BY EDISSON SEROPIAN, ESQ.
NORTHRIDGE, Calif.—On March 20 the Public Relations Committee of the Arshavir Shiragian Gomideh of North Valley, California State University Northridge (CSUN) Armenian Studies Program, and Armenian Student Association (ASA) of CSUN had invited Dr. Bruce Boghosian, President of the American University of Armenia (AUA) for an enlightening presentation at CSUN’s Chaparral Hall. Dr. Boghosian is a celebrated scientist and administrator with distinguished credentials from MIT and University of California at Davis. He was faculty member of Tufts University and he currently acts as the third appointed president of AUA in Yerevan that became operational in 1991.
The event commenced with an introduction by CSUN professor Dr. Vahram Shemmassian, director of the Armenian Studies Program, followed by welcoming remarks by Alina Sarkissian, president of ASA and a few words of appreciation from Areg Gharabegian, the ARF “Shiragian” PR committee liaison who coordinated the efforts to bring about the event.
Nearly 95 college students, mostly from CSUN, members of the ARF PR committee in charge of coordinating this event, in addition to members of the AYF comprised the bulk of the attendees, along with half a dozen parents.
The focal points of Dr. Boghosian’s presentation was that AUA is the first ever WASC accredited university in the Republic of Armenia and the entire former Soviet Union, that has provided college level graduate programs in Armenia, and recently expanded into undergraduate programs, with the focus towards educating student leaders in our ancestral homeland.
Dr. Boghosian pointed out, the significance of the program vis-à-vis the ability of students in our community to obtain degrees that are equally accredited for future advancement in the United States and abroad. It should be noted that depending on the requirements of each university in the United States, the students are encouraged to seek counseling before endeavoring into AUA to complete any transferable course enrollments. An in depth view of the campus, classes and the activities of AUA can be accessed through its website at: http://aua.am.
AUA is currently offering the Summer 2014 Program that will offer programs in Armenian Heritage and Culture which may be used as interim general education transfer units or as a stand alone expansion of students overall educational experience. “The lectures and presentations will be interspersed with excursions to concerts or theater, historical sites in Armenia, as well as visits to museums and galleries.” Was the tag line provided during the power point presentation of the event. According to Dr. Boghosian, there are still a few more places available for students to join this very exciting program of study and exploration. The cost of this summer program is very affordable which includes room, board and the tuition.
On a more important question, raised by the attending students were the relative credibility of the education and the networks that the AUA may offer to the attending students, Dr. Boghosian stated that since the beginning of Armenia’s young republic, the AUA had the distinguished position of being able to offer scholarly focused solutions to a variety of organizations that have a profound effect on the betterment of the lives of resident people of Armenia as well as Armenians abroad, with current and past interactions with diverse Governmental and Civic Organizations.
In sum, the AUA has strived to bridge across all fabrics of Armenian society and act as an impartial institution of higher learning modeled on its American counterparts focused in providing cutting edge institutional degrees that transcend the personal or political persuasions, and had been able to deliver such promise. This has been so since over 85% of the graduates of AUA have remained and are serving the various needs of the republic.
The one year undergraduate tuition for the foreign students attending at AUA is about $5,000 for the Computational Sciences BS and English and Communication BA programs, but it is $6000 for in the Business BA program. However, Armenian students from Diaspora can usually obtain a ten-year visa, which entitles them to local tuition, which is half of the above. The cost of the Master’s program is also about $5,000, which is a distinct bargain compared to the same level of educational and networking opportunities in the United States which is in the upward of $60,000 annually.
The graduate and undergraduate programs consist of the College of Business and Economics; College of Science and Engineering, College of Humanities and Social Sciences; as well as School of Public Health.
The total student body at AUA is more than 800 where about 280 of them are enrolled in the recently started undergraduate program.