"I have traveled far across the world and one thing which I learnt was that our education system instills rote learning on the students. While this may help their academic performance, the pathway to a successful and long-term career is not strengthened only by academics," says Suja George, Vice-Chairperson, Alpha Group of Institutions.
Alpha College of Engineering is quickly changing the cliched concept of focusing only on marks by inculcating entrepreneurial and industry-related skills to students. The institute has grown in stature to develop into one of the foremost institutes in the country in relevance to career development of engineering students.
The track record of the college in educating eager minds and molding them into leaders and entrepreneurs speaks for itself. The placement record of the institute stands out as a testament to the quality of education provided by the Alpha Group of Institutions. Most of the students are recruited by esteemed companies such as Infosys, IBM and ICICI. This factor is primarily due to the efforts put in by the special Career Development Cell (CDC) which assists students in achieving their career goals, acquiring job-seeking skills and obtaining placements in reputed firms. The Placement Cell of the college has tie –ups with several recognized companies for projects, training and placement-related programs. The students are trained in soft skills through diverse career-oriented activities. As a consequence, they are primed to enter the industry at a much earlier stage.
Paramount to the program of study is the introduction of new concepts which are imbibed during the course of every academic year. Led by a separate team of industry-related syllabus moderators, modern and innovative techniques are incorporated into the curriculum on an annual review. Suja George notes, "If progression is to be achieved, then augmenting fresh ideas and latest theories is needed. Hence, we focus a lot on a research oriented syllabus." Key to implementing these theories is the presence of an eminent faculty comprising numerous PhD holding lecturers and ultra-efficient training staff who persevere remarkably in catering to the requirements of the students. A majority of the faculty members normally attend various seminars and therefore can inquire constantly about the current market trends. Hence, they interact with the students and update them frequently regarding the recent technological developments which are happening. Therefore, this ensures that the students are trained with an eye on the industry every time.
Focusing on innovations and skill-based activities
Among the important initiatives undertaken by the Alpha group of institutions is the Entrepreneurial Development Cell (EDC) which is aimed at creating and multiplying the entrepreneurial skills in every student. The EDC acts by absorbing contemporary ideas surrounding management and industry-related opportunities into their minds. Suja George believes that due to this feature, the students are confident enough to start their own organisations with an astute combination of tactical acumen and social responsibility. SIFE-Students in Free Enterprise, an initiative to which Alpha is a member, brings numerous global business leaders and college students together to create a difference in the lives of poor communities. The members form separate teams and try to apply business concepts for creating outreach projects which improve the quality of life for people in need. The faculty advisers support the SIFE teams in their endeavors. Alpha SIFE teams have carried out 3 unique entrepreneurship programs-tomato pulping, environment sustainability and a third-seaweed cultivation. These concepts have experienced exponential growth and dealt with introducing business opportunities to India's backbone which is the agricultural community. The seaweed cultivation project was selected for the Climate Change Championship by the British Council. As an internationally recognized institute, the college has also signed numerous MoU with reputed educational universities such as University of Winnipeg, Concordia University and Raffles Institution which comprises exchange of faculty and staff-members and students along with various joint research activities and academic meetings. Thus, students are aware of the proceedings which are taking place at different parts of the world.
The existence of various cultural and scientific communities also adds strength to the all-round development of the students. The Robotics Club of the college aims to generate curiosity and exposes students to the emerging field of robotics by organizing several activities which assist students in improving their practical knowledge on robotics technology. All of these initiatives result in the development of the students in each and every aspect of life with special focus on career building skills such as leadership, team-work and communication. Suja George concludes, "We believe in providing the best of facilities to the students so that they can conquer any type of challenges and achieve their desired career goals."
Suja George, Vice-Chairperson of Alpha Group of Institutions
With over 15 years of experience in the field of education and training, Suja George who is an alumnus from Charles Sturt University, Australia, also holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Educational Leadership from CEMD, Delhi. Widely traveled, she has pulled out the best features from various educational institutions across the world and personalized several of those into the Group's institutions.
Dr. Grace George, Chairperson, Alpha Group of Institutions
Founder and Chairperson of the Alpha Group of Institutions-47 years ago in 1967, Seva Ratna Dr. Grace George has overseen the emergence of the Educational Institution Group that has established five Schools and two Colleges at Chennai. She has led the Institution from one school of 14 children to a Group of Educational Institutions providing the best of academic study to nearly seven thousand students faithfully imparted by a Faculty & Teacher body of over five hundred.