Open Education YMCA
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AUA Open Education Signs MOU with YMCA Europe

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YEREVAN, Armenia — The American University of Armenia (AUA) Open Education and the European Alliance of YMCA signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) effective July 1, 2020 through June 30, 2023. The MOU establishes the responsibilities between the two parties with respect to the implementation of the YMCA Generation Next project. The project is a novel initiative funded by YMCA partner Bread for the World and is initially being piloted in the South Caucasus region. It aims to offer educational scholarships to socially disadvantaged youth to participate in extracurricular youth activities and training courses hosted by the YMCA Resource Centers, including camps.

The project builds upon the YMCA Europe Roots for Reconciliation project, thereby promoting YMCA’s sustainability and the Generation Next project’s relevance in the region. Content focuses on emerging youth development topics most critical to current needs and conditions, including empowerment and soft life skills most important to assuming responsible roles in society. As the Executive Secretary of YMCA Europe Vardan Hambardzumyan elaborates, “For YMCA Europe, the Generation Next, in general, and cooperation with AUA, in particular, are new areas of engagement. Soft life skills development among youth has become critically important in modern, rapidly changing and very competitive societies. We are excited about this new opportunity and are confident that it will become yet another robust program and partnership for us.”

Congruent to established project objectives, AUA Open Education will develop curriculum, syllabi and relevant course content and teaching materials and ensure delivery by qualified instructors. Director of AUA Open Education Lucine Hayes applauds this new YMCA Europe initiative acknowledging that “This is a unique partnership that enables young people to obtain necessary soft and hard skills in their career pursuits, to exchange cross border experiences and to make choices that lead them to become productive, skillful and knowledgeable members of society.” True to the programmatic elements of Open Education, the engagement with YMCA Europe will incorporate course announcements, targeted promotion of courses among youth, registration, as well as course monitoring, evaluation and reporting.

Founded in 1991, the American University of Armenia (AUA) is a private, independent university located in Yerevan, Armenia, affiliated with the University of California, and accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission in the United States. AUA provides local and international students with Western-style education through top-quality undergraduate, graduate, and certificate programs, promotes research and innovation, encourages civic engagement and community service, and fosters democratic values.