Being a bachelor I can reminisce my good old days as I walk along the campus of the American College in Madurai. One of the oldest colleges in India, it was founded by the American Christian Missionaries in 1881. This college has had the fortune of the presence of eminent visionaries including the Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore himself, delivering his lectures in the Red Bricked Buildings in 1919.
Though the college maintains a low student-faculty ratio, the cutting edge innovation being their Choice Based Credit System, this college is remembered for its autonomy with over 130 years of history in its past. I can’t help but marvel at the effort put forth by both the Americans as well as the Indians in an attempt to ensure maximum options of education and a motivated form of teaching.
The Courses Offered and the Campus Structure
The college offers 12 PG and 13 UG courses with 7 departments among these involved in research and development. The college also offers courses related to Bio-chemistry, Bio-Technology, Computer Science, Business Administration, Social Work and Micro-Biology.
There are more innovative courses also on their prospectus, inviting more and eager students who are willing to expand their field of interest. The courses offered have also been given a new age twist, requiring the Science Majors to take up courses in fields of Humanities and contrariwise.
The unique feature one might notice in the college is the Bachelor’s Degree offered in Philosophy, Sociology and Religion, together as a department in it-self. In fact, the American College is the first among the colleges of India to introduce the third gender literature studies in its curriculum. The Study Centre for Indian Literature in English and Translation is a very well known department in the college and has received national as well as international attention.
The College receives a communicative approach to learning French from Alliance Francaise through a satellite branch at the Department of French. The American College and the Appalachian State University of USA have a memorandum of understanding, providing select students to pursue their UG or PG study for six months to one year in the University of New Carolina.
In short, The American College is an inspiration to the colleges all over India.