Program Overview

Individualized learning at the undergraduate level offers unique opportunities not just for students, but for faculty as well. As a faculty sponsor, a member of the IMP Faculty Committee, or both, youíll have the chance to work with undergraduate students whose commitment to their chosen fields, capacity for independent learning, and potential for future distinction are frequently on a par with those of the best graduate students.

IMP Sponsors

As a sponsor, you will generally work with students in subjects within or closely related to your own discipline. Sometimes, individual studentsí interests allow you to share expertise in highly specialized areas, ones you might not teach even in graduate-level seminars. Sponsoring students in the IMP can be a chance to promote your own specialty within your department and document interest at the undergraduate level, a handy tool when proposing new courses, minors, and even majors.

The sponsorís role includes, but is not limited to, the following tasks:

  • Helping students articulate the concept of the major, and cooperating with them in the selection of courses, design of independent-study courses, and creation of final projects
  • Participating in studentsí admission interviews, endorsing them and the major proposal, shedding light on any obscure areas and helping negotiate the approval of the major and any accompanying recommendations or requirements
  • Continuing to work with individual students after admission, supervising independent studies when appropriate, and meeting or otherwise communicating on a regular basis
  • Participating in studentsí mid-program assessments
  • Supervising studentsí final projects and participating in their final project reviews

Please see Being a Sponsor for more information.

The IMP Faculty Committee

Members of the IMP Faculty Committee enjoy the satisfaction that comes from helping students adapt their educations to their particular interests and goals. Another benefit of IMP service for many faculty is the opportunity to meet and exchange ideas with faculty across the spectrum of IU departments and schools. The faculty committee serves the vital function of ensuring the academic integrity of the majors approved and certified by the IMP.

Members of the committee are asked to be available for admission interviews and final project reviews, generally during the last few weeks of each regular semester. (Mid-program assessments, shorter meetings attended only by the designated chair of each student's admission committee, may be held throughout the semester.) Recommendations made by IMP faculty members during the admission interview — for possible courses, faculty contacts, reading materials, and internships — play a central role in shaping IMP majors. Each major proposal is evaluated according to the following criteria:

  • Distinctiveness: The committee must be satisfied that the purpose of the major the student proposes cannot be fulfilled in a single school or department.
  • Coherence: The major must make good academic sense; in the case of majors of a vocational nature, the committee might ask whether the courses and experiences included are appropriate for the studentís career goals. Majors are often judged according to the standards of breadth and depth that are applied to conventional majors.
  • Student qualifications: The committee must be satisfied that the student is likely to succeed in his or her major and that the fit between them is a good one.

Please contact us for more information about how to become involved with the IMP as a faculty member.