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Featured College of the month : St Joseph Engineering College

– Article by Sheetal Sohoni.

With the advent of new technology and accessibility of information at fingertips, the responsibility of educational institutions has changed tremendously. Educational institutions no longer merely serve to provide information. The institution’s responsibility extends from information transmission to shaping, directing, and developing young minds. Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft once said, “Research shows that there is only half as much variation in student achievement between schools as there is among classrooms in the same school. If you want your child to get the best education possible, it is actually more important to get him assigned to a great teacher than to a great school.” One such institution that has realized the importance of the teacher’s role in effective education and building an efficient connection between various stakeholders, is St Joseph Engineering College (SJEC), Mangalore, Karnataka.

St Joseph Engineering College was established in 2002 and is affiliated to Visvesvaraya Technological University (VTU), Belagavi, Karnataka State. One of the young educational institutes of Dakshina Kannada (DK) district of Karnataka, SJEC offers Engineering, Business Administration and Computer Applications at Under Graduate, Post Graduate and Research levels. The college has about 2,000 students, and 170 well-qualified staff. The college believes in providing a well-rounded education to the students, and therefore has invested in state-of-the-art laboratories, sports, and extra-curricular activities. SJEC also emphasizes on regular training of their faculty, as a result of which they have 25 faculty who have completed Phase III of IUCEE’s IIEECP teacher certification program, and 67 about to start their Phase II, of whom 37 recently completed their Phase I in August 2019.

SJEC’s association with Indo Universal Collaboration for Engineering Education (IUCEE) started in the year 2012. Since its entry, SJEC has been a very active member in all the ventures that IUCEE takes up; be it ICTIEE, the annual conference, IIEECP, the teaching certification, EPICS, Cluster for Collaborations, IUCEE courses, or the Virtual Academy. In the year 2017, SJEC was recognized as a Transformational Leader in Engineering Education by IUCEE. The management of SJEC takes pride in attending IUCEE’s annual Leadership Summit and contributes by participating in all the discussions as well as deliberations that take place in the presence of IUCEE’s global experts. In fact, the Principal of SJEC, Dr Rio D’Souza, himself has been recognized as one of IUCEE’s global experts, which is a matter of great pride to the college. The college also values the scholarship of teaching and learning, and around 11 faculty members of the institution are involved in the 15-month rigorous Engineering Education Research (EER) course offered by IUCEE.

Saint Joseph Engineering College is one of the pioneer institutes in its surroundings to have gained National Board of Accreditation (NBA) Accreditation. Interestingly in India, despite having one of the highest numbers of engineering colleges and millions of engineers graduating each year, barely 15 percent colleges across the country are NBA-Accredited, and SJEC is one of the early entrants to that list. When enquired about importance of NBA recognition for an institution, the Principal of St Joseph Engineering College, Dr Rio D’Souza, said that NBA accreditation is essential for an engineering institute to be identified as an institute conforming to the global standards of technical training. He further adds, that It facilitates the scope of employment of engineering graduates who want to pursue higher education or occupation abroad. Currently, four of SJEC’s UG programs namely, Computer Science and Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Electrical & Electronics Engineering, and Electronics & Communication Engineering are accredited by NBA.

The college believes in providing a multifaceted education to its students. It supports students’ learning through project activities and extra-curricular activities. Technical knowledge is just one vertical for a professional engineering student. The college therefore encourages students for participation in various activities and events. The students of the college bring frequent laurels to the institute by performing exceedingly well in renowned competitions like SAE BAJA and other championships at various national level events. The college is home to associations like SAEINDIA-
SJEC Collegiate Club which builds Electric ATV’s, Team Achillius which works on building a Solar Car, Automation and Robotics Club (ARC-SJEC) which engages in innovative projects contributing to Industry 4.0 and many more.

SJEC’s high standards are apparent if one visits the institute. Dr. Sohum Sohoni recently conducted IIEECP Phase I training for 37 faculty at SJEC. He could see the college’s motto Service and Excellence, in action during his visit. He said that everyone including the drivers that picked him and drove him around town during his visit, the people who managed the audio-video setup in the seminar hall, the people that served food during the breaks, the participating faculty, as well as the upper administration clearly gave their 100%. Everybody looked happy to be part of the institution. The students were bustling with energy but maintained discipline. There was a palpable positive energy on the beautiful, green campus.

When enquired about the institution’s future plans, both Dr. Rio D’Souza and Sathyendra Bhat (Assistant Professor-MCA, SJEC) shared SJEC aspirations to become an autonomous institution and establish the institution as a premier educational hub of the region. IUCEE team is proud to have Saint Joseph Engineering College as a contributing partner. We extend our wishes to the SJEC family!