The IPRO program began in 1995 as an experiment in which faculty agreed to see whether they could structure a course that was open enough to give students an unique experience but was controlled enough to deliver certain learning outcomes for the student after they completed the course. For a couple of years, IPROs were held under a pilot program in which faculty volunteered to be the facilitators, coaches or mentors for the teams and students volunteered in that they received elective credit for participating in an IPRO team. The course was not a general education requirement.
After gaining experience in the first few years, a formula for creating successful projects and facilitating teams during the semester was devised, and the faculty voted to make IPRO courses a 6-credit hour general education requirement for all undergraduates.
The IPRO Program prepared to offer enough project topics, inspire faculty to think about projects, and deliver the interprofessional experience to students. In addition, companies and community partners were invited to participate in the program by sponsoring teams and providing a problem for them to work on.
Part of the beauty of the IPRO course is that it offers a lot of diversity and flexibility for the kinds of problems in which the students become engaged, allowing virtually any faculty to lead a course or company or organization to partner with the IPRO Program.