A satellite campus at Chathrapatti

The satellite campus of The American College on the scenic Alagar foothills reaches out to students and communities living in rural Madurai.

Published : Mar 02, 2020 07:00 IST

The American College satellite campus at Chathrapatti.

The American College satellite campus at Chathrapatti.

A century-old college, which has been applauded by many for its work, rarely rests on its laurels. The American College, for example, has now taken higher education to a rural setting. The college’s new venture, a satellite campus at Chathrapatti, just outside Madurai on the new highway to Natham, reaches out to students and communities residing in rural Madurai.

The campus, on the Alagar foothills, has been built with minimal disturbance to the ecology around it, and the buildings blend in with the green landscape. The Principal, Davamani Christober, said: “The campus is spread over 60 acres. It was opened in 2015. There is a pond on the campus. The whole construction is modelled on the Chettinad style of architecture.”

Julian Smith, a Canadian architect who has experience in developing eco-friendly campuses, designed the buildings and the location of each of the structures. The buildings are of traditional south Indian style, with verandahs, courtyards and high ceilings. The spacious classrooms have natural ventilation and lighting.

A Community College established at the satellite campus imparts career-oriented education and skills to students who are interested in entering the workforce. This kind of education is affordable, flexible and market-relevant. The college offers vocational courses to less privileged students who are not in a position to continue their studies.

The campus offers undergraduate courses, too, and will house both residential courses (such as MBA) and non-residential programmes in the near future. The additional campus will enable The American College to grow exponentially and thus address the space constraints in starting new courses in the emerging fields.

Dr Christober said: “In the satellite campus we began with the traditional undergraduate courses, which are preferred by students. The community college is an important aspect of the new campus. Our experience is that this has been of great help for the people in the neighbouring villages.”

“These courses were started as part of our social commitment. The American College-Community College (co-educational) was started initially on the existing campus. The courses are affordable and offer high-quality education encompassing vocational skills development, computer operations, effective communication and life coping skills. The courses will provide ample opportunities to students to enter the employment sector directly and help cater to the lifelong learning needs of the community,” he added.


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