What is a MAP?
Mentored Advanced Projects (MAPs) provide a chance to work closely with a faculty member on scholarly research or the creation of a work of art. A Mentored Advanced Project is an approved course of faculty-directed scholarly or creative work that is the culmination of significant preparatory work. It serves to integrate the knowledge and skills gained by the student's course of studies, and aims to produce results that merit presentation to the college community or the wider scholarly world. A MAP can be the capstone of the academic major or a concentration, or it can serve to integrate a separate sequence not recognized as a formal program. The MAP may be independent, conducted with a research team, or developed in the context of an advanced seminar.
The MAP opportunity is made available by specific programs and individual faculty members at their discretion, so students should not expect to set the terms for a particular MAP. However, if a student does have demonstrated interest in pursuing a specific area of research within a discipline, they can approach a faculty member within that department and discuss the possibility of pursuing a MAP. Sound planning and attentiveness to the available opportunities are recommended to students who seek a chance to culminate their undergraduate work in a creative or scholarly field.
Planning a MAP
Grinnell College has funding available to support travel for students (or first-year graduates) whose MAP results are accepted for off-campus public presentation or performance. If your MAP work has been accepted for external presentation, you may apply for travel support. Summer MAPs require both a faculty request for funding (due 1st Friday in February) and a student MAP application (due late April / early May). See planning a MAP for information on deadlines.
Requirements for a MAP
The Mentored Advanced Project (MAP) can take a variety of forms, but it must have the following five features in order to be recognized and approved as a MAP:
- The project is advanced. Evidence of this attribute will be that the context in which the project occurs has one or more pre-requisites above the introductory level and carries a 300-level or 400-level course designator. Students who wish to enroll in a MAP must have completed second- year status and have obtained the instructor's permission.
- It is the culmination of a sequence of previous academic work in one or more disciplines. The student's MAP application project statement should explain the relation between specific previous work and the project. Clearly, a student will need to engage in planning in order to prepare for a MAP. Such planning would be in keeping with the "Comprehensive Academic Plan" that the faculty approved and that we now require students to complete when they declare a major.
- It is intensively mentored by one or more faculty members. Generally, mentoring will take the form of regular (e.g. weekly) face-to-face meetings, but, if necessary, frequent electronic or telephone contact could substitute for some of these meetings.
- The student demonstrates initiative in shaping the project at each stage from design to completion. The evidence of student initiative will show up initially in the written application to undertake a MAP, see 2 above, although, depending on the context in which the MAP is undertaken, the major initiative may be evidenced at a later stage.
- It results in a product that is shared, very possibly with an audience broader than the instructor and other students in a course.