Certificate courses ranging from garment design and basic embroidery to yoga and aerobics are being offered by reputed colleges, and they are a big hit

Colleges are taking ‘holistic development’ to another level with the introduction of a large number of certificate courses that range from value-based to career-oriented ones. Most of the degree colleges in Bangalore have over 40 of these courses. Students take part in certain activities over a short period of time after which they undergo an evaluation of what they have learnt and are eligible for the certificate. By providing extensive training, colleges are looking at entrepreneurs in the making.

Creating entrepreneurs

Courses ranging from garment design and basic embroidery to yoga and aerobics are being provided by reputed colleges. They not only encourage students to think out of the box, but also give them a platform to showcase their talents. Sheela V. Dange, coordinator, Centre for Extended Education at Mount Carmel College, said, “Along with being informative, they also open up new and undiscovered paths for students. Since these courses are conducted after college hours, they help the students relax and at the same time unleash their creativity.”

Craft-based courses such as creative art, baking, candle-making, decoupage, lantern making, and ceramic jewellery help students exhibit their products during college fests or even take orders at home. Many students seem to discover their passion through these courses and venture into businesses of their own. Selma Lobo, alumna of Mount Carmel College, who now owns a boutique said, “I was in my final year of college when I took up the garment design course and I must say that it taught me everything from basics to the advanced know-how, and since it was heavy on the practical aspect, we learnt a lot. I would definitely say that it had a huge role in helping me start my own boutique.”

For others it is a great way to relax and refresh themselves after classes. Many students say that it has provided a platform for a different type of learning that is beyond the curriculum. Adhira Poovaiah, a second year BBM student who took up the baking course at Mount Carmel College, said, “I didn’t know the different methods to bake, so it definitely gave me an insight into that. The basics are extremely important, and there’s a lot I can do with what I’ve learnt. I love to bake, so it served as a great stress-buster and helped me relax after college.”

Advanced skills

Short-term courses like this range from 50 hours to 100 hours depending on each college and the course requirement. At Jyoti Nivas College, students have the opportunity to do a certificate, diploma or senior diploma in these courses, which advances their knowledge on the subject. K. Vanaja Malathy, public relations officer and coordinator-admissions, said, “These courses are very useful because they can enhance the students’ resume as well as give them extra knowledge. Many of these courses also deal with important topics and give them awareness on the same.” The college offers courses in first aid and reproductive and sexual health which are extremely popular amongst the students.

While many of these courses encourage entrepreneurship, some are tailored to help enhance the learning process. They add on to what students are studying as a part of their syllabus, and also give a detailed picture of the field. Priyanka Paul, a second year Bachelor of Arts student at Christ University, opted for the learning skills course. “The course taught us easy methods to learn using flow charts, mind maps etc. We also learn intelligence tests and I thought that it was extremely interesting. I must say that I take back a lot of the techniques I learnt to enable my studying process.”

Building your resume

Languages like Italian, Spanish, German, Japanese and French are also provided as certificate courses to give students an opportunity to widen their horizon. Colleges have made a certain number of courses compulsory to earn credits, varying from six to 10 credits over the semesters.

Usually conducted by resource faculty, they also provide an opportunity for the student to bridge the gap between academics and the corporate world. Ms. Dange said, “Students are also given to opportunity to conduct certificate courses after they master it. This is great because most of them become so interested in the vocation that they decide to pursue it as their career.”