Host site supervisors will be asked to complete an evaluation prior to the end of each term to advise the Partners Program administrator that the student is performing satisfactorily in the placement so that the placement can be renewed for the following term. This evaluation is discussed with the student at a scheduled meeting between the student and the host site supervisor.
  • If a student fails to meet the required GPA at the end of the fall term, participation in the Partners Program will be suspended for the spring term. The placement may resume in the summer term if the student meets the minimum 3.0 GPA at the end of the spring term and the host site supervisor is agreeable to reinstatement of the placement.
  • In the event a host site wishes to terminate a student due to unsatisfactory work performance, the host site should notify the Partners Program administrator in writing prior to the end of that term stating the reason for and date of termination.

Host site application

If you have not done so, please complete a Partners Program Host Site Application. This form will give the Partners Program an idea of your needs and the opportunities available to our students. We will contact you directly to further define the parameters of your Partners position including location, specific duties, hours, stipend/wage, and skills/background you are seeking. You will be asked to send a job description to be shared with prospective applicants.

Contact Us

For more information about becoming a Partners Program host organization, please contact us:

Debbie Day, Program Administrator