Assessment Report On
Institutional Accreditation Of
Ch. S. D. Theresa’s Autonomous College for Women, Eluru, Andhra Pradesh
The NAAC constituted the peer team consisting of Prof. K. Aludiapillai (as Chairman), Rev. Fr. P.C. Mathew and Prof. D. Shrijay Devaraj Urs (as members) for assessing St. Theresa’s Autonomous College for Women, Eluru for accreditation. Dr. Antony Stella, Deputy Adviser, NAAC accompanied the team. The team visited the college from August 23 - 25, 1998.
St. Theresa’s Autonomous College for Women, Eluru is located in West Godavari District, Andhra Pradesh. The college campus is just on the outskirts of Eluru town which is the headquarters of West Godavari District. Established in 1953 and affiliated to Andhra University, Waltair, this college is located in a predominantly rural area in a 10 acre campus with all essential infrastructure facilities.
Degree courses in arts and science were started in the year 1958-59. The first Post Graduate course was started in the year 1971-72. Today there are 19 courses - 16 under graduate and 3 post graduate courses with a student strength of 1354 (1997-98). Seven combinations are available in the B.Sc. course, five combinations in B.A. English medium and two combinations in B.A. Telugu medium. Besides these, there are B.Sc. Home Science and B.Com. courses at the under graduate level, MA courses in Economics and English and the M.C.A. course. This college was granted autonomy in the year 1987. The UGC has approved the introduction of seed technology as a vocational subject in the B.Sc. programme from the year 1996-97.
Section 2: Parameter-wise Analysis
Parameter I: Goals and Objectives
Ch. S. D. Theresa’s College for Women, Eluru was founded by Sr. St. Ann - congregation dedicated for the cause of women’s education, in general. Over the years, the college has been reviewing its goals and objectives retaining the original vision of imparting quality education for women from rural background.
The most recent enumeration of the objectives of the institution reads thus,
· to encourage sound attitudes of responsibility, sense of duty, optimism, compassion and sensitivity to the needs of others
· to develop skills of communication and self-study
· to encourage sense of commitment in students especially for the welfare of the poor, women and rural people
· to build an academic community founded on human relationships and co-operation.
In furtherance of the above objectives, the college has inculcated a high sense of discipline among the students and staff. This was evident when the students informed the team that in their own interest they are happily and willingly submitting themselves to the rules of discipline in the college.
Taking advantage of the flexibility of the curriculum offered by the autonomy conferred on it, the college has designed an innovative curriculum to improve the communication skills and competence of the students and encouraged them to take up the self-study. Through comprehensive extension programmes and co-curricular activities a number of outreach programmes have been implemented for the benefit of the poor in rural areas.
Parameter II: Curriculum Design and Review
The autonomous status enjoyed by the college has facilitated the adoption of the innovative curriculum. The process of discussion, consultation and review in the matter of designing and implementing new programmes was very much in evidence during the interaction the peer team had with the governing body, faculty and students.
The involvement of the faculty appeared to be total since almost all the faculty members hailed the conferment of autonomy as an important landmark in the functioning of the college. Autonomy, they said, gave them an opportunity to stretch their potential which was dormant before. The faculty were proud to say that they had a sense of fulfilment and job satisfaction which they missed before the conferment of autonomy.
Parameter III: Teaching-learning and Evaluation
One of the specially strong areas of this institution is the teaching-learning process and evaluation. Different teaching techniques were used and faculty and students were kept busy right round the year on account of the continuous assessment. One interesting feature that was noted was that the entire assessment is internal in character.
Care has been taken to provide remedial coaching to low performers. Need based programmes have been offered to the students of Telugu medium and they helped them to overcome their initial handicaps.
A unique feature of the learning process in the college is the project study required to be undertaken by each and every student in the under graduate class. The high degree of motivation of the faculty was evident when the peer team visited the departments and interacted with the faculty and students.
Parameter IV: Research and Publication
This being mainly a teaching institution, research and publications are limited; teachers felt that the time available for research activities was rather limited. However, in recent years there has been a sudden increase in the number of teachers acquiring research qualifications.
During the discussion with the faculty they pointed out that research benefited them as well as students. Hence the need to encourage research.
