Being a Sponsor

The sponsor’s role in assuring the academic integrity of the major and ensuring the student’s success in carrying it out is of crucial importance to the IMP.

If you have agreed to work with a student in designing and executing an individualized major, thank you! Our program depends on the contribution of faculty members like you. If you are considering doing so, we hope the information in this section will help you make an informed decision.

The sponsor represents the first level of faculty oversight of students’ individualized majors. Students seeking to major in the IMP are required to have one faculty sponsor. In some cases, the interdisciplinary orientation of the major might call for co-sponsors with expertise in complementary fields. Ideally, each student should have at least one sponsor who is a full-time faculty member in the College of Arts and Sciences. The sponsor’s involvement includes the following:

  • Working with the student to develop the individualized course of study. This includes determining the scope, selecting courses, exploring options for final projects, and indicating by signature careful prior approval of the student’s application materials (the curriculum planning form and admission statement).
  • Attending the student’s admission interview. Although the sponsor does not vote on admission, he or she is expected to act as the student’s advocate and to answer questions concerning the student and the proposed major.
  • Maintaining regular contact with the student throughout his or her IMP career. The IMP does not mandate the particular frequency with which meetings should occur, but expects that the student and/or sponsor will notify the IMP office if the level of contact is unsatisfactory to either party.
  • Supervising independent study and internship work as appropriate.
  • Approving alterations to the student’s major course of study when such alterations do not contradict requirements specified in the student’s admission letter.
  • Participating in the student’s mid-program assessment.
  • Supervising the student’s final project, reviewing drafts of written materials and suggesting revisions, indicating by signature careful prior approval of the student’s final project portfolio, attending the student's final project review, and assigning a grade following the final project review.

While the sponsor is not expected to monitor the student’s progress toward fulfilling general degree requirements (the IMP assistant director is the student’s academic advisor), he or she should be prepared to provide overall support and guidance throughout the student’s academic career.

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