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Double Bonanza

A bachelor’s degree program offered by Broward College allows Indian students to study the first two years in their home country and then transfer to a U.S. university for the final two years.

Florida-based Broward College offers a unique opportunity to Indian students who want a U.S. bachelor’s degree. They can join Broward College and complete an associate’s degree, the first two years of a four-year U.S. bachelor’s degree, in India. They can then transfer to a university in the United States to complete the final two years.

Excerpts from an interview with Sankaran P. Raghunathan, director-India, Broward College.

What would you like to tell Indian high school students considering studying in the United States?

Students who join our program in Mumbai are Broward College students and, thus, can take advantage of transfer admission in the third year. We have a “conditional admission” process with about eight U.S. universities, which offer a conditional letter of admission to our students when they join us in Mumbai, so that they are assured of transfer to these universities upon completion of our Associate in Arts degree program. Another reason to go through us is the small class size that we offer—we admit only 30 students in our classes.


Do students from India tend to prefer any particular major?

While subjects such as English, architecture or journalism are sought by some students, the bulk of them seek engineering or business because of the perception that it is easier to get a job with these majors. In the first two years, students complete 60 credits of coursework, out of which 36 credits are in the liberal arts general education and 24 credits of elective courses. When they transfer to a university, they do another 60 or 64 credits of course work in their major and minor fields of study.


What are some of the qualities and academic aims which might enable a student to succeed in your program?

We admit students who have reached a level of proficiency in English and mathematics that helps them to succeed in a U.S. university program. Students need not be very clear about what major they want to study; they can decide that in the third year when they have an opportunity to interact with our professors. While academic success is one criterion, we are also looking for those who can add value to our classroom by interacting with other students and professors.


What kind of unique cooperation between India and the United States has been made possible through this program?

The Indian Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship has now recognized the role of American community colleges and the system in adding tremendous skills in the country, and would like to see if collaboration between U.S. community colleges and Indian training companies can make a similar transformation in India. Broward College is the only community college currently on-the-ground in India with a model to operate here. So, we can set up the first model skills development program by offering our Associate in Science degree program here, in collaboration with a local training company.


What are some of the future plans and aims of the program?

The priority is to grow the India center to have a steady stream of 30 students every year and place them in top universities with scholarships. We are also positioning the Associate in Arts degree program in international schools as the third alternate curriculum. These schools which offer the International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) curriculum allow students to progress to the British A levels or the Swiss International Baccalaureate Diploma Program (IBDP) programs. Since IGCSE students can be admitted to our program, we are in discussions with a few schools to offer the Associate in Arts degree program as the third alternate for these students.


What are some of the key benefits of your program?

Cost is a definite benefit, with students able to save at least 40 percent of the overall cost of an American bachelor’s degree program through this 2+2 initiative. The program is also attractive to those students who want an American higher education, but for some reason do not want to or are not yet ready to leave India. It could be because their parents are not ready to let them go at that age, or that they have other interests, like a dance career or sports, that make them stay in India for some more time.

The real benefit of this program we need to highlight for candidates is it enables them to get into a good [U.S.] school in the third year immediately after high school.


Trevor Laurence Jockims teaches writing, literature and contemporary culture at New York University.