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Armenian Virtual College
Announces WINTER TERM 2011

A New Armenian Classroom is now available to Anyone, Anytime, Anywhere
Armenian Virtual College (AVC) is the newest educational institute of the Armenian General Benevolent Union. AVC carries AGBU’s lifelong dedication to Armenian education with an entirely innovative approach and is