US community college model under exploration

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IGNOU and American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) today on the campus started dialogues through presentations to evaluate strengths of American model of Community Colleges (CCs) under the aegis of US-India Educational Foundation (USIEF). A two-member team of AACC, headed by Dr Judith Irwin, Director of International Programmes and Services of the AACC, discussed a slew of novel ideas in the areas of social development through Community Colleges. Of 700 applicants from all parts of the country IGNOU followed a rigorous process of assessment and standardization and registered 50 Community Colleges in July 2009. Vice Chancellor Professor VN Rajasekharan Pillai said over 12,000 students from these colleges will take their first semester examinations in December 2009.

Prof Pillai also assured audience and the distinguished guests to create a 'single window' system for clearance of important decisions and recommendations with regard to CCs. Dr Judith Irwin gave her presentation on behalf of the AACC, whereas four out of the 50 Community Colleges registered with IGNOU submitted their presentations. Enthusiasm was very high even as Dr Judith through a presentation explained in details the American model of Community Colleges. In the US the Community Colleges constitute the largest segment of higher education. These include nearly 1,200 institutions with an enrollment of 11 million students, 6 million of whom are seeking a degree or certificate. According to an estimate, in the US, the Community Colleges ensure 83% of the tertiary education, of which higher education is only a part. Set against the achievements in the USA in India the figure is merely 11%.

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