Executive Education - Meeting New Trends And Rising Expectations In Industry
Executive Education is a type of Programme that is targeted at and catered to currently or erstwhile employed Graduates and Post-Graduates in different Domains. Usually, Students, while enrolled during their College days, tend to have some-to-many distractions to their curricular pursuits depending on their seriousness and attitude at that age
Executive Education is a type of Programme that is targeted at and catered to currently or erstwhile employed Graduates and Post-Graduates in different Domains. Usually, Students, while enrolled during their College days, tend to have some-to-many distractions to their curricular pursuits depending on their seriousness and attitude at that age. However, when they join their first Employment within just a few months or years they tend to be much more serious about learning or updating with related Skills and developing their Domain Knowledge further so as to advance themselves in Profession and Hierarchy in the Organization. Beyond these reasons, assuming managerial positions or promotion to even higher cadre requires them to be adept at skills and knowledge extraneous to their prior learning in College within their domain, which would make them also right candidates for seeking Executive Education.
While serving as the Dean of Engineering a few years ago in Haryana I had seen the Curricula in a University at UG level were not up-to-date to the requirements of current day industry expectations and started the initiative to revise entire UG Curricula in all 5 Engineering Disciplines on the offer by involving all Faculty. As the School had also been offering part-time Doctoral Programmes through external Guidance but no PG Programmes were being offered, I had sought to start them and developed 4 PG Programmes. Recognizing the inherent strength of the well-known Construction Group Promoter of the University, I developed a PG Programme specifically for Working Professionals in Construction Industry.
An M.Tech. Programme ‘Construction Technology and Management’ (CTM) for Weekends and Evenings had first 3 Terms with strong academic, research and industry components, while the Final Term was kept exclusively for Internship with Industry including the Parent Group with a demonstrated strength and brand in the same domain. While doing so the UGC’s newly announced CBCS (Choice-based Credit System) Guidelines of 2014 had to be complied with too, which did not pose a problem due to the Integrated Curricular Frameworks developed alongside for all UG and PG Programmes.
Punjab and Himachal Pradesh:
Later while serving in Punjab as Dean-Academic Planning & Quality Assurance (with oversight in Academic, Quality, Planning and Development of all new and existing Schools/Streams/Programmes and Regulatory Compliance in Curricular Stipulations by various Statutory Councils and UGC), several challenges were noticed due to differently oriented Disconnections among various Stakeholders (Management, Administration, Faculty/Staff, Students, Employers, Alumni). The Curriculum was chosen by me as the main means to address all these challenges quickly. For further Reference a Paper in University News: Journal of Higher Education of Association of Indian Universities by me in February 2017 provides the 7 Categories of these Challenges and the specific Curricular Strategies and Means developed to address each of these Challenges effectively. One of these Challenges in particular (‘Mismatch between the Knowledge Base and Skill Sets of Graduates and the Industry Needs’) required to ramp up Industry involvement in Curriculum through a Multi-pronged Approach. Industry Interaction was progressively increased through guided multiple Industry Visits (½ day to 1 day), Industrial Tour (1 to 2 weeks), Industry Training (4 weeks), Internship (4 months) in all the Programmes. Further to take advantage of Industry willingness to be associated in imparting relevant industry developments in frontier areas in the Classroom itself, Industry taught Dept. Electives were created in a few Programmes (Industry partnered programmes, IPP, or commonly termed New Age Programmes).
It was through this last mode, a few Executive Programmes were also created for working Industry Professionals with individual customization to suit the specific requirements and constraints in each case. All of the Programmes had to be in consonance with further stipulations of UGC through its CBCS-2015 Guidelines and CBCS-Model Syllabi-2015. Fortunately, the Integrated Outcome-based Methodology and Frameworks developed by me in Punjab to meet the various Challenges indicated had met and gone beyond UGC Stipulation in attempting to provide a well-rounded Education to all Students, not just those in Professional Programmes. Another University in Himachal Pradesh and a part of the same Group also adapted all these Curricula in 6 of their Colleges. This collective effort (of developing about 65 New Programmes and revising 35 existing Programmes) also won the ‘Best innovation in Private Universities Award’ for the University in 2016 at a very active Intl Forum (World Education Summit Series).
To highlight different Modalities of a few of these Executive Programmes, the following Examples might suffice:
A UG level Programme, B.Voc. (Hospitality) for 6 Semesters with reduced Class Hours for working Professionals in Hotel, Management Industry was implemented as per the requirements of NSQF to enable Professionals to gain a Degree even as they were working a part of each day in Industry.
In College of Engineering & Technology, Dept. of Electronics & Communication Engineering, a 1 year PGD (Railway Signalling & Telecommunications) Programme in association with IRSE was developed to specifically train for rapidly growing needs of highly skilled Engineers for Metro and High Speed Rail Networks, which entailed continuous on-Site Training besides Class Room Interaction at Campus.
In the Pharmaceutical College, beside the 3 regular UG and PG programmes in Pharmacy, Pharmaceutics, Pharmacology, 4 Executive PG and PGD Programmes were developed in alliance with Oracle and Google in Pharma Management and Clinical Studies. These were MBA (Pharma Management) and M.Sc. (Clinical Research/Clinical Data Analytics) for full-time study, 2 years Executive MBA (Pharma Management) and 1-year PGD (Pharma Management) with reduced hours for working Professionals. Reflection & Practice File was an additional Course for Working Professionals to summarize their Observations, Insights and Experience for the benefit of Class in Interactive Sessions.
In the Education College, a 1-year PGD (Guidance & Counselling) was developed for Working Academicians to further advance their niche Expertise.
Several other Programmes in collaboration with marquee Intl MNCs or Govt Agencies were developed in Colleges of Engineering, Management and Sciences (Dept. of Agriculture) to ensure Employability concerns are addressed.
Industry Partnered Programmes in Regular mode and even more so in the Executive mode allow for customization, bringing Academia and Industry closer together to advance the Society faster and meet its rising Expectations, reducing or eliminating risk of Closure of Institutions and Universities facing very stiff competition or low Enrollments due to a lack of Diversity of Programmes and improve Outcomes rapidly by better alignments.
This article was published in BW Education issue dated 'Nov. 20, 2018' with cover story titled 'BW Education Issue Nov-Dec 2018'
Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house
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