St. Thomas’ College was founded as an educational institution in 1889 by the then Vicar Apostolic of Thrissur, Rt. Rev. Adolphus Edwin Medlycott, PhD, a former Professor of Rhetoric at the Propaganda College, Rome. The College began as a High School in 1894 under the managership of Fr. Zambanelli, and Fr. Paul Alappatt, Ph.D. was appointed as the Manager and Rector of the institution in 1895. The University of Madras gave formal affiliation in Group III in April 1919 and the St. Thomas’ High School formally became a Second Grade College with Fr. John Palocaren as the first Principal. The Junior Intermediate College started on 8th June 1919 with 96 students and 5 teachers. The College rose to the status of a First Grade College in History Group in March 1925. With the formation of Universities in Kerala, the College was affiliated to the University of Kerala in 1957 and to the University of Calicut in 1968. St. Thomas’ College was accredited for the second time in 2010 by the National Assessment and Accreditation Council with A grade for a period of five years with CGPA of 3.58 on a four point scale. The UGC granted Autonomous Status to the College on 13.06.2014. The College continuously engages the suggestions, demands and requests through a wide variety of institutional mechanisms such as Academic Council, Boards of Studies, Parent-Teacher Association, IQAC, Department Councils, College Council, College Union, etc. The College has 23 departments, 14 PG programmes 23 UG programmes and 8 research centres. Alumni association, PTA and Management of the College are active in promoting the academic and administrative aspects of the College.
As a pioneering institution of higher education in Kerala, St. Thomas’ College won 3.58 points in a 4.0 scale during the NAAC Peer Team visit in 2010 and got reaccredited on 8th January 2011. The College became the first Autonomous College in the University of Calicut in 2014. Established in 1919, St. Thomas’ College has a remarkable history of imparting knowledge to generations of students and the College strives to achieve excellence in teaching, training and research. To a large extent, the drive for academic excellence is accomplished through curriculum development and is in tune with the vision and mission of the institution. “The diffusion of Knowledge and Truth and the promotion of peace and concord among the various sections of the people” as evinced in the words of the founding fathers of the institution find the best expressions in curriculum design and development. The two significant dimensions of curriculum design are the informal system of curriculum design and the official system of curriculum design resulting in the incorporation of students, academics, experts, management and other stake holders in the academic process. Employability, Innovation, and Research are the fundamental principles behind curriculum design and the focus on the scope for employment is given highest social priority without compromising the research aspect. Syllabus Monitoring Cell of the College continuously reviews the syllabi and offers suggestions for change. The College has developed curriculum for two aided and three unaided programmes in the last five years. In the wake of Autonomy all departments have redesigned the curriculum of UG and PG programmes with a thrust on Academic advancements, research orientations and the requirements of the industry. In order to cater to the needs of the emerging trends among students, departments have developed one certificate programme for UG and PG programmes. The College has 2752 students, 147 teachers, 23 research supervisors and 53 research students in 8 research centres. The Academic Council and Boards of Studies have many nationally and internationally reputed scholars and personalities as experts. The College also serves as a centre for the distance learning programmes of the University of Calicut.
