About the Committee

The Subcommittee on the Communication Requirement (SOCR) is a permanent subcommittee of the Committee on the Undergraduate Program (CUP). Its membership includes one faculty co-chair from the School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences (SHASS) and one faculty co-chair from the School of Engineering or the School of Science; and in addition, one faculty member from each of the five Schools; two undergraduates; and, ex officiis, the Vice Chancellor, the Dean of SHASS, and the head of Comparative Media Studies/Writing, or their designated representatives. The Registrar's Office provides administrative support.

The Subcommittee shall work towards the high-level goals of:

  • Supporting, encouraging and monitoring the development of new, innovative subjects and changes to the Communication Requirement; and
  • Ensuring regular review of new and existing subjects to ascertain that the educational goals of the Communication Requirement are met while maintaining MIT’s high educational standards.

In doing so and subject to final review by the CUP, SOCR acts with power to:

  • Set guidelines for Communication Intensive subjects in each undergraduate major program (CI-M); review and approve designation of these subjects through a process that includes collaboration with the Committee on Curricula (CoC).
  • Establish guidelines for CI-H and CI-HW subjects and adjust them as appropriate; review and approve designation of these subjects through a process that includes collaboration with the CoC.
  • Maintain the official list of CI subject designation in consultation with the CoC.
  • Oversee the evaluation of the writing abilities of entering undergraduates and establish the standards to exempt students who display competency in expository writing from being required to enroll in designated CI-HW subjects during their first year at the Institute.
  • Define priorities for instructional support of CI subjects throughout the Institute.
  • Monitor policies associated with the Communication Requirement and revise or develop new ones as necessary.
  • Working with the CoC, oversee individual student requests for exceptions or substitutions to the Communication Requirement.
  • Collaborate with the Committee on Academic Performance (CAP) to ensure student compliance with the pace of the Communication Requirement.
  • Propose to the CUP limited educational experiments that the Subcommittee deems appropriate for assessing changes to the curriculum and educational policies and practices.
  • In consultation with professionals in educational assessment, periodically review and assess the effectiveness of specific CI subjects as well as the overall efficacy of the Communication Requirement and its administration. SOCR will report to the CUP yearly.

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