IAP Independent Activities Period by, for, and about the MIT community
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The Role of the IAP Department Coordinator

Encouraging Others to Offer IAP Activities

The Role of the IAP Department Administrator


Every MIT department, laboratory, center, and group has an IAP Department Coordinator and Administrator to oversee IAP matters for their specific areas. This page contains details on their roles, as well as advice for Coordinators on encouraging colleagues and students to offer IAP activities.

The Role of the IAP Department Coordinator

Since IAP is "by, for, and about the MIT community," the role of the local IAP Department Coordinator is to encourage colleagues in his or her department, laboratory, center, office, or student group to offer and to attend IAP activities.

Subject and Activity planners should keep in mind the following objectives:

  • Create programs appealing to freshmen.

  • Try new teaching methods and learning formats that may improve the regular academic program.

  • Offer short courses and seminars for credit, as well as publicize opportunities for independent study.

  • Develop more Institute-wide activities to create a sense of community at MIT.

  • Promote student-faculty interaction.

The IAP Coordinator serves as the source of information about IAP resources, policies, and procedures for her/his department, group, office, etc. Academic departments are encouraged to organize both for-credit subjects as well as not-for-credit activities. To that end, you should be familiar with IAP guidelines outlined on the IAP Overview, Organizing Credit Subject and Non-Credit Activities, and Registration Information pages. The online MIT Bulletin also contains IAP policy information.

As an IAP Coordinator, you are expected to:

  • Advise activity leaders on the details of organizing, such as the availability of rooms and funding.
  • Help students seeking independent projects by identifying faculty or other resource people who can advise them.
  • Together with your IAP Department Administrator, review all departmental offerings for appropriateness.

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Encourage Faculty, Colleagues, Students, and Alumni to Offer IAP Activities

  • Make announcements at meetings, create posters and flyers, and send memos and e-mail messages to encourage people (especially students!) to organize activities.

  • Talk to students -- not just majors, but freshmen, upperclass students and alums from your department and in other areas as well.

  • Look at the IAP Offerings page, featuring activity descriptions from IAP 2003.

  • Meet with last year's Department Coordinator to find out what activities were most popular.

  • Suggest activities that give the MIT community an opportunity to learn more about the work of your department and to meet the people behind the scenes in one or more informal sessions.

  • Suggest offerings related to hobbies, outside interests, musical talents, travelogues.

  • Ask your departmental student group or honorary society to sponsor an activity.

  • Suggest that faculty experiment with curriculum development. Encourage them to use IAP to explore a section of one of their regular courses in greater depth.

  • Have a faculty member devise an independent project to be listed in the Guide as a department activity for students.

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The Role of the IAP Department Administrator

The IAP Department Administrator is the central person in an academic department, laboratory, or center responsible for submitting all IAP information to the Web for both departmentally-sponsored credit subjects and non-credit activities. Only the IAP Department Administrator is authorized to submit and update credit-bearing subjects for the IAP website.

As an IAP Administrator, you are expected to:

  • Submit your department's for-credit and non-credit offerings via the IAP Posting Forms

  • With your IAP Department Coordinator, review and approve all offerings and on-line postings that list your Department, Lab, or Center as a sponsor prior to being submitted to the IAP web page. This ensures that all information is correct and appropriate to the objectives and guidelines for IAP.

  • Make sure that faculty and students involved in projects or classes for academic credit know the policies regarding taking subjects for credit. Be sure to submit grades by the deadline to be announced.

For guidelines on determining units for undergraduate credit-bearing subjects see the Organizing For-Credit Subjects page. For help with gaining access to IAP posting forms, write to iap-www@mit.edu, or call 617-253-1668.

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Comments and questions to iap-www@mit.edu | Last update: 19 September 2002, IAP Office, Room 7-104, 617-253-1668