TEACHING-LEARNING AND EVALUATION
The elegant history and legacy of St. Thomas’ College has always attracted students from across the state and country. The teaching- learning process in the College is envisioned as the quintessence of education. The admissions are conducted strictly in accordance with the norms prescribed by the UGC, University of Calicut and Government of Kerala. The academic activities of the College are followed as per the academic calendar published at the beginning of every year. Transparency and efficiency is guaranteed in the admission process of all UG, PG and Ph.D. Programmes. The admission process is managed online through the Academic Management System. At the end of the admission process, every year, the Admission Committee reviews the entire process from the receipt of application to the publication of the final rank list. Economically weaker sections, SC, ST, OBC and female students have increased access to higher education through scholarships and endowments offered by the Government and by the management. Remedial Coaching Programmes are frequently offered to cater to the needs of weaker students. External resource persons and eminent personalities are frequently invited to interact with the students. The teachers are earnestly involved in addressing adequately and appropriately the issues of the students. Participative learning, debates, discussions, peer learning and student seminars together with ICT enabled teaching learning process transformed the academic environment in the College. Many students are admitted to prestigious institutions for higher studies after completion of their Programmes. The departments of the college have designed their learning-outcomes based on their specific disciplinary backgrounds. At the departmental level, orientation programmes, seminars and discussions are conducted to sensitize students about the specific goals, targets, career options and research focus of the discipline. The eminence of the teaching staff is one of the most salient features of St. Thomas’ College as a higher educational Institution. 50 teachers have Ph.D. and 30 teachers have M.Phil. Degrees. The evaluation system is monitored and organized by the Controller of Examination whose efforts are crucial in making the evaluation system error free. IQAC is consistently monitoring the tasks of quality maintenance through various measures. Student Evaluation of Teachers (SET) is one among them. The library as the focus of student centred teaching learning process is further enhanced by the introduction of N-LIST and Integrated Library Management System using Koha. Students support programmes such as ASAP, SASAP, WWS, Communication Skill Development and Soft Skill Development programmes and other student enrichment programmes are special features of the teaching process.
RESEARCH, CONSULTANCY AND EXTENSION
College has initiated exemplary research activities in the eight approved research centres namely Zoology, Chemistry, English, Economics, Statistics, Commerce, Botany and Mathematics. There are twenty three research supervisors, two post-doctoral fellows and fifty three research scholars in the research centres engaged in quality research. The Research Council insists on the research scholars to undergo a review of the progress of research and to submit a report every six months. Research Centres in Science are planning to develop a Sophisticated Instrumentation Facility Centre (SIFC) to enhance interdisciplinary research. Research departments have given proper orientation in interdisciplinary research through seminars and workshops. Project proposals are properly evaluated by an expert committee of the Research Council and shortlisted proposals are forwarded to the UGC. The College takes effective steps to bring the findings/results of research work done by the faculty and research scholars to the community through various channels. The College Library serves as a resource centre for researchers with its online resources such as INFLIBNET N-LIST, e-books and a remarkable collection of journals. The research workshops and conferences organized frequently by the departments and research centres have a seminal role in shaping up research environment and culture in the College. Consultancy and patents are envisaged as the next move in academic research. Research and extension are at the forefront of research development plans of the institution. Many teachers serve as Research admission Committee members, Dissertation evaluators, Members of the Boards of Studies, Subject experts etc. A remarkable number of national and international level papers and books are published by the faculty and research scholars as a result of the intense research work in the research centres and departments. Collaborative research and interdisciplinary research are also promoted by the College. The research infrastructure is supported by the Department of Science and Technology and FIST. The faculty has completed major research projects worth Rs. 1,20,91,000/- and minor research projects worth Rs. 17,94,000/-. There are ongoing major research projects for Rs. 29,46,500/- and minor projects for Rs. 62,55,000/-.
INFRASTRUCTURE AND LEARNING RESOURCES
Easy access was the primary reason for choosing the location of the College one hundred years back at the heart of Thrissur town. The College is planning to shift to the Centenary Campus in 2019 to provide more infrastructure, facilities, well equipped laboratories, centralised library and hostels for women and men. The College has a total campus area of 28.87 acres with five campuses namely the Administrative Block, Academic Block, Jubilee Block for self financing programmes, the Sports Complex and the Centenary Campus with a built in area of 16567 Sq m. The College has 102 well equipped class rooms and 20 smart class rooms. The College owns two air conditioned seminar halls, one air conditioned conference room and 4 meeting halls. There is an open air theatre named Gandhi Smrithi. The Sports Complex comprises of Outdoor Stadium, Athletic Track, Cricket Pitch, Football Ground, Indoor Stadium and the Fitness Centre. The centralised instrumentation facility is an innovation developed through the support of DST-FIST programme. The Visual Communication Department has shooting floor, Sound recording studio, Editing Suites and still photography floor. The Department of Library houses around one lakh books and is one of the largest and the oldest college libraries in Kerala. The College has subscription to e-resources such as INFLIBNET N-LIST, International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) e-Library and Sage online Journals. The College has 7 full-fledged Computer Laboratories and more than 300 computers. Online Academic Management System is managed by a reputed IT firm. The College Website and Integrated Library Management System of the College are managed inhouse. The entire campus is networked with the support of National Mission in Education through ICT of MHRD.
