AGBU and AUA established the AUA Extension – AGBU NKR program in 2015. For the past three years, the American University of Armenia Extension, through the generous support of AGBU, has worked tirelessly to provide high quality, relevant continuing education opportunities to government officials, professionals, students and teenagers in the independent Republic of Artsakh. AUA Extension’s full-time faculty, visiting professors, and AUA staff offered a number of educational products, including (1) Certification prerequisite courses for Strategic Management, Executive Leadership, Public Policy and Administration, and Tourism and Hospitality Management (2) Career Development courses and workshops, (3) Professional skills seminars, (4) English language programs, as well as (5) Preparatory courses for the TOEFL iBT and other standardized tests.
A specialist in the Division of Information, Public Relations and Computer Services at the Staff of the Ministry of Agriculture of the Republic of Artsakh shared her thoughts about the AUA Extension – AGBU NKR program: “It enables you to get practical knowledge and skills in a free and easy environment and at the same time to get new connections with people of different backgrounds. Participating in a number of courses (General English, Project Management, Financial Management, etc.), I can certainly say that these programs are really different from formal education and make a great impact on our personal and professional growth.”
All of these educational programs serve the residents of Artsakh, empowering participants to create a brighter future for themselves and their loved ones. More particularly, the prerequisite courses lay the necessary foundation for those seeking certification, the professional skills seminars teach participants how to hone their talents to become more employable, and the preparatory courses prepare students for the entry exams they will face should they apply to AUA or similar universities. Because of the existence of the AGBU – AUA partnership, American University of Armenia currently has 38 full-time students from Stepanakert.
Diana Grigoryan participated several courses delivered through AUA Extension – AGBU NKR Program. “Having very few training opportunities in Stepanakert, each of them is always well appreciated. Among the others, I would like to highlight “Time Management” course conducted by AUA. It provided me some genuinely useful techniques. Moreover, the material in this course set a good foundation that can be applied practically, interesting and insightful, and leaves me with many ideas to consider helping me manage my work and lifetime more effectively. I really enjoyed this training… not least for nice and relaxed atmosphere.”
“We are proud to state that participation in the courses offered through this joint program has reached an all-time high during this reporting period,” says Sergey Tantushyan, director of AUA Extension. “811 students participated in General English, Levels 1-6, taught by our full-time Artsakh based English faculty; 102 teenagers joined us for our newly introduced English for Teenagers course; and, our AUA Extension visiting professors taught professional development courses to over 1,200 participants. In total, we served an unprecedented 2,325 participants throughout the past two years.”
“As the Director of Extension, I regularly visited Artsakh to teach, support faculty, and meet with stakeholders. In one particularly impactful visit, I had the pleasure of meeting with the Prime Minister and representatives of the Government of Artsakh. In this meeting, we identified specific Ministry needs and discussed how to best address these needs. As a result, multiple new projects were implemented to benefit the local government. All 19 members of the National Assembly, Artsakh’s parliamentary body, joined us for a public sector budgeting course designed to specifically meet their needs. We also were honored to create a special English for banking course for local AmeriaBank staff. Finally, thanks to the input of the Department of Tourism, we developed and implemented tourism-specific courses for our Extension curriculum. For the upcoming period we have created a roadmap for long-term cooperation with the Ministry of Culture of Artsakh, providing them with three tailor-made courses (the latest one on Cultural Policies delivered last week), the Ministry of Agriculture, providing them with customized soft-skill courses, and Artsakh’s Ombudsman office, planning to offer Adaptive Leadership and Strategy courses for the entire staff.”
Artak Grigoryan is the Project Manager at the Tourism Department of the Ministry of Economy. “The courses organized in Artsakh within the framework of the Continuing Education Program of the American University of Armenia, supported by AGBU, were first a good opportunity for me to learn about the American educational format. My participation in the program was a unique opportunity to enhance professional skills in different areas, especially in terms of improving business communication skills. It is thanks to these amazing continuing education program courses that now I can fit my communication with a lot of international organizations, government agencies and non-governmental organizations into the accepted international communication standards. In addition, contacts with the AUA instructors had a significant influence on polishing my skills as a public sector employee”.
“In the previous year, AUA Extension has successfully strengthened the reputation of the AUA Extension – AGBU NKR program in Stepanakert. The achievements we’ve experienced throughout our years of operation in Artsakh are a direct result of the generous contributions and support we’ve received from Armenian General Benevolent Union”, said Dr. Tantushyan.
Founded in 1991, the American University of Armenia (AUA) is a private, independent university located in Yerevan, Armenia and affiliated with the University of California. AUA provides a global education in Armenia and the region, offering high-quality, graduate and undergraduate studies, encouraging civic engagement, and promoting public service and democratic values.