Following are excerpts from an article in Indiaeducationdiary.
As per the latest statistics, the community colleges of the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) have become a rage in the country. "In just three years, IGNOU has over two lakh students in about 600 community colleges pursuing vocational education, skill development and work integrated learning," announced Vice-Chancellor Prof. V.N. Rajasekharan Pillai,.
… In the early 1990s, the University Grants Commission had sent a committee of Vice-Chancellors and Principals to the USA to study the well-established community college system there. Following the recommendations, the Pondicherry Central University had started the first community college in the publicly funded university system. Pondicherry University is now augmenting the community colleges by appointing faculty and creating other facilities.
In Tamil Nadu, state universities like Manonmaniam Sundanar University, Tirunelveli and very recently, all the state universities in Tamil Nadu have decided to start 10 community colleges each. The Tamil Nadu Open University (TNOU) has started Community College programmes at the Certificate and Diploma levels and the state has also a large number of community colleges supported by charity organisations, particularly by the missionary institutions. …
"The Community College System the world over is the most open and flexible pattern of post-secondary education, life-long learning and skill development. It provides a supplementary route to higher education through an appropriate mix of skills and academic knowledge. In the US, according to the latest statistics, 46 percent of the students go to the Universities through the two-year community colleges. Several of these Community Colleges are much bigger than some of the premier universities over there. Open education practices, flexi-time approach, technology-enabled teaching and learning, On-line and distance learning, work-integrated learning, and very recently use of Open Education Resources (OER) are the most salient features of these community colleges," said the VC.
Open University of China (OUC) offers full-time, part-time and spare-time two-year and three-year degree programmes in addition to various modular, certificate and diploma programmes. The two-year degrees (Associate Degrees) are analogous to the community colleges in the US, Canada and Australia, and to the advanced diploma programmes in the UK and European post-secondary education system.
The 2010 Statistical Bulletin of the Open University of China indicates that the Associate Degree, which is in between the Certificate and the Bachelor Degree, is the largest qualification base in China. In 2010, 4,12,400 students from OUC received Associate Degrees in contrast to 6,914 Bachelor Degrees and 38,000 Certificates. More than 50 percent of the students enter into higher learning in the Universities through these two-year degree colleges in China.
Open and Distance Learning (ODL), On-line Learning and Open Educational Resources (OER) constitute major delivery strategies as of today in the Community College System. The two-year Associate Degree Community Colleges have more than 50 percent of their enrollment through Distance Education.
Looking at these global trends in Open University and Distance Education Systems and considering the challenges of the National Skills Mission, chaired by the Prime Minister of India, IGNOU initiated the Community College Movement in the country in 2008, after countrywide consultations and drawing inputs from the National Knowledge Commission and the Planning Commission. In just three years, IGNOU has over two lakh students in about 600 community colleges pursuing vocational education, skill development and work-integrated learning, full-time, part-time and spare-time. …
June 21st, 2011
IGNOU has started a Community College Scheme. Its web page is at http://communitycollege.ignou.ac.in/Default.aspx and additional detailed information is available at a wiki http://ieg.ignou.ac.in/wiki/index.php/IGNOU_WIKI/Community_Colleges. Following is an excerpt from the latter.
Community Colleges are an alternative system of education which aims to empower individuals through appropriate skill development leading to gainful employment in collaboration with the local industry and community.They offer the advantage of tailoring programmes to local needs and state-based requirements by using approaches that will be most acceptable to workers in the given community. Community Colleges generally have a 2-year curriculum that either leads to an Associate Degree for transfer to an undergraduate college or to the students direct entry into any occupation or trade.These colleges are a source of economic growth because they provide an educated and skilled workforce that improves the quality of life for individuals students, communities, and the nation.
