arulanandarcollege@gmail.com / principal@aactni.edu.in
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Best Practices

Best Practices - I

1. Title of the Practice

WEBSITE LINK

2. Objectives of the Practice

ARISE is a one credit extension programme included in the curriculum. The Second-year UG students visit the respective villages adopted by the departments and document the life style and issues of the people, and help them solve the issues with the assistance of various agencies.

This general objective is facilitated through the following specific objectives:

    • To promote social concern among students through exposure to the rural community

    • To empower rural people to find a solution to their day-to-day problems

    • To develop leadership skills among students to become agents of social change

    • To take the benefits of higher education to the society

3. The Context

Arul Anandar College initiated ARISE in 1995 with the plan of linking learners with rural communities to empower and transform the learners as well as the communities. The rationale of the practice and its objectives are context-specific. Given the rural background in terms of students as well as its location, the College is destined to help the rural communities by educating the young mind academically and empowering the common people socially, economically, and culturally. The College wishes that the education of youth and empowerment of people in the rural villages should take place concurrently.

4. The Practice

ARISE works in 19 villages in collaboration with Government Agencies, community-based organizations, and with the local community leadership. ARISE aims at equipping students with social knowledge, concern, and commitment and conscientizing neighbourhood communities on literacy, health, sanitation, environment, local income generation, and empowerment of child, women and youth.

The Second-year UG Students of each department adopt a village and work there for 60 hours during their third and fourth semesters. They work in groups, each consisting of 10-15 members. The work of every group is closely guided, periodically monitored, and annually evaluated by the staff in charge of the department. Each student is assessed based on attendance, involvement in field work, and performance in viva. The best performing department is honoured during the College Annual Day

The Activities

a) Interaction with School Students

    • To conduct special classes and evening tuitions

    • To create awareness among students on health and hygiene

    • To conduct spoken English classes and personality development programmes

    • To organise various talent-based competitions

b) Youth Welfare

    • To motivate youth to pursue higher studies and to involve in community welfare activities

    • To help form youth clubs

    • To create awareness on government schemes and welfare programmes

    • To organise training programmes on leadership

    • To conduct programmes on gender sensitization and ill effects of alcohol

c) Women Empowerment

    • To educate on health, hygiene and communicable diseases

    • To arrange programmes on adult education, gender sensitization, legal awareness, and self-employment

    • To assist to form self-help groups

    • To create awareness on government schemes for vulnerable and marginalized women groups

d) Health and Sanitation

    • To network with the community health centres and health departments

    • To conduct awareness programmes on preventive measures against Covid-19

    • To participate in the Corona vaccination campaign

    • To conduct medical camps

e) Veterinary Camps

    • To arrange village level veterinary camps with the support of VETEX, veterinary extension of the college and government veterinary department

    • To propagate animal husbandry and poultry for rural livelihood

f) Green Initiatives

    • To clean the villages

    • To plant tree saplings

    • To campaign against the use of plastic and educate on the clean environment

5. Evidence of Success

ARISE conducted many programmes in the adopted villages during the past five years on education, health and sanitation, green initiatives and conservation of natural resources, awareness on alcoholism and human rights, veterinary camps, sports, sponsorships, village survey, evening tuition and community festivities. The success of all these programmes is based on the attendance of the participants, benefits received by the people, the regular follow-up of the students in each initiative, the positive outcomes in terms of the development of the adopted villages in their education, health, environment, income, and moral life, and the curricular and non-curricular learning of the students.

Success at the Students Level:

    • On an average 968 students participated and benefited every year.

    • Students developed their life skills, leadership skills for social change, social analysis, critical thinking, time management, and academic and intellectual competence.

    • At the completion of the programme, students exhibited a significant growth in personal and social maturity.

    • Working with volunteers from external agencies, government officials, NGOs, and with the local communities, students developed self-confidence, and autonomy.

    • Students learned to appreciate other cultures, beliefs, customs and lifestyle.

    • ARISE links academic knowledge with practical life that helps students to understand their abilities, talents, and future career.

Success at the Community Level:

    • The programme has adopted 19 villages. Students mobilised funds and helped some deserving families of these villages. They also assisted some of the families to apply for various schemes of the Government and NGOs.

    • Self Help Groups such as ‘Paaloothupatti Kurinji Mahilir Kuzhu’, Indiranagar Colony ‘Amman Mahilir Kuzhu’ were streamlined to avail the Social Welfare Schemes under Chellampatti Panchayat Union by registering them with Vadakkampatti Cooperative Society.

    • Youth clubs such as ‘Vadakkampatti Ilaingar Narpani Mantram’, ‘Mummurthinagar Amman Ilaingar Mantram’ and ‘Jeyarajnagar Ilaingar Mantram’ are guided and supported by ARISE volunteers.

    • Developments of education in these villages are visible. All children are enrolled in schools and no dropout is noticed.

    • On an average, 36 students are regularly attending tuition classes at Jeyarajnagar and Mottanaikkanpatti.

    • Nearly 5000 trees have been planted. Trees are chosen according to the taste of the villagers for the continuous follow-up and care.

    • Livestock Health Care programmes have been conducted every year, and the farmers are encouraged to visit the campus to get such services.

6. Problems Encountered and Resources Required

    • There is difficulty regarding transport. Students struggle to reach villages for fieldwork. At times, they reach on foot and other times by bicycles. The bus transport would meet the need.

