Launched in 2001, DePauw University's Information Technology Associates Program (ITAP) is a selective, four-year honors program that allows students to develop advanced skills in a wide range of information technologies. ITAP's objective is to prepare studentsâ€”regardless of major or career aspirationâ€”for the team-based work environments that await them after graduation, where interpersonal skills are at least as important as technical fluency. For four years, these ITAP interns are immersed in real-life working environments both on and off campus. Because students participate in ITAP for their full college careers, the university is able to draw on a reliable pool of talented, well-trained, and affordable workers. Four years after it began, ITAP has grown from 60 to 160 students, and the first cohort has graduated. As a measure of the initiative's success, all ITAP alumni were either accepted into the graduate school of their choice or hired by their preferred employer within six months of graduation.
ELI's Innovations & Implementations series highlights innovative teaching, learning, and technology practices in higher education. Each Innovations & Implementations piece provides a practical overview of an innovation, focusing on its significance and implementation issues. Use Innovations & Implementations to explore innovative practices that might be of value to your institution.