Frequently Asked Quesions

1. What is the mission of the IDEAL Center? 

The Center for Innovation, Design, Entrepreneurship, and Leadership (IDEAL) serves as the central laboratory and studio for multidisciplinary ideas, projects, and collaborations that address complex problems.  Drawing on the College’s faculty and staff, alumni, and external partners, the center coordinates and supports campus-wide opportunities for students in all four divisions to learn and apply the skills, perspectives, and attributes of creative leaders in business, nonprofit, and governmental sectors.

2. What does the IDEAL Center do?

The IDEAL Center facilitates and supports multidisciplinary initiatives that bring together faculty, students, and external partners to solve complex social and technological problems.

3. How can faculty get involved?

Faculty are invited to approach the IDEAL Center with ideas for new projects, co-curricular experiences, and certificate programs and work with the center staff to bring these ideas to fruition.  Contact the co-chairs for more information.

4. How can students get involved?

Students are invited to register for an IDEAL project.  Beginning with the Fall 2014 semester students will be able to register for credit-bearing IDEAL projects in the same way that they register for courses.  Information about both IDEAL projects and co-curricular experiences will be posted on the IDEAL website.

5. How are faculty compensated for their involvement in the IDEAL Center?

Faculty will mentor IDEAL projects as part of their regular course load or as a compensated overload.  Those who commit to offering full-credit multidisciplinary projects for at least three semesters (over a four-year period) may be eligible for a faculty development stipend as IDEAL Faculty Partners.

6.  What type of course credit do students earn for participating in an IDEAL project?

We are planning to offer IDEAL projects under a new IDEA rubric (pending CEP approval).  In some cases, these will be similar to interdisciplinary study (INDS) courses.  In other cases, academic programs may choose to use IDEAL projects with specialized learning outcomes to satisfy specific curricular requirements for a major or minor.

7. What support is available for faculty development? 

The IDEAL Center will offer half- and full-day workshops throughout the year to help faculty develop the skills necessary for leading and evaluating multidisciplinary team projects.  During each semester faculty mentors will meet as a group to share their experiences with ongoing projects.

8. What if a faculty member has an idea that does not fit neatly into one of the current IDEAL initiatives?

We are open to new ideas that support the mission of the IDEAL Center.  Send us an email (IDEAL@Lafayette.edu) or give us a call (x3091).