opportunity to learn in a workplace setting by alternating practical, paid work experience in various fields of interest with their academic studies.23 Advantages The advantages of a graduate program for records professionals whose curriculum is organized in streams are several. First, such a program is flexible and adaptable to various needs as they develop over time without requiring drastic changes to the curriculum, and to different cultural contexts and legal- administrative requirements. In fact, depending on the country, university, school/department and on who is served by it, the streams can be completely different from those suggested in my example (e.g. countries like Italy and Germany might like to offer a medieval archivist stream, with all the philological disciplines as stream core,24 while others might be interested in offering an information specialist stream, with information science disciplines as stream core Second, such a program would issue a graduate degree with indication of a specialization, and this fact would satisfy the professions that are demanding their name on the title of their degrees, such as records managers and records forensics experts. Third, such a program can still issue a generalist degree if a student decides not to select a stream but to take courses across streams. Fourth, it would foster interdisciplinary collaborations with other faculties and programs on campus (e.g. computer science, law, business administration, criminology and in general law enforcement programs) through course sharing, and with other universities through students exchange, whereby students of one university take clusters of courses for one semester in another university (e.g. students of an archival program in Canada could take a semester of courses on digital forensics in the United States). Fifth, such a program could provide either a strictly professional degree or a more academically focused degree leading to a doctorate, depending on the emphasis chosen by the individual student. Sixth, if a student wished to do so, such a program could allow taking more than one stream and issue a graduate degree with multiple specializations; indeed, if a student were willing to spend four years in it, this program could form the extreme records professional, a hyper-educated individual who can function in any possible role a record specialist could possibly be called to fill. To conclude with This proposal results from several factors. As a researcher on digital records and on their management from creation to permanent preservation, I have given much thought to the competences needed to deal with the challenges presented by contemporary records and the professional profiles that can respond to them, and I have arrived at the conclusion that, although such competences are and must be specific, and such profiles must include much technological PROFESSIONALITEIT 23 At the University of British Columbia, the archival program offers this kind of work education. Its web site states: "Students may elect to take a term of work lasting either four months or eight months, or may do two different four month work terms. Work terms are to be completed before the student begins his or her last term of study at SLAIS. Students are paid for their work according to industry standards which will vary according to the type of library, archival or information organization. Students do not receive academic credit for their work, but participation in the Co-op work program is noted on transcripts. A student while on a co-op placement may enrol in no more than 3 credits of course work (including audit) per co-op term." See http://www.slais.ubc.ca/courses/co-op.htm (last accessed January 24, 2010). 206

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Jaarboeken Stichting Archiefpublicaties | 2010 | | pagina 208