"In its report of September 1998, the Task Force on Student Life and Learning called attention to the value of informal learning and of campus interaction in all of its forms: 'The central and distinguishing feature of an MIT education is that it incorporates research, academics, and community into an education that is greater than the sum of its parts. . .[T]he higher education of the future must go beyond classroom learning.'
Among the activities that help define a truly exceptional academic experience for students are those that incorporate out-of-classroom interaction with others in the university community—particularly faculty. The Committee on the Undergraduate Program (CUP) and the Committee on Student Life (CSL) believe that MIT must cultivate an environment in which students can find a broad group of advisors and mentors to help them explore the academic landscape more successfully, develop and refine their career interests, create a comprehensive educational and activities plan for their time at the Institute, and make an effective transition to life after graduation.
To cultivate an exceptionally supportive environment for students at MIT, we all recognize that we must continue to develop an effective institutional support structure for advising and mentoring, and faculty participation will need to extend beyond the narrow concept of academic advising. With this in mind, the Institute faculty at its meeting of May 15, 2002 requested that CUP and CSL undertake a joint effort to consider advising and mentoring at MIT and to make recommendations to the faculty.
This report is the result of the ensuing discussions."