As an official iSchool, the College of Information houses a variety of academic degrees and certificate programs in information science, library science, computing and technology systems, linguistics, learning and cognition, and human performance.
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The Beginning: 1909-1939
Our story begins in 1909 when the first courses in Manual Training were introduced at UNT. Then, in 1925, the Department of Manual Training evolved into the Department of Industrial Education (a precursor to Learning Technologies).
In the same year, UNT launched library courses, a significant step that ultimately led to establishing the Department of Library Service in 1939.
The College of Information, as we know it today, witnessed significant growth during the 1960s, with distinct developments in two key areas. In 1961, the English Department took a pioneering step with the introduction of the first graduate course in Linguistics. Across campus, two years later, a brand-new Master of Library Science degree was introduced, earning swift accreditation from the American Library Association. By 1967, a transformation was evident as the Department of Library Sciences evolved into the School of Library and Information Sciences, marking a crucial milestone in its expansion and launched a Ph.D. program.
Evolution: 1970s – 1980s
In 1975, the Department of Education became the new home for Vocational Technical Education & Industrial Arts programs, shaping the landscape of learning technologies.
Between 1980 & 1988, the Department of Education implemented several groundbreaking advancements. Introducing a Bachelor of Applied Arts & Science program paved the way for a more comprehensive and adaptable education. During this period, the emergence of the Division of Occupational & Vocational Education & the Division of Industrial Arts signified a growing emphasis on vocational & technological education. The College of Education also played its part by establishing the Department of Occupational & Vocational Education & the Department of Computer Education & Cognitive Systems, propelling learning technologies into an era of innovation.
In parallel, our Linguistics Department, in its nascent form, responded to the surging demand for linguistic expertise. The UNT Office of International Studies partnered with Saudi Arabia during the 1970s to teach English to international students who desired to study at American universities. The establishment of the Intensive English Language Institute (IELI) in 1977 provided a platform for enhancing English language skills & fostering cultural exchange.
Two years later, in 1979, the university introduced an M.A. in English as a Second Language degree. The Division of Linguistics was established soon thereafter, adding valuable linguistic knowledge to UNT's academic community.
These developments, born from the needs & aspirations of the 1970s and 1980s, have paved the way for a brighter and more innovative future in education & language studies.
During the 90s, UNT embarked upon a decade of remarkable innovation. In 1990, a significant milestone was achieved with the creation of the M.A. in Linguistics, a program that expanded our passion for language in our academic journey.
A groundbreaking moment occurred in 1999 when UNT made history by becoming the very first university in the nation to offer the Learning Resource Endorsement online. This achievement represented a pivotal shift in how education was delivered and accessed.
Simultaneously, the School of Library and Information Sciences stepped into the spotlight by introducing out-of-state master's degrees in partnership with local institutions. This move connected knowledge seekers from far and wide, extending the reach of education beyond traditional boundaries.
As the new millennium approached, the Department of Computer Education and Cognitive Systems (now known as Learning Technologies) marked a significant milestone by launching UNT's very first online course. This pioneering step ushered in a new era of digital education, transforming how students and educators interacted with learning materials.
The 1990s at UNT were a period of groundbreaking developments, marking a chapter of innovation and progress in education and technology.
Modern Era: 2000-2008
Let's journey through COI's academic evolution into the new millennium. In 2000, a significant milestone was achieved by creating the English as a Second Language Graduate Certificate, highlighting our commitment to fostering language proficiency in an increasingly connected world.
2001 was a pivotal year when the School of Library and Information Sciences introduced The Web Institute. This innovation empowered our students to embark on their academic journeys through the exciting realm of distance learning, marking a significant step forward in our educational landscape.
In 2003, COI’s academic offerings expanded again, establishing a Bachelors of English with a Linguistics concentration. Soon after, the Linguistics program and Technical Communication joined forces to form the Department of Linguistics and Technical Communication.
The history of COI's academic programs is a testament to our dedication to advancing knowledge and embracing innovation.
The College of Information: Established in 2008
In 2008, a groundbreaking moment unfolded as the Applied Technology and Performance Improvement and Computer Education and Cognitive Systems programs united to form the Department of Learning Technologies.
In the same year, the School of Library and Information Sciences merged with the Department of Learning Technologies, giving rise to the College of Information, Library Science and Technology. Next, The College of Information, Library Science and Technology emerges with a new identity—The College of Information.
Now: 2009 – 2023
In 2014, we witnessed a significant transformation as the Department of Linguistics and Technical Communication separated and Linguistics joined the College of Information as a dynamic program.
Fast forward to 2016, and the Department of Linguistics emerged, carving out a unique niche within our academic programming. But that's not all! The College of Library & Information Sciences unveiled its new identity as the Department of Information Science and introduced the Master of Science in Data Science.
The evolution continued into 2017! The Department of Information Science launched the Bachelor of Science in Data Science while introducing two new Ph.D. programs. A Ph.D. in Information Science with a Linguistics concentration and a Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Studies with a Computational Linguistics focus continue to push the boundaries of knowledge.