Extension Program: “Closing the Knowledge Gap”

With a new Summer Youth Program which includes English language, test preparation, media literacy, photography, exploring nature and web design, the American University of Armenia’s (AUA) Extension Program is working to “close the knowledge gap in the private as well as public sector in Armenia,” says Dr. Arpie Balian, Externsion’s new director.

“The new program encourages young people to become ‘an AUA-teen,” continues Balian, “helping them to develop skills for academic achievement and life-long learning.”

In addition to the new summer program, Extension has enhanced its Women Entrepreneurship Program (WEP), with a series of specific workshops focused on areas such as financial management and marketing, and a planned fall 2012 conference. In its seventh year, the WEP, a partnership with the Armenian International Women’s Association, is a “high-powered 6-week training designed to address the specific needs, challenges, and opportunities faced by women in Armenia.”

For over 18 years, AUA’s Extension Program has planned, designed, and delivered quality courses to meet the needs of the public and private sectors as well as individuals at large.   Ongoing courses include comprehensive English Language Training, Computer Literacy and Information Technology training, preparatory courses for TOEFL, GRE, GMAT, and SAT, as well as Leadership, Business Management and Entrepreneurship courses.  

The Extension Program’s new director came to AUA in January with over thirty years of experience in the public sector.  Balian holds a master’s in public administration from the American University in Washington, D.C. and a doctorate in Policy, Planning, and Development from the University of Southern California. She has lived and taught in several countries, including Lebanon, Canada, and USA, has served as director of planning, budget and evaluation in the U. S. government and has managed several development projects in the Republic of Armenia.