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WHOI Resources

In addition to many resources at MIT, there are resources at WHOI for Joint Program students who may be experiencing academic or personal difficulties. The following is a list of people available to help students.


“Advisors have broad responsibilities for a student’s overall academic and research progress.” (Biology handbook)  “The advisor plays the most important role in guiding the student’s graduate career.” (MG&G handbook)  The advisor has “an active interest in helping and advising.”  (PO handbook)

Education Coordinator

Each discipline has an Education Coordinator (J. Seward Johnson Chair) at WHOI.  The Education Coordinator “can act as an intermediary for students” (CO handbook), serves as “a source of information and advice to both students and advisors” (AOPE handbook), and “acts in cooperation with advisors, the Joint Committee and the Education [a.k.a. Academic Programs] Office to help resolve academic or personal problems.” (AOSE handbook)

Discipline Joint Committee

Each Joint Committee has academic oversight responsibility for your progress from admission to approving your thesis.  The Committee “serves as the first level grievance board for student concerns”.  (PO handbook)

Academic Programs Office

The Dean, the Associate Dean, or anyone else with whom you feel comfortable are available for consultation.  Our office has an “open door” policy and will hold issues discussed in confidence at the student’s request.  (If we believe it is important to share the information discussed, we will ask and encourage it.  The exception to this would be if we believe there is a danger to anyone or if it may be a case of harassment or discrimination where we are required by law to report.)

Outside Resources

WHOI’s Employee and Student Assistance Program (ESAP) service is provided by KGA, Inc. KGA, offers free, confidential consultations, counseling and targeted referrals at no cost to you and your household members. KGA will provide up to five (5) free counseling services in person or via telephonic counseling appointments. Some of the ways in which KGA can help include: counseling, crisis counseling, legal assistance, financial consultation, elder/adult care resources, and nutrition management. Contact the ESAP 24/7 for convenient, expert and confidential support, by calling 800.648.9557 or visiting