"Women's education and empowerment" has always been a major topic of discussion in our country since post-independence, and there are many leaders and organizations in our society who have been striving hard to improve women's political, social, economic and health status. Established in 1985, under Chevalier T. Thomas Educational Trust, Chevalier T. Thomas Elizabeth College (CTTE) is one such institution that has been empowering women through its holistic education. Located in Perambur, Chennai, the institution maintains a cordial relationship with students and provides high quality education. At present, the institution is managed by Justice J Kanakaraj (Retd. Judge, Madras High Court), Chairman and L Palamalai, IAS (Retd), Managing Trustee and Correspondent.
"Affiliated to the University of Madras, we are bound to follow the curriculum designed by the university. However, we put in extra effort to bring more in to the learning process through our teaching methodology. Activities that complement the curriculum are adopted and implemented through the year. This goes beyond the chalk and talk method and interactions between student and teacher take the centre stage in our teaching methodology," explains Dr. Hanifa Ghosh, the Principal. With 31 years of dedicated service in the cause of higher education, CTTE is accredited by NAAC (National Accreditation and Assessment Council) and offers flexible learning through Choice Based Credit System. "The University introduced Choice Based Credit System in the academic year 2008 - 09. Under this system, an undergraduate student must earn a minimum of 140 credits and post graduates student must earn minimum of 90 credits," says Dr. Ghosh.
Besides 11 UG, 3 PG and 2 MPhil programs in the arts, commerce and science streams, the college also offers a part time Ph.D program in English. CTTE has earned its reputation through its commitment towards education and empowerment of women. The institution has faculty strength of 90 and Dr. Ghosh takes pride in saying, "Some teachers have more than 30 years of experience and have been associated with CTTE since its inception. This experience helps in providing quality education to students." With nearly2200 students, CTTE maintains a student-faculty ratio of 23:1. In addition to the necessary infrastructural facilities like a well-stocked Library and labs with high quality instruments, the institution also has a language lab called ADEPT (Academy for Developing English and Personality Traits), set up to teach Spoken English, Soft Skills and Foreign Languages to UG and PG students.
A Platform for Job Seekers and Job Providers
Being the first self-financing college for arts and science under the University of Madras, CTTE has gained extensive corporate support over the years. With an active Placement Cell, headed by an experienced Placement Officer who networks with the corporate world to find suitable placement for students, the institution offers intensive training programs. At CTTE, students are trained for Placement Drives in Communication Skills, Body Language, Interviews and Group Discussions. This is reflected in the final placements when corporates like Tata Consultancy Services, NTrust Infotech and HDB Financial Services visit the campus for placement. The institution also organizes mass recruitment drives with the support of the University Students Advisory Bureau, the University of Madras as well as ICTACT of Tamil Nadu.
The Student Council plays an integral role in the institution's social responsibility activities. The active NSS and YRC units of the institution are also involved in service oriented activities. The EVE (Empowerment through Values and Ethics) Cell takes forward the vision and mission of the college by organizing lectures and events that empower the women students to face the challenges of life.
However, CTTE's aspirations are not limited to producing women workforce who are industry ready from the day they graduate from the college. The institution has also proactive Entrepreneurship Development Cell (EDC), which was started with a grant of Rs. 1, 00, 000 by the Govt. of Tamil Nadu. The EDC has established a congenial ecosystem for the evolution of entrepreneurs through its Incubation Center, which provides financial assistance, arranges interactions with successful entrepreneurs and creates opportunities for capacity building. "We encourage students to earn while they learn by engaging them in micro ventures and we train them to become job providers in the future," claims Dr. Ghosh.
At present, CTTE students run a campus retail store named "Stubazaar" and startup ventures in Jute products and bakery products. The EDC also runs an AavinParlour as a franchise of Tamil Nadu Co-operative Milk Producers Federation to give training to students on how to run a business enterprise. "For our institution, the sky is the limit. We are looking forward to bringing in autonomy and many more socially relevant programs. We also look forward to launching academic and literary journals. We want our students to receive the best of education and the best of skills, which will make them highly successful individuals who will become ambassadors of cultural and religious harmony in our country," concludes Dr. Ghosh.
Dr. Hanifa Ghosh, Principal
Dr.Hanifa Ghosh, Professor of English and Principal, Chevalier T.Thomas Elizabeth College for Women has been the Principal of the College since 2006. She is a Member of the Senate and Academic Council of the University of Madras and has been serving as University Representative and External Member in various Boards and Committees. Presently, she is a special member, Board of Studies in English, University of Madras. As an academician with thirty six years of teaching experience and a penchant for research, she shares her expertise as a Resource Person in various forums. As a dynamic administrator and team leader, she believes in participatory management and spurs her staff and students to high levels of performance. Under her stint as administrator, the college has grown in structure and strength and also been accredited by NAAC.