The UGC-Academic Staff College (ASC) at the University of Madras was established in the year 1987 with the sole responsibility of fulfilling the missions and objectives of the UGC which was recommended in the National Policy of Education (1986). Since its inception, the ASC, University of Madras has been effectively functioning and systematically organizing various professional staff development programmes such as Orientation courses, Refresher courses and other short-term courses/workshops/training programmes for the newly recruited, in-service academicians and administrators associated with the higher educational institutions i.e. Colleges and Universities. Besides that they are imparted training in the modern techniques of teaching management and also teaching methodologies in order to up-date their knowledge in teaching aspects and also help them to acquire more knowledge in framing curriculum in the chosen field of subject/discipline.
Due to effective planning, organization, staffing, guidance, coordination, reporting and budgeting of the ASC, University of Madras as well as with the support and cooperation extended by the authorities of the University of Madras, the Academic Staff College has successfully conducted 104 Orientation Programme (OP) and 289 Refresher Courses (RC) in various disciplines until November 2011. Totally, 1,610 teachers have attended the OPs, each programme having an average of about 50 participants, and 3495 teachers were benefited through the Refresher course, each course having an average of 45 participants, respectively. Besides, Ph.D/Postdoctoral students, administrative staffs and Magistrates were also benefited through these special programmes conducted by the ASC. As on November 2011, total about 16,500 academicians and administrators were benefited. The ASC, UOM always provides high-quality programmes by inviting eminent academicians, Policy makers, administrators and experts from corporate industries as resource persons.
All the diverse courses/programmes were designed scientifically by giving due priority to the expectation and requirements of the participants. All the scheduled programmes of the ASC, UoM were conducted regularly without any cancellation. The ASC, UoM always received overwhelming response from the participants for all the programmes and never faced shortage of participants for any of its programmes.
The ASC of the University of Madras strictly adheres to the syllabus outlined by the UGC in its guidelines. Adequate importance is given to ICT and E-learning and e-governance. Hands on experience on the usage of computer and its applications for teaching techniques and teaching methodology are being provided to all the participants.
The ASC, UoM always carefully plans its programmes and makes out its assessment study before it could carry out its programmes. While planning the programmes, as outlined by the UGC in its guidelines, equal importance is being given for theory, practical and participatory methods. The course curriculums of the programmes are being decided by team of experts, belonging to the respective fields/disciplines.
As part of programme evaluation and quality improvement initiatives, the ASC, UoM collects feedback from the participants, during the course period, about the performance of the resource persons and the content of their lectures. Likewise, feedbacks are also collected from the resource persons about the participant’s involvement, cooperation and interaction as well as their attentiveness during the lecture hours. The ASC carefully analyzes the feedback received from both participants and resource persons as well and their suggestions were taken positively to strengthen the subsequent programmes
Besides, the Academic Advisory Committee meeting is being convened regularly once/twice in a year, depending on the need and necessity. The suggestions of advisory board have been implemented promptly and given immediate effect. The annual performance of Academic Staff College, University of Madras is regularly placed before the Academic Advisory Committee meeting.
As part of academic follow-up best innovative practices, the ASC, University of Madras encourages the Government Colleges and Government aided colleges which have good infrastructure facilities, affiliated to the University of Madras, to get involved in organizing the refresher courses of UGC.
Field visits are organized for the participants of the Orientation and Refresher courses to reputed research institutions like Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research, Kalpakkam, M.S.Swaminthan Research Foundation, Central Leather Research Institute, Science City, Corporate companies (WIPRO; TCS, CDS), ICT Academy of Tamil Nadu, Madras Stock Exchange, USIS Library, British Council Library. Thus, the participants are exposed to the best academic and research institutes.
Besides all, the Tamil Nadu State Council for Higher Education, Government of Tamil Nadu has chosen, the Academic Staff College, University of Madras to conduct Orientation Programme (Intensive Training) for the newly recruited Government Arts and Science College teachers, Government of Tamil Nadu. Through this programme, 1810 teachers were benefited. For the first time in India, such programme was organized. The teachers were given training even before they enter into their profession. In addition, a pre-induction intensive training programme was conducted for the teachers working in the self-financing colleges, affiliated to the University of Madras, to promote academic excellence and to get academic qualification recognition.
Also, the ASC has conducted computer training course for the district Judges and Magistrates, Government of Tamil Nadu and workshop for the Principals (catchment area) once an year. In addition, the ASC, UoM in association with the ICT Academy of Tamil Nadu conducted e-literacy programme on IT for Non-IT Teachers and hand on experience was provided on Java, SQL and .Net to the teachers working in the colleges, affiliated to the University of Madras. About 960 teachers have benefited through these programmes.
The ASC, University of Madras is marching towards the Silver Jubilee Celebrations in 2012 and continuously providing excellent academic programmes to the teaching community working in the higher educational institutions.
The strong leadership and good governance of the ASC, University of Madras enabled us to attain high ranking among the 66 Academic Staff Colleges in India, in terms of the number of programmes conducted (5th rank) and the number of participants (4th rank) and in cost effectiveness (9th rank). In the years to come it will be our goal to reach greater heights by putting in system dedicated hard work.
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