Keeping in view the dominant practice of skill -instilling community colleges in the Western world, Punjab Higher Education Commission in collaboration with Higher Education Department (HED) has also launched a Pilot Program for the “Establishment of Community Colleges in Punjab”. In the first phase, four colleges have been selected which would be further replicated in other parts of the province. At the formative phase, 2 -year Associate Degree (equivalent to Bachelors Degree) on semester system basis is being offered in Commerce. IT, Media and Fine Arts. Furthermore, these courses have been further skimmed into specialized areas to render highly skilled based education to students.
The rationale behind the Community College Program is to produce skilled human resource forthe economy and society. The traditional 2 -year Bachelors Degree offered in public colleges offers limited to no marketable skills. PHEC, realizing the incongruence of curricula with the market, economy and society, is taking steps to bridge this gap by introducing a 2 -year Associate Degree on the model of community colleges of advanced countries in various emerging fields of industry to create a job -ready skilled workforce.
The existing infrastructure, equipment and teaching staff of the selected colleges will be used to launch these programs. More areas of specialization will be offered in the future such as Hotel Management, Paramedics, Nursing, Radiological Science and Public Health. Community colleges offer high quality education with technical expertise at a low cost and in a flexible manner. The focus is on marketable and industry -driven skills to fulfill the dearth of skilled human resource in various areas of industry.
At the initial stage following four colleges in Punjab have been selected:
- Govt. College Township, Lahore
- Govt. Post Graduate College for Women, Gujranwala
- Govt. College Civil Lines, Multan.
- Govt. College for Women, Faisalabad
Following skill -based 2 -year degree programmes have been commenced in the above mentioned
- Associate Degree in Commerce (Specialization in Accounting & Finance).
- Associate Degree in Information Technology (Specialization in Networking/ WebTechnologies).
- Associate Degree in Fine Arts (Specialization in Textile Design).
- Associate Degree in Mass Communication (Specialization in Media Studies).