Accreditation Edge

Value-Added and Add-On Courses for scaling up NAAC Grade

The difference between Value Added courses (VACs), Add-on courses and Enrichment Courses can leave even a top NAAC consultant answer less. These are same and used interchangeably. All have the same character and blood-stream running – beyond curriculum and same objective-helping students in skill competencies which enable jobs. Ideally, there should be no bar in the minimum duration of such certificate courses but NAAC laid down minimum of 30 hours for the higher education institutes. Institutes can also launch this as certificate course of one year beyond the curriculum and/or ask students to register in SWAYAM certificate course and even get a credit to be counted Academic Bank of Credit. It is always empowering to run these courses complying the laid down qualification framework for the larger benefit of students.

2. Be that as it may, if your eye is on NAAC top grade. your credible NAAC consultant or NAAC mentor will always recommend you to run VAC delivered by an industry with potential to hone-in skills. It is difficult to imagine such special industry-specific skills being imparted by institute faculty who might not have the required expertise since these are transferable life-skill courses far beyond their domain area. If yours is a progressive HEI, even if not going for the NAAC, you must run VAC/Add-on courses since these large number of skill-courses might not find place in the curriculum of an institute. For example, AICTE model curriculum doesn’t include such a job-empowering Python course as a programming language in CSE or ECE which is fundamental to Data Science.

3. Any eminent NAAC consultant or best of best NAAC Consulting Agency that is into curriculum improvement services would invariably recommend inclusion of highly empowering skill-based courses, like Python, Jawa Script, Blockchain, ML, AI, Cyber security, Data Analytics etc. into “open electives” where institutes have not included these as a part of “Professional electives” since students engage much better once courses are part of curriculum that carry credits. Alternatively, as university, some of these may be considered as stand-alone diploma or degree programs, depending on the availability of competent intellectual wealth and status of related infra of labs. It is my recommendation that never venture into such courses into the emerging fields without requisite teaching experts and supporting labs. You will only earn the ire and disappointment of your students. Get these approved by the BOS and AC and take budget approval of resources in advance. Always take pride in being a genuine HEI in your deliverables to students-the first stakeholders. You exist, because they are in your institute. They have placed trust in you that you are duty-bound to meet their aspirations and dreams.

By Prof JR Sharma -the founder CEO of Accreditation Edge.

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