STUDENT SUPPORT AND PROGRESSION
A wide variety of activities are brought to promote student support in the College. Personal Counselling Centre, Guidance, Class-wise PTAs, Library training, Remedial Coaching, Grooming workshops, Arts training and Career orientation are some of the innovative concepts established as part of student support process. One Hundred and Eleven Endowments, scholarships and awards are mobilised to support students financially. The College Manual consists of all significant information regarding the management, administration, academia, curricular and co-curricular activities and programmes. Additional Skill Acquisition Programme (ASAP), Soft skill Development, Communication Skill Development Programme (CSDP), Advanced Certificate Courses in skills, B.Voc. Programme in MLT and DFP, Community College Programme and Computer Skill training in Library are some of the dominant features of students progress project. The Career Guidance and Placement Cell is the most remarkable element which provides soft skill and communication skill development programmes and campus placement drives. NCC and NSS are immensely active in orienting students and 22 Clubs promote community activities. The Physical education department which gave birth to hundreds of renowned sports persons has won many times the best department award in the University of Calicut.
GOVERNANCE, LEADERSHIP AND MANAGEMENT
The diffusion of knowledge and truth is envisaged as the prime focus of the mission of the College. A holistic vision pertaining to the administration, leadership and management is the kernel practice of governance. Through democratic and decentralized governance, the College makes sure that students are equipped with the ideals of secularism, national integration and inter-religious harmony. The Manager and the Governing Council collectively formulate policies of the College.The Manager interacts with students, staff and other stakeholders. The Academic Council serves as the supreme body in academic matters. The Boards of Studies in various disciplines serve as the decisive organisations in each discipline. The College Council extends advisory support to the Principal. The IQAC implements policy changes regarding human resource and develops strategies for enhancing the academic quality. In the wake of awarding the status of autonomy the college has brought about significant structural and developmental changes in various sectors of the administration and academics. Orientation programmes for faculty, administrative staff and students are conducted to inculcate the vision of the College. College Union and Yuva Sabha are platforms for the student community to express their views and suggestions in a parliamentary way. Skill development and entrepreneurship development are the most remarkable contributions to national development. Academic Management System, the online facility to manage and monitor academic activities from admission to evaluation and publication of results is one of the strengths of academic administration while ICT enabled learning and teaching enriches academic environment. Teachers are encouraged to take up Faculty Development Programme, refresher courses and orientation programmes.
INNOVATION AND BEST PRACTICES
The environmental aspects have always been at the core of planning and implementation of all activities. A wide variety of programmes are being organised to promote environmental consciousness and sensitize students on the need for conservation. Exemplary academic activities such as Citation Analysis for Researchers, Curriculum Design and Development and new skill based programmes in media and communication studies are identified as the best innovative practices in the last five years. Through Citation Analysis for researchers, authors can check who is citing their publications, graph citations over time, and compute bibliometrics. As a part of the innovations in curriculum design and development in new and emerging areas, a broad spectrum of efforts has been launched over the years, keeping in mind the ample possibilities of autonomy for colleges. All UG and PG programmes have been strategically restructured keeping in mind the technological and scientific advancements, new theories and contexts in social sciences and humanities. The best practices; St. Thomas for Students’ Excellence (SSE) and St. Thomas’ For Society (SFS) are designed to instil humanitarian and social values among students. SSE is a conglomeration of all coaching programmes meant for students inside and outside the campus. SFS is to reach out to the society at large and to give back to the community and nation.