The organization shall be known as the Illinois Geographic Alliance (IGA).
The Illinois Geographic Alliance envisions a state, nation, and world in which a geographically-literate population will apply geographic knowledge to heighten awareness, understanding, and informed decision-making on important societal issues for the betterment of humankind.
The Illinois Geographic Alliance promotes geographic literacy in the schools and among the general populace of Illinois to develop a more globally-informed citizenry. To achieve this mission, the IGA maintains a strong grassroots organization of geographic educators from schools and universities, and participates in educational reform at the district, state, and national levels. The IGA engages in an active program of pre-service and in-service teacher education, develops K-12 curriculum materials based on the National Geography Standards and common core standards, and fosters public awareness of the importance of geography in our society.
The Illinois Geographic Alliance supports and promotes the following core values:
Membership in the Alliance shall be open to all persons interested in promoting geographic education. No dues shall be charged for membership in the Alliance.
Section 1 - Host Institution. Since its founding in 1987, the IGA has been housed at Illinois State University, founded in 1857 and the oldest institution of public higher education in Illinois. Currently the IGA is housed in the Department of Geography-Geology at Illinois State University.
Section 2 - Organizational Structure. IGA administrative positions are listed in the organizational chart displayed below.
Section 3 - Coordinator and Co-Coordinator. The IGA Coordinator and Co-Coordinator share responsibilities for overall leadership and coordination of many IGA activities and events, in conjunction with the Steering Committee, along with day to day management of IGA operations.
Section 4 - Administrative Aide and Grant Administration. An administrative aide at Illinois State University provides assistance for IGA clerical and budget matters. Grant administration is operated by personnel in the Research and Sponsored Programs office and Grants Accounting office at Illinois State University.
Section 5 - Steering Committee. Operating within the parameters established by NGS and the Illinois State Board of Higher Education, the Steering Committee shall be responsible for the governance of the Alliance. All matters of policy and operation shall be approved by the members of the Steering Committee. Steering Committee members actively participate in the planning and organization of many IGA activities and provide advice and consultation to the Coordinator and Co-Coordinator. Any active IGA member is eligible to serve on the Steering Committee. The IGA Steering Committee is currently composed of ten IGA members, many of whom have served the IGA for many years, which include a mix of K-12 teachers/administrators along with university faculty/staff members. The IGA Coordinator, Co-Coordinator, and Steering Committee will work in cooperation to appoint new members to the Steering Committee as additional or replacement members are needed.
Section 6 - Subcommittees. Subcommittees will work with the IGA Coordinator, Co-Coordinator, and Steering Committee to accomplish specific IGA initiatives. Each subcommittee will have a chair, appointed by the Coordinator and Co-Coordinator, and at least two additional members. Subcommittee members may be Steering Committee members or any other active IGA member. The IGA Coordinator, Co-Coordinator, and Steering Committee members will work actively to recruit subcommittee members as needed. Membership of each subcommittee will be established in the Fall and members will serve one-year terms that are renewable. Current IGA subcommittees include the following:
A current strategic plan, approved by the Steering Committee, will be used to prioritize and guide IGA initiatives to promote geographic literacy and education in Illinois.
Using the strategic plan as a guide, and in conjunction with the IGA Coordinator and Co-Coordinator, subcommittees will establish an agenda of yearly tasks and projects falling under the purview of each committee for the coming year. Subcommittees will hold a teleconference or similar meeting approximately once a month to track overall achievement on each goal. Subcommittees will provide a brief review of current progress on initiatives at the IGA Spring meeting and Fall meeting. In addition, each subcommittee will provide a brief report in the Fall that summarizes subcommittee accomplishments over the current year.
The IGA will follow a formal process for evaluating overall progress on accomplishing goals and objectives as outlined in the strategic plan. Informally, the Coordinator and Co-Coordinator will consult with each other on a regular basis and will qualitatively assess overall progress through these consultations. More formally, the Coordinator and Co-Coordinator will review the strategic plan goals and objectives together on a semi-annual basis and will assign a ranking of “Exceeding Expectations,” “Meeting Expectations,” or “Missing Expectations” to each. These rankings will also be provided based on the annual reports provided by the chair of each subcommittee to the Coordinator and Co-Coordinator. Those goals or objectives receiving a “Missing Expectations” ranking will be discussed at the Steering Committee meeting or teleconference and recommendations will be developed in order to improve progress on these goals and objectives. Funding and staffing resources will be redirected, as appropriate, if needed to improve progress on any goals or objectives receiving a “Missing Expectations” ranking so long as it will not cause a significant deterrent towards progress on other goals or objectives. Summaries of these reports will be available for the National Geographic Society. The IGA strategic plan also will be evaluated, on an annual basis, and updated as needed due to changes in IGA funding priorities, allocation of resources, or other relevant issues.