Parameter V: Consultancy and Extension Activities
Owing to its rural location and the definite focus on under graduate and post graduate teaching it has maintained, the college has limited scope for consultancy work in the strict sense of the term.
The Extension activities of the college have been very well organised and meaningfully co-ordinated with various agencies like the government, service organisations and associations. Special attention has been paid to problems peculiar to women ranging from women’s rights to self-employment and entrepreneurship. The Government of Andhra Pradesh has adjudged this college as the best college for services rendered under the Janma Bhoomi programme.
Since the college has identified itself with the local community and organised socially relevant programmes, the extension activities have been well received by the community around in areas such as health and hygiene, adult education and literacy, medical camps, leadership camps, vocational training, environment protection, etc.
Parameter VI: Organisation and Management
One of the strong points of the organisational structure of the college is that every thing is well defined. Duties and responsibilities are enumerated in detail and there is close monitoring, review and supervision by the authorities concerned. The committee system is made good use of and all decisions are taken after thorough discussion with the individual/groups concerned. Practically every department of the college is allotted specific responsibilities in college activities. The departments systematically discharge the responsibilities entrusted to them.
The college takes legitimate pride in quoting extracts from the review committees of the UGC wherein it has been indicated that ‘it could be a lead college to other autonomous colleges as they find curricular, co-curricular and extra curricular activities getting due weightages and synchronising with campus life’. The first autonomy review committee has commended the work of the institution stating that ‘the introduction of change in curriculum, innovative programmes and extension work of St. Theresa’s College clearly rates high’.
Parameter VII: Infrastructure Facilities
The college has a commodious campus with well built and well maintained buildings. Periodical additions to the buildings have enabled the college to be comfortably placed, to accommodate classrooms, laboratories, library, hostel and play grounds. The peer team was very much impressed by the all-round cleanliness and well equipped furniture for the classrooms, library, hostel and laboratories.
Parameter VIII: Support Services
The heart of an educational institution lies in its library. This college has been provided with an excellent library with spacious halls wherein very large number of students can get in and use the facility. Separate postgraduate libraries are also available and the college has taken pains to provide adequate funds to make liberal additions to the library annually and subscribe to a sizeable number of periodicals. It is no exaggeration to say that the library in this college is the most inviting place for the students and the faculty. A well planned tutorial system exists. This brings the teacher and the taught into close contact and helps the student to get guidance and support from the college.
Parameter IX: Student Feedback and Counselling
Yet another unique feature of this college is that there is a formal mechanism to get feedback from students. The faculty members, HOD and the principal peruse the information received through the feedback and take appropriate corrective measures wherever needed.
Financial assistance is provided to students who are economically desperate from the funds of the management. The tutor-ward system also facilitates student counselling.
Parameter X: Management and Generation of Financial Resources
The Government of Andhra Pradesh provides for salary for all approved staff through its system of grants. The college management meets the cost of employing additional teaching staff and of construction of new buildings and provision of amenities to the students. The college has been receiving assistance from the UGC for the vocational subjects introduced in the curriculum and also for functioning as an autonomous institution.
Section 3: General Summing-up
St. Theresa’s College for Women, Eluru has impressed the peer team as a quality institution maintaining a high standard of discipline and enjoying high academic reputation. During the interaction with students the team came to understand that parents who were students of this college make it a point to send their children / wards even if they happen to reside in states other than Andhra Pradesh. Though located in a rural area this college has attracted students from Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and West Bengal.
Located far away from the headquarters of Andhra Pradesh, with no big city nearby, this college appears to be handicapped in certain respects but this has been turned into an advantage. The campus is pollution free, healthy, and the rural atmosphere offers little distraction or diversion to children of alumni and students from neighbouring districts.
With the growing popularity of information technology, it should be possible for this institution to augment its infrastructure facilities in an even bigger measure in the coming years by having access to Internet, INFLIBNET etc. In a phased programme, it might also wish to impart computer literacy to all the faculty and students in the first phase and later consider offering need based computer courses for learners from rural areas who might find difficult to go to urban centres to undergo recognised diploma/ courses in computer technology. The team has no hesitation to record that this institution is one of the bright spots on the horizon of higher education with its proven potential for innovation and leadership.
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