Enrolling into the associate programme will help students of community college get lateral entry to the undergraduate programme in a regular college. However, the candidate has to clear the 'Bachelors Preparatory programme' for seeking lateral entry, said an IGNOU faculty member. The candidate also has to complete two years of study in the community college for being eligible for lateral entry, he said requesting anonymity as he is not authorized to speak to the media.
Community colleges, mostly run in South, have proved a boon for drop-outs and for working professionals who were unable to complete their formal education for varied reasons. While around 200 such colleges are functioning today, the faculty member said another 400 would come up soon in rural areas across the country utilising the existing infrastructure of the regular colleges. They will offer programmes across all streams and will acquire ICT facilities in keeping with the present-day requirement. Community colleges usually function after regular colleges close for the day. IGNOU will function as the nodal agency for such colleges.