Curriculum to focus on employability
Photo: R.M. Rajarathinam
Quality first: Rev. R. Rajarathinam, Principal of St. Joseph’s College
Four arts and science colleges in Tiruchi have toned up quality initiatives significantly after obtaining reaccreditation from the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC).
The initiatives of St. Joseph’s College and the Bishop Heber College with A+ Accreditation, Holy Cross College with A accreditation and Seethalakshmi Ramaswami College with B++ Accreditation reflect in the revamp of their Internal Quality Assurance Cells (IQAC), joint academic ventures with foreign universities, industry-interaction, and quality of placements.
The ‘Communication Club’ at the St. Joseph’s College focusses on increasing the students’ employability. Also an extended remedial-cum-bridge course programme in English is offered to all the first year undergraduate students for the whole of first semester. In addition, academically weaker students are given special coaching through the Language Lab and Skill Phones Lab, and higher competencies are administered through the Placement Cell, which also carries out career guidance programmes.
Communication skills, etiquette, library skills and other soft skills are also administered through special programmes, the Principal Rev. Fr. R. Rajarathinam said, adding that an MoU the college has signed with Sutherland, Chennai, also takes care of the soft skills needs of the students.
The college has signed MoUs for joint academic ventures with industries like IGCAR and some leading universities in the USA including St. Joseph’s University, Philadelphia and George Town University; with Cape Breton University, Canada and with Huaihua University, China.
G. Kalyani, principal In-Charge, Seethalakshmi Ramaswamy College
The college has initiated efforts to revamp the curriculum and teaching methodology, and make suitable changes to evaluation pattern to enable students to come out successful in CSIR/UGC, NET/SLET examinations. The college has encouraged all departments to include members from industry in their Boards of Studies. Likewise, dynamic personalities have been roped in for the IQAC.
The college has formed Micro-Quality Circles at the departmental level that function as a facilitator between the departments and centralised IQAC. A seminar on Six Sigma Quality Initiatives for educational institution is on the anvil, Fr. Rajarathinam said.
After its re-accreditation last year, Bishop Heber College celebrated Academic Achievers’ Day for the first time during March 2008 to motivate toppers. The college is the first in the country to start M.Sc. Molecular Bio-Sciences, a UGC sponsored innovative PG programme. It also offers dual-degree programme under the IGNOU’s convergence scheme.
The Principal M. Marcus Diepen Boominathan said that the college has academic and scientific linkage with the University of Wolverhampton and with Appalachian State University, North Caronina, USA. Student and staff exchange programmes with foreign universities has gained momentum.
To enable students to speak fluently in English, the College offers Computer Assisted Language Learning (CALL) programme through its English Language Lab for all first year UG students. A full-time counsellor takes care of students with learning difficulties.
M. Marcus Diepen Boominathan, principal, Bishop Heber College
The thrust accorded for research after re-accreditation is evident in the increasing number of teachers registering for Ph.D, he said.
The Seethalakshmi Ramaswami College has the uniqueness of having nearly 50 per cent of teachers with Ph.D. qualifications on its rolls. With many registering for Ph.D after its re-accreditation in 2005, research activities have intensified.
The college was the first in the district to be re-accredited. In the post-reaccreditation phase, the college received FIST funding for its Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics departments.
According to the Principal In-Charge G. Kalyani, the role of IQAC has been made pivotal. Two full days in each semester is devoted for imparting of life skills. Training programmes for employability are held frequently for final year students, she said, informing about the progress made by the college in training and placing students in the emerging field of Medical Transcription.
Role of media
Holy Cross College is the only institution in the central districts to run a Community Radio service. The college has made its Language Laboratory accessible to all students, especially first-year students, on all working days with a focus on developing their communication and self-learning skills.
The Human Resources Development Centre of the college offers a number of short-term certificate courses. The college has tuned Choice-Based-Credit-System to the needs of slow as well as fast learners. The Audio-Video Studio and the Preview Theatre are the other unique aspects of the college, which has put in place ICT enabled teaching-learning process.
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