Ground Rules & Guidelines for Success

"Every student comes to MIT with a burning desire to make a positive impact on the world through the advancement of technology. As MIT leads students to focus on the advancement of technology, GEL sharpens that focus by allowing them to understand, develop, and practice the leadership skills--indeed, the visionary skills--they need to take their technologies to market and make a subsequent impact on the world... The very same impact that they arrived at MIT striving to make. For this reason alone, GEL is beneficial to all MIT students." — Romi Kadri, GEL1 (2014)


Advising – Staff members are available upon request to advise students regarding program requirements and other matters.

Mentorship – Mentorship is an excellent opportunity for GELs to receive guidance on careers, academic decisions, personal growth and development as engineering leaders. Electing to be paired with an industry mentor is an optional but recommended facet of the GEL program (open to both GEL1s and GEL2s). Early in the Fall semester, GEL staff will reach out to students about mentorship program participation. If paired with a mentor, GELs are expected to be courteous and responsible about meeting with their mentor (however frequently you agree to meet).

The Stellar – GELs use the GEL Student Website to submit key GEL assignments and track their progress through the program. Each GEL will set up a “profile” on the site to denote his or her academic major and contact information. (Note: Students’ coursework completion status on the GEL Student Website is self-reported and does not reflect an official transcript of GEL course status.) Students should also note that some GEL instructors may require certain assignments to be submitted via Stellar rather than the GEL Student Website: Pay attention to the specifics of each assignment. Instructors also often utilize Stellar to post readings and other course materials.

Program Conflicts – GEL is a cohort-based leadership development experience made up of a specific set of required short courses. If a GEL knows that a scheduling conflict will jeopardize his or her ability to enroll in one of the required courses, they should immediately raise this issue with their GEL advisor or the course instructor. Exceptions are not typically granted. Students should not wait until after the start of a term to raise questions about conflicts for that term.

Grading Policies – GELs should refer to the specific syllabi from each of the GEL leadership labs and short courses (6.911/6.913, 6.902, 6.914, and advanced engineering leadership elective) to ascertain grading policies for each course. GELs should raise any questions about grading policies with the individual course instructor(s).

Attendance – GELs should refer to the specific syllabi from each of the ELLs and short courses (6.911/6.913, 6.902, 6.914, and advanced engineering leadership elective) to know the attendance policies for each course. As GEL is a cohort and team-based development experience, attendance is very important to students’ success in GEL.

ELL (6.911/6.913) Attendance – as Engineering Leadership Lab is a interactive, team-based experience, absences are detrimental both to individual students and to their teams. GELs must make every effort to attend all ELLs. In the event of exceptional circumstances, GELs must email and CC their team leaders in advance of any missed ELL. Please refer to the 6.911 syllabus for further details about ELL attendance.

Feedback and Reflection – performance assessment feedback is a critical aspect of the GEL program’s leadership development approach. GELs are routinely assessed during ELLs (6.911/6.913) and must submit a self-reflection any time they receive an assessment. GELs will submit their reflections via the GEL Student Website. Given the uniqueness of this feedback-based approach compared to other classes at MIT, some new GEL students may take time to become fully accustomed to it. As such, GELs are encouraged to discuss the feedback process with their team leaders, their advisor, or the instructors.

The GEL Student Leadership Organization – participants who have been accepted into the GEL Year Two cohort will become part of the program’s Student Leadership Organization. The GEL2s hold leadership positions and play a major role in the execution of the overall program.