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Hills College Wins International Award

By Father C.M. Paul SDB
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Mumbai, Nov. 16. Sonada - A college in Darjeeling hills has won an international award for Faculty Orientation and Strategic Planning.

Salesian College Principal Dr George Thadathil and CEO of Leadership Inc Hong Kong Mr Mark J. Pixley were awarded IAF Silver Medal International Award by its Asia Head Ms Farah at the Umrao, New Delhi on 15 November 2019.
The Facilitation Impact Awards (FIA) honours organisations that have used facilitation to achieve a measurable and positive impact as well as the facilitator(s) who worked with them.

As a professional association with members in more than 65 countries, the IAF is well placed to recognise the power of facilitation worldwide. For more than 20 years they have been strong advocates for the power of facilitation in helping organisations to address challenges and achieve results.

''Ninety percent of the faculty were actively involved in preparing the College's National Accreditation and Assessment Council (NAAC) application. Despite the more stringent and objective third party evaluation, the college retained its 'A' Grade into this third cycle,'' said Principal of Salesian College Professor George Thadathil on receiving the award.

Prof Thadathil added, ''Ninety-five percent of the projects identified at the Faculty Orientation and Strategic Planning (FOSP) workshop have been substantially completed with other 'spin off' projects arising and implemented.''

International Facilitator and CEO of Hong Kong based Leadership Inc Dr Mark Pixely said, ''This project has impacted, and helped build a more participative, empowered and facilitative college community culture, and has impacted the teaching approach. It has involved most of the faculty and management and directly and indirectly, the students at the Salesian College.''

Salesian College in Darjeeling, West Bengal, India has two campuses—Sonada (established in 1938 with some 400 plus students) and Siliguri (established in 2009) with 1500 plus students.

Salesian College is a Government recognized minority educational institution of the Catholic Church, run by Salesians of Don Bosco, Kolkata Province where some 2,000 students do their regular B.A., B.Com, B.Sc, BCA and B.Voc, as well as MA program in English, Education and Psychology under the North Bengal University.

The facilitation project had three objectives: first, Faculty Orientation - it was important to create an opportunity for the current and new faculty to learn about each other and prepare for the upcoming year. Second, Strategic Planning - creating an opportunity for the faculty and management to think about where the college was going and what they would achieve in the coming years. Third, preparing for the NAAC accreditation process - accreditation is required every five years and the intention was to have active faculty involvement in the process.

The facilitation approach involved a three day workshop on Faculty Orientation and Strategic Planning (FOSP) held in August 2016 with the faculty and management of the Salesian College at the Sonada Campus. Subsequent follow up included review sessions held on October 2016, June 2018 and December 2018 at both campuses.

The International Association of Facilitators (IAF) is a worldwide community of facilitators promoting excellence in the use of professional group process facilitation to create engagement and impact.



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