RIT School of Individualized Study co-hosts major conference March 30-31

The Individualized Major Programs conference will be held in Rochester for the first time

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The School of Individualized Study at Rochester Institute of Technology is honored to co-host the ninth annual 2017 National Conference for Individualized Major Programs (IMP), partnering with Drexel University, Ithaca College and St. Bonaventure University.

The event will be held in Rochester for the first time on March 30-31 at the Arbor Loft, 17 Pitkin St. The conference runs from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. (with an optional dinner) on Thursday, and 8 a.m. to noon on Friday (boxed lunches to go).

The IMP Conference is an annual gathering of individualized major programs that fosters a collaborative environment for new and seasoned individualized majors to share ideas, challenges, stories and pedagogies on all things IMP-related.

“The rich growth in customized degree pathways across higher education institutions speaks to a real hunger for innovation,” said James Hall, executive director of RIT’s School of Individualized Study. “This conference is a signal that professional communities of practice are taking shape that will guide new growth and ensure real quality at a moment of vital experimentation.

“A new and fascinating development is the spread of this historically U.S. model to international locations,” said Hall. “Participation this year by colleagues from Canada and Hong Kong is a great sign that willingness to empower students to participate actively in shaping their education is expanding.”

According to Abby Cantwell, assistant director of RIT’s School of Individualized Study, the expected turnout for the IMP conference is notable, with faculty, staff and students of individualized majors in attendance from 22 different colleges and universities. “We have international representation from the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology and Capilano University in British Columbia, as well as national schools including the University of Oklahoma, Duke University, Ohio University, Arkansas State University, University of Michigan, California College of the Arts and Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

“The conference is a gathering of individualized major programs like ours and the panel discussions are designed to focus on the administrative challenges of pursuing non-traditional majors as well as recognize those highly motivated students who opt to custom design their own degrees based on their passion, strengths and abilities,” said Cantwell.

The cost for registration is $125, $40 for the Thursday evening dinner, and $40 for students, which includes the conference and dinner. For more information, contact Cantwell at 585-475-7297 or ambacada@rit.edu.