Being a Sponsor

The sponsorís role in assuring the academic integrity of the major and ensuring the studentís 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 studentsí individualized majors. Students 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. At least one of each student's sponsors must be a full-time faculty member in the College of Arts and Sciences. The sponsorís 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 studentís application materials (the curriculum planning form and admission statement).
  • Attending the studentís admission interview. Although the sponsor does not vote on admission, he or she is expected to act as the studentís 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 studentís major course of study when such alterations do not contradict requirements specified in the studentís admission letter.
  • Participating in the studentís mid-program assessment.
  • Supervising the studentís final project, reviewing drafts of written materials and suggesting revisions, indicating by signature careful prior approval of the studentís 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 studentís progress toward fulfilling general degree requirements (the IMP assistant director is the studentís academic advisor), he or she should be prepared to provide overall support and guidance throughout the studentís academic career.