(For the IQAC to implement as a leading initiative)
It is now trending across disciplines to keep as few credits as utmost essential in the curriculum and unshackle students to explore and excel in multiple fields of their innate cognitive ability and passion, and become better employable. Here is what institutes can enable their students with :-
1. Bridge courses. To offer these before every semester specific to upcoming courses. Because, there is a need and there is breather in between the semester. A short technical course, a course on finance, mathematics, data science, computer language and the like, needs advanced understanding n’ competence-building for an unexposed or slow learner. For many, it is difficult to cope with the course during the class engagement. BOS should identify Bridge courses 3 to 4 months in advance of AY and get these approved in AC. Include these in the Students’ Diary and Admission Prospectus.
2. Enrichment Courses Whereas Bridge are before the start of a course, Enrichment are for enhancement of course learning, and hence after the course. For example, an Objective of a curriculum course might be to provide fundamental knowledge. But a student might say “dil maange more”. Planning for this would invariably require identification of students’ needs through advanced profiling. Let these go through the BOS planning and subsequent approval process much the same way as Bridge course.
3. Add-on Program or even a degree Along with a regular degree, it is now possible to do another degree or an Add-on certificate, diploma and advance diploma program to up-skill and enhance employment profile. It is allowed to do even two engineering degrees side by side and save a year. A multiple entry levels options too have opened up.
4. VA courses. Identify students’ skill/job needs at the BOS and forge industry collaboration. Go to AC with details of industry profile, concrete justification, COs and syllabus jointly evolved with collaborating industry having ‘on job’ or ‘hands-on’ component of at least 80%. This off the curriculum course be ideally joined by every student, at least one such course in a semester. It shouldn’t be a repetitive of an elective course offered.
5. $Make-up courses/classes for slow learners. It can be delivered through various institute initiatives, namely App-based tuition cell, classes after the Semester exam leading to Supplementary exam to ‘save the year’ etc.
6. Alternative career coaching courses/ classes. The best is to organise or fund a MOOC/online course/coaching for your students. Don’t leave students to fend for themselves. Join student in building a profile and upload profile in a portal meant for students and employers to directly interface on portal. Enable preparation for the career and career search from the first year of joining itself as being followed by the National University of Singapore with huge success.
By :-Prof JR Sharma. The views expressed are personal for the larger good of institutes and students.