Freshmore. It is not a typo.

  • Share this:

As you know, the admissions for Plaksha’s inaugural undergraduate B.Tech programs are underway. The academic session for the incoming Class of 2025 will commence later this year, and it will be a historic moment. After all, there can only ever be one Founding Cohort. The pathbreakers, whom we have been interviewing these past months have completely bowled us over with their zeal, their intellect and most of all the way they perceive the world around us: so full of possibilities and ready for change.TYP
A key element of our curricular design is the Freshmore Course Sequence. But wait, what’s Freshmore? Does it mean Freshman year or Sophomore year? What does it have to do with curriculum? We address a few of these popular questions, and more, below:

Did we just coin Freshmore?

We wish that were true, but the credit goes to Dr. Sanjay Sarma, Vice President of Open Learning at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. It combines the terms Freshman + Sophomore, which are popularly used to define the first and second year of study in American universities and high schools. It has also been adapted by progressive universities like Singapore University of Technology and Design and now by Plaksha.

What is different about Freshmore?

Learning is an evolving journey, one that should be guided rather than dictated. Most engineering schools in India do not give their students the freedom to choose their majors. Students usually get assigned a major based on a singular rank or score. This often means that they don’t get the opportunity to explore different fields, and decide what they are truly interested in.

The Freshmore Course Sequence does away with these traditional and often restricting academic practices. At Plaksha, all incoming undergraduate students will have the same courses in the first 3 semesters. These courses establish a platform for students to build strong foundations in math, data and computational skills. Furthermore, it enables students to get a flavor of various engineering disciplines, and develop an interdisciplinary mindset by engaging with courses in communication, design thinking, economics and the liberal arts.

Creating tech that makes a difference

Plaksha’s signature Makerspace and state-of-the-art labs are also a core component of the Freshmore experience. In addition to the Innovation Lab and Grand Challenge sequence which runs throughout the eight semesters, most Freshmore courses will also encourage students to learn by doing and to be able to apply what they learn in their lectures to create real world impact through solutions and innovations.

So it’s not about marks and ranks determining which major students get selected for. Rather, they arrive at the choice of their major after three semesters, based on what they enjoy, after experiencing all disciplines (in the literal sense!) themselves, and also establishing core foundational competencies in areas that will define the 21st century.

Why did Freshmore make it to the Plaksha pedagogy and learning structure?

We’d like to take a leaf out of our Academic Advisor, Nobel laureate Dr. Abhijit Banerjee’s convocation speech for Plaksha Tech Leaders Fellowship 2020 batch:

‘As technology leaders with the opportunity to create lasting change, you hold the responsibility to be the human element in the technology story and the technology element in the human story’

With Plaksha, we’ve always kept the larger picture at the forefront of our endeavors, which is why the goal is not to create more engineers; the goal is to nurture creators of tomorrow, who can solve Grand Challenges and have a holistic understanding of the world we live in. Inculcating often-ignored areas like Humanities, Ethics and Design in the technology-first curriculum a of B.Tech program gives us all, as a society, a fighting chance for the critical challenges the coming generations will be facing: Economic, Environmental, Public Health and many more complex, wicked problems.

The Freshmore is a dynamic process at the core of Plaksha’s ethos; an environment for students to Unlearn, Learn and Relearn through their various courses, projects, peer interactions, and other activities. By providing this interdisciplinary platform, we hope to foster an army of changemakers tackling the problems of tomorrow, with both empathy and technology skills in their arsenal.

UG Team

UG Team