Options available for the students after their school education after 10 or 10+2 schooling
Once a student comes out of a school, he is faced with a challenging option as to which course of study of what college he or she should select for his intermediate or graduate level education. Since the subject of education comes under the jurisdiction of a state government, different states follow different pattern of school and college education in their respective states. So the students from different states have to select the college according the system of college education prevalent in their state. In some of the states like Andhra Pradesh, the schools which follow the state prescribed syllabus are run only up to 10th class (high school), the students have to select a junior college for their +2 level of education. After their junior college education, most of the intelligent students write the competitive entrance examinations like EAMCET, JEE etc for getting their entry into professional Engineering colleges or medical colleges etc. Some others join graduation courses to enhance their academic levels in science, commerce and humanities (arts). Some students join diploma courses in various vocational colleges or institutes either after 10 or after 10+2 according the laid down minimum qualifications for these diploma courses. What the students do after passing their intermediate in junior colleges in states like Andhra Pradesh, the same ordeal has to be undergone by students who pass their higher secondary (10+2) school in some other states or the schools which are affiliated to the central examining bodies like the Central Board of Secondary Education or the Indian School Certificate Examination (10+2) level education. Whatever or wherever some student may join a college, they have to follow certain guidelines to select a good college for them.
Selection of a course of study or type of a college or institute by a student
Before making a selection for a college, the students must decide what courses of study they are going to chose and later find colleges offering those courses and then decide as to which is the best college they must select.
The courses open for study after class X or SSC level are intermediate level courses in junior colleges in some states or Senior Secondary schools in some other states or in the schools affiliated to CBSE of ISC examining bodies. At this stage, the students are offered various combination of subject in science, commerce or humanity streams. Here a self appraisal is required by a student to judge his or her aptitude for a particular course or a teacher's or counsellor's help can be taken in this respect. A course should not be selected simply because it is a popular course of study. Parents are advised not to force their children to select a particular course of study just because of the popularity of the course but they should find out whether their children have the aptitude and capability to undergo a particular course of study. The students' record and score of marks at school level and their interest in a particular subject must be kept in mind both by the parents and the students while selecting a course of study and the college where they want to study. The same procedure has to be followed by selecting the courses for graduation level studies. Girl students and their parents have also to decide whether they want to join a co-education college or the colleges meant exclusively for girls.
At this stage the students who want to chose military as their career after 10+2, should look for courses and examinations conducted by army, navy or air force for admission to their institutes like the National Defence Academy, Khadakvasla, Pune. Similarly, there is entry after graduation to the defence run academies like Indian Military Academy, Dehradun or Officers Training School Chennai the entrance to which is by selection made by the Union Public Service Commission's written examination and interviews and tests held by Service Selection Boards.
There are alternatives like music colleges, colleges and institutes of fine art, media training institutes, computer training institutes, sports colleges and institutes, hotel management, fashion technology, Institutes for giving training in film related fields like acting, directing movies, film production, photography etc. which are available to the students to select according to their talents and interests of studies.
Types of colleges available according to management
According to management, you will find that there are mainly three types of colleges available in India. Students should select one of these colleges according the fees they are able to pay. The parents with weak financial background should select a government college or a government aided college which have equally good infrastructure and faculty, but may lack in some of the facilties provided by the private management.
• Colleges run by government.
• Colleges run by the private management with some or the other kind of the aid by the government.
• Colleges run by the private management who manage their expenditure mainly from the various kinds of fees received from the students.
How to select a good college for your education at intermediate or graduate level
After the students have decided about the course of study they want to follow, they should now decode which college they must select for their study. Several factors have to be kept in mind in taking this decision. We will discuss these factors below one by one:
A college must have a good and functional infrastructure
Before students join a particular college, they must see that their college has the following infrastructural facilities:
• A good functional building with proper ventilation and sound structure. There are reports where the balconies of certain colleges collapsed due to weight of the students causing death to some students. The stair cases of the multi-storey building should be wide enough for easy passage of students and should not be cause of stampeding in case of any fire accident.
• The colleges especially housed in multi-storeyed buildings should be equipped with proper fire fighting equipment.
• The dimensions of the class rooms should be adequate to accommodate students so that they don't appear to be congested and should have functional furniture for seating the students and the teacher. There should be a proper platform in front of the black / green / smart board meant for teaching.
• See that the college you select has a large seminar hall for the assembly of quite a good number of students at one common place.
• The audio visual aids should be made be maximum use of in the classroom for teaching various subjects.
• Most colleges use V-Sat facilities to teach. Find whether the facility is available in the college you select.
• If you want to stay in a hostel, find out if your college or university has good hostel facilities.
A good college should have proper laboratories
• The college should have a proper science laboratory with adequate material for science experiments and projects.
• Find out if the college you want to join has a science museum related to your college of study.
• All modern colleges must have computer laboratories with the latest computers and peripherals fully supported by wi-fi connections for fast internet connectivity and educational software related to the courses of study.
• Depending on the fees charged by the colleges, they should provide interactive electronic boards if possible.
• The colleges offering humanities courses should have language laboratories, geography laboratories fully equipped with globes and maps.
A good college must have well qualified and experienced faculty on its rolls
• A good college should have well qualified and experienced faculty which should be well paid according to the financial status of the college.
• The teachers should be well disciplined, punctual, dedicated and sincere who shall be always ready to keep the interest of their students before their own self interest.
• The faculty of the college should always be willing to help their students even outside the college hours and should have a proper reproach with the students in solving their problems.
• Ensure that the college you are going to select has a faculty student ratio as prescribed the university or the UGC or the AICTE.
A good college should have a modern library with easy access to students
• The college library should be equipped with books of all kinds, especially the reference books related to the subjects taught in the college.