    • For sustainable project, sufficient fund is to be mobilised and established.

    • Due to cultural differences, students struggle to communicate and relate with people.

Best Practices - II

1. Title of the Practice

WEBSITE LINK

2. Objectives of the Practice

Counselling and Mentor Care is a joint programme to help students grow in intellectual, physical, psychological maturity. Arul Anandar College (AAC) considers this practice as an effective mechanism for positively influencing the students in their holistic development, especially in their academic endeavour through faculty-student relationship. In this practice, the College is destined to achieve the following objectives:

    • To improve the academic performance of the students

    • To help students pursue higher studies and research programmes

    • To create soundness in mental, spiritual, and psychological well-being along with socially responsible relationship, systematic and feasible learning approaches, and self-confidence in personal and professional life

    • To enhance harmonious relationship with fellow students and other people in the society

    • To help students overcome psychological problems

3. The Context

There are forces such as Globalization, Consumerism, Modernism, and Social Media, which sometimes distract and misguide students. Students are tempted to be attracted to and affected by the affluent consumer culture, alcoholism, infatuation, inferiority complex and discriminatory feelings. Youth in the rural set-up also suffer from poverty, lack of confidence, sex-related problems, and lack of career guidance. Since a considerable number of students at AAC are from rural backgrounds, AAC takes extra care in mentoring the students who are academically, socially and economically underprivileged. The interaction with students at various levels in the College showed that counselling and mentor care should be strengthened. Therefore, the College decided to introduce department-wise mentoring system.

4. The Practice

Mentoring is organised department-wise. Each faculty is given a certain number of students and asked to mentor them till the completion of the academic programme. An hour is officially dedicated to meet the mentees every month apart from other personal encounters, which are often appreciated and welcomed. One faculty coordinates all activities of the Mentor Care programme in each department.

A record of close accompaniment is maintained for each student to register their details with passport size photo, academic history, academic progression, and the details of the personal encounters with their mentors and the feedback. At the end of the booklet, students’ achievements are also recorded. Students are also given the opportunity to attend workshops and seminars arranged periodically under such programme. There are nearly 36 programmes conducted on different occasions during the assessment period. Some of the topics of workshops are worth mentioning.

    • Problem Solving Skills

    • Memory Techniques and Developing Positive Attitude

    ● Pre-Marital Counselling

    ● Enhancing the Self and Learning Skills

    ● Health Risks of Alcohol

    ● Facing Challenges & Family Life

    ● Commitment of Students Towards Social Issues

    ● Health Issues and Nutrition

    ● First Aid in Mental Health

    ● Mobile Addiction

    ● Emotional and Mental Health Issues on Campus

    ● Character Formation

    ● Ethically bootstrapping career while at college

Role of Mentors: Mentors closely follow their mentees on all areas of their life. They guide students to make right choices regarding their studies and career, develop their social, communicative, and professional skills, and serve as role models. They give constructive feedback, share ideas, communicate knowledge, and identify useful resources for the mentees. They offer insights on skill-development, time-management strategies and interpersonal relationships. Mentors accompany students for performing well in extracurricular activities.

Role of Mentee: As mentees, students will have one-to-one working relationship with mentor. They maintain a mentoring plan that includes time frames, regular and periodical meetings, setting their goals, choosing careers, sharing the difficulties and limitations, getting proper guidance, and regular follow-up regarding the deliberations and resolutions. Mentees should give feedback after every encounter.

Counselling Cell: Counselling Services are offered by professional counsellors and competent faculty members who focus on the Jesuit value of “Care for the individual person”. The counsellors take genuine efforts in motivating and guiding the students to develop ‘critical thinking and commitment to responsible action’. Mentor Care forms an integral part of the Counselling Services. Mentors exemplify the Magis, the Jesuit value of striving for excellence. They take initiatives to refer the wards to the Counsellors, if needed. A visiting counsellor’s service is used especially for training mentors and faculty-counsellors. The Counselling Cell is functional and counsellors are available at the prescribed time and other times on request. The quantitative increase of the official counsellors in this present assessment period is given below:

Year Members in Advisory Board Full-time Counsellors Staff Incharge Visiting Counsellors
2016-172716 1
2017-182916 1
2018-1921016 1
2019-2021016 1
2020-2121116 1

5. Evidence of Success

The Success of the practice is very obvious in the year-wise increasing percentage of the students passing the exams and leaving the campus satisfactorily. The success of the practice is evident in the performance of students both in academics and placement. The significant aspect of the practice is that the whole college is involved in this practice. Hundred percent participation is ensured by the College Administration. One of the many outcomes of this practice is the care given to the “Slow-Learners”. Economically poor students are also recognized and helped through recommendations to Jesuit Educational Support.

6. Problems Encountered and Resources Required

On the whole, the practice is welcomed and carried out without any difficulty. There are some drawbacks, which, of course, are to be addressed and acknowledged. For some students, it is not easy to open up themselves and share their feelings, limitations, challenges, and difficulties. Some students are very reluctant to receive any piece of advice from anybody. We cannot also make sure that all faculties are good mentors.

The hours allotted for mentoring may not be enough to sincerely guide students. Instead of one hour each month, two hours can be allocated, so that mentors can meet their students comfortably and guide them more effectively.