The Times of India | TNN | March 4, 2016 |
CHENNAI: Emphasising the role of community colleges in educating students, an 11member team from Montgomery College in the US, is working on developing the existing curriculum to elevate community colleges in the country to global standards. There are now around 240 UGC-run community colleges in the country and 366 run by NGOs. Working with the Indian Centre for Research and Development of Community Education (ICRDCE), faculty from Montgomery College will focus on health science, applied technology and information technology as part of the curriculum during an international conference to be conducted at Loyola College in the city . Montgomery College president DeRionne Pollard said more than 50% of undergraduates in US universities had attended a community college. “There is a notion of academic elitism where community colleges are considered inferior to other institutions but we reject that. At the end of the day, the outcomes of the colleges show there is little to prove they are inferior,” she said.
US Consul General Philip Min said the growth of community colleges in the US was phenomenal with nearly 1,200 colleges existing currently . Explaining the popularity of the concept, he said the colleges had unique advantages such as close community ties, partnerships with local industry , specialized technical coursework, and the opportunity to transfer credits toward a Bachelor’s degree. “Many of those colleges work closely with local employer partners to design course materials that lead to industry-recognized certificates and degrees. Community colleges are lea ding the way in preparing students for the fastest growing fields in the US, such as healthcare, applied engineering and green technologies,” he added. ICRDCE director M S Jacob said India’s obsession with evaluation of marks was not going to uplift the youth in the country . “We need assessment and evaluation of skills too and not just marks.The credit transfer system, if implemented in the country , can help those who studied in community colleges to get equivalent degrees in regular institutions as well,” he said. Jacob demanded that community colleges be made a separate entity. – Courtesy