• The college library should subscribe to several newspapers and magazines of general and educational interest.
• The library should be accessible to students any time during the college hours or even outside the college hours, if possible. The college library should have a qualified librarian with good arrangement of books which can be easily searched with the help of catalogue system maintained by the library. It will be better if the catalogue is electronically operated.
College garden, playground and indoor games facility
• The college should have an attractive garden which should not only have decorative plants but should also have all type of plants which can help the students of botany in the college to provide them the necessary information.
• The college should have a fairly large and well maintained playground with necessary play equipment and sports material required for outdoor games and physical activity of the students.
• There should be a facility of indoor games like chess, caroms, table tennis etc. for students interested in such games to use the facility and excel in them.
Co-curricular, extra curricular activities and cultural programmes
• There should be speeches, debates and group discussions held among the students from time to time.
• Seminars on important topics relating to the subjects studied in the colleges should be held with participation by important members of the society and guest faculty from other important institutions of repute.
• Cultural and variety programmes should be conducted in the college from time to time on various occasions of national importance and other occasions like the college day, parents' day etc. encouraging the maximum participation of the students in such programmes.
• There should be a provision for students to join NCC, NSS, Girl Guides, Green Corps and other social services.
• Find whether a college conducts educational tours, excursions etc for its students.
• Find out if the colleges hold yoga classes or other physical activity for its students.
Coaching and guidance for Entrance and Competitive examinations
• The college should have special coaching classes for entrance and various competitive examinations to help secure ranks in these examinations by the college students.
• Students should be selected according to their aptitudes in particular subjects and special sections should be made for them according their aptitudes and IQ (Intelligence Quotient).
• Since some of the students joining a college having studied in vernacular language as their medium of instruction will find it difficult to study their subjects in English language, find out if a college offers special English classes for such students
Don't select a college just by its brand name or reputation in an area or city
• Don't blindly select a college going by its brand name or the reputation it has created in an area or in a city. This may be deceptive at times. The colleges these days especially the colleges in the corporate sectors use business tactics to create a brand name. First these colleges try to get a brand name by somehow admitting above average students giving them several incentives initially. The quality of these students brings them good results and a brand name is created for the college. Later these colleges charge high rates of fees using this brand name. Students, especially of average or below average standards should not fall into trap of such colleges, since they can get better education at a very low cost in some other colleges. Such students should select some other colleges especially the colleges run by Christian missionaries and some other dedicated managements which charge less fees but have good faculty and other facilities like laboratories, libraries, playgrounds etc.
Transportation facilities either by the college or public transport facilties
• Check up whether the college has a transport facility of its own and what transportation charges are levied by the college from different localities. Find out if the transport is made available to your locality. Compare the charges with the public transport if available from your residence to the college. Select which is the better option for you.
On the campus selection of jobs for students in the final year of their study
• Select the college seeing how reputed is the college, especially the professional colleges or graduate and post graduate level colleges among the famous organisations and companies as far as on the campus selection of students for jobs in these companies is concerned. Some colleges become very reputed in this matter and this must be kept in mind especially by the brilliant students who may get highly paid jobs while in the final year of their studies.
• Some colleges do not provide this facility but offer extra coaching and counselling to students to compete for various entrance and competitive examination and this factor must be borne in mind while selecting a college.
Seek help of friends, ex-students of colleges, counsellors, teachers while selecting a college
• One can approach friends studying in a particular college to know about the various facilities provided by a college and then make one's own selection weighing it with facilities provided in some other colleges.
• Try to contact some ex-students of a college to know about the faculty and various other facilities provided by the college and their take your own decision by critically examining the facilities provided by similar colleges.
• See a counsellor's help if necessary in selecting a college. On line counselling on the internet is available for this purpose which can be made use of.
• Take the help of your school teachers who may be experienced and might have knowledge about various colleges in the city.
• Read comments and reviews if available about colleges in your city by making a Google search or exploring some educational websites on the internet.
Know the college management and faculty from its brochure, diary or other sources
• Carefully read the college information provided by a college in its brochure and diary, if any about the management and faculty of the college you are about to select.
• Try to know this information from any other source you come across. See that the college has sound and able administrators.
Affiliation or recognition of the college
• Ensure that the college or institute you are going to select is affiliated to a university recognised by the University Grants Commission (UGC).
• In case of engineering colleges or technical institution, find out if they are recognised by the All India Council for Technical Education. (AICTE) or National Board of Accreditation (NBA)
• In case of medical colleges or institutes, ensure that they are recognised by the Medical Council of India.
• Ensure that the recognition or affiliation of the college or institute is current and has not lapsed or does not stand withdrawn.
• Don't be misled by the advertisement of colleges about affiliation to foreign universities. Some of them are fraudulent and make you suffer later.
Fee structure, scholarships, concessions in the college you are going to select
• Private corporate colleges usually lay down their fee structure according to the brand name of reputation they have created.
• Some other private colleges charges less fee even if they provide the good faculty and infrastructure.
• Some colleges run by Christian missionaries charge reasonable fees but provide very good faculty and infrastructure.
• Colleges run by government charge very nominal fee but also provide good faculty and infrastructure.
• Students must take into consideration the capability and financial condition of their parents while selecting a college. Especially the average or below average students are not advised to select corporate colleges which charge very high rate of fees.
• Check up whether the college offers any scholarships to brilliant students, weaker sections etc.
• Check up if there are fee concessions offered to brilliant students or any other category of students.
• A single college may not satisfy all the criteria described above. Try to find out the college which at least satisfy the maximum of these facilities. While selecting a college, the student must judge their own aptitudes and interests of study. The financial condition of their parents must also be taken into consideration. If necessary, the banks should be approached for financial help.
Well written article and this is a learning for me.
Thanks for teaching me how to write in ISC.