Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Task Force on the Undergraduate Educational Commons

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Task Force Final Report
Background of the Task Force
MIT's Educational Mission
Overview of the GIRs


The 1998 Task Force on Student Life and Learning was charged, in part, to review and articulate MIT's educational mission, and to evaluate MIT's current educational process and identify changes that would enhance our educational mission. Whereas they dealt with the mission and process of MIT undergraduate education, the Task Force on the Educational Commons is to address its goals, content, and structure. During academic years 2003-04 and 2004-05 the Task Force is asked to:

  • Review the statement of MIT's Educational Mission, including the reasoning and assumptions of educational and societal context that support it, and then reaffirm or modify it as deemed appropriate.
  • Derive from the educational mission a specific set of Goals for the education of all MIT undergraduate students.
  • Develop and articulate, at an appropriate level of definition, the Content of the curriculum that should be common to the education of all MIT undergraduate students.
  • Develop and recommend to the MIT Faculty the formal structure of the MIT undergraduate curriculum, expressed in a set of General Institute Requirements or an alternative formulation.

The Task Force should organize itself as it sees fit, and, if necessary, establish auxiliary bodies in order to complete its work in an effective and timely manner. Throughout its deliberations, it should seek the perspectives and advice of the appropriate Standing Committees of the Faculty , particularly the Committee on Curricula and the Committee on the Undergraduate Program . It should effectively engage the MIT community, including students, faculty, academic administrators, other relevant Faculty committees, and alumni/ae. The Task Force should also conduct surveys and consult with parties outside MIT as it deems appropriate - including, for example, other colleges and universities, graduate and professional schools attended by our graduates, and employers who hire them.

As the Task Force progresses from defining issues to making recommendations, it should continue to actively involve the community, particularly those who will be responsible for implementing its recommendations. Finally, the Task Force should issue periodic reports of their deliberations in order to invite community dialogue and debate about ideas and issues it has identified.

December 2003

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