The current list of Community Colleges is given at http://ieg.ignou.ac.in/wiki/images/9/98/FINAL_Community_College_as_on_23_May%2C_2011.pdf. The Community Colleges listed there are:
- ATDC- IGNOU Community College, A/33, Rasulgarh Industrial Estate, Bhubaneswar – 751010, Orissa
- ATDC – IGNOU Community College, Ispat Lower Secondary School, Sector 8, Rourkela-769009
- Dr. Zakir Husain Institute, Plot # 435, Badajena Complex Old Station Square Bhubaneshwar – 751006 Orissa
- Green Valley Community College, GVPS Campus, AT/PO Penta, Via J.K.Pur, Rayaguda Dist, Orissa – 765017
- Holy Lord Education Society, Ramaballav Road, Po/Dist – Puri –752001 Orissa
- Manara Academy, IBF Education and Charitable
Trust, B-1654, Sector-10, Markat Nagar, CDA, Cuttack-753008, Orissa
- MSSRF Community College (M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation), Phulbad, Jeypore, Koraput, Orissa 764002
- SVTI Community College, Mary Villa, Jharsuguda, Orissa
- UPAYA Community College, UPAYA Centre, At. Ramabahal, P.O. kesramal, Via. Rajgangpur, Dist. Sundargarh, Orissa-770017
- Viswa Yuva Kendra, Baninali, Luhamunda, Kishoreganj , Angul-759127, Orissa
In addition to the above, theer are two JIndal-INGOU community colleges that are coming up in Angul and Barbil.
The FAQ at http://ieg.ignou.ac.in/wiki/images/a/a3/FAQS_FINAL.pdf answers many relevant questions such as how to become an IGNOU Community College. Following are some excerpts.
Q: After doing Associate Degree Programme from Community College will the third year be done from IGNOU or any other University?
Ans. We are targeting for IGNOU only.
… Q: How to get an approval of a proposal regarding Community College?
Ans: Please go to IGNOU website and visit the link "Community College‟.
… Q: Who will be eligible to enroll in Community Colleges?
Ans: Anyone who has completed 10+2 or its equivalent is eligible to enroll for the Associate Degree Programme. Similarly students who have completed the BPP Programe of IGNOU may also enroll for the Associate Degree Programme. Eligibility for Certificate Programmes vary from 8th pass and above and that for Diploma Programme vary from 10th pass and above.
… Q: What is the suggested structure of Certificate and Diploma Programme?
Ans: Certificate programmes should be of 6 months‟ duration and equivalent to 16-20 credits. A Diploma programme is of one year duration with 32-36 credits.
The pattern of credits is as follows:
Full-time programmes – one credit is equivalent to 15 contact hours. Part-time / Distance learning programmes – one credit is equivalent to 30 hours of study by a student which includes self-study, assignments, library work, etc. All Community Colleges must conduct theory/practical/in-service/apprenticeship in appropriate proportions commensurate with the teaching methodology.
… Q: How will students transfer from an Associate Degree to the third year of graduation?
Ans: For students who complete an Associate Degree and wish to register for the third year in IGNOU, a credit transfer policy will be worked out between the Community College and IGNOU. The international pattern is to accept about 80% of the credits earned during Associate Degree Programme.
Q: What is the structure of Bachelor’s Preparatory Programme (BPP)?
Ans: Bachelor’s Preparatory Programme has the following three courses.
i) Preparatory Course in General Mathematics ii) Preparatory Course in Social Sciences iii) Preparatory Course in Commerce
A student has to select any two from the above courses.
… Q: Which are the Associate Degree Programmes that can be run through a Community College?
Ans: A Community College is supposed to identify the programmes as per the need of the community. The Master List given on the IGNOU website carries the names of all programmes on offer by the Community Colleges. This would definitely give you an idea.
… Q: What is the minimum educational qualification and age of formal students in Associate
Ans: 10+2. No age bar.
My thoughts: This seems like a good start with some details yet to be formulated. The community colleges will formalize various trade oriented courses and will allow people doing those courses to do a bit more work towards a Bachelor’s degree. At present, there are only a few of these in Odisha. As the awareness increases, it should pick-up. At present most of the current community colleges seem to be run by private entities (the ATDC ones are exceptions). I hope Odisha starts district community colleges in each of its districts and creates a mechanism so that it is funded by district funds and the locals have a say in what is taught.
June 15th, 2011