Accreditation Edge

10 ways to identify best NAAC Consulting Agency or an Institution Mentor

Much as the community of Guru’s have lost respect in the society by a large number of them getting into some nefarious activities, accreditation guru’s too have spoiled it by pushing institutes through ill-gotten means. There is another funny twist to it. Nearly every retired VC, director IQAC claims to be “Mentor”. You lift a stone, find one. No wonder, NAAC issues cautions. Am I such a Guru, I often look within ? Perhaps yes, perhaps no. You have been knowing me; so you know better 🙂

However, one thing I’m sure. Every institute needs one truly superior mentor. The reason is, that there is a jungle of processes, and faculty find it extremely challenging to negotiate these, particularly the documents attached to these processes. The challenging part is, that these must be of a very high quality. All credible foreign accreditation bodies such as ABET, AACSB etc. has mandatory deputation of mentors to applying institutes. It is actually so very important.

But a word of caution. If sometime your GB decides to go for it, go not for accreditation alone but go for institution building on a long term where accreditation and ranking would only be one part.

Take a look at a few essentials of such an agency or the resource person:-
1. Agency/Advisor must have held academic/research experience at senior level, and should have mentored scores of top league institutes of higher education with significant outcomes.
2. ⁠Engage Agency/Consultant that doesn’t by itself sit to write SSR in some corner; instead, choose one who has abilities to empower faculty by providing crystal clarity on what to do, how best to do, and creates competency in developing high worth quality processes, policies, practices and documents which lay a solid foundation of an institute.
3. ⁠Agency/Advisor that has deep understanding of contemporary teaching-learning, research, students’ support systems and governance issues. Take a 2-day workshop before engaging on the long-term.
4. ⁠Agency/Advisor that possesses expertise, in not just one field of study but multiple disciplines taught in your institute.
5. ⁠Engage a true well-wisher who genuinely thinks good of your institute on the long-term and protects privacy of your institute data.
6. ⁠Institute should go through the quality of processes and documents developed by the Agency/Advisor and verify credentials by engaging with the Principal/Consultant of the Agency.
7. ⁠Agency having expert resources to develop faculty in areas of writing research papers, developing a course on LMS, writing a course on SWAYAM, developing cum implementing NEP, developing IDP, guiding in immersion of OBE assessment & Evaluation, a mentor to IQAC team and all Functional Heads of a good university like, Head HR, Admin Head, Registrar, COE, Librarian, CFO etc.
8. ⁠Agency/Advisor should be able to assist in other critical areas such as LMS, ERP, AAA, Green Audit, Energy Audit etc. and be open to be an external member on the IQAC or Advisory Board.
9. ⁠Agency should have its Principal Consultant willing to travel to the campus at least once a month.
10. ⁠Agency should not claim to be an agent of NAAC or any governance body and mislead any institute by giving false assurances of grades and ranks.

Prof JR Sharma-Issued in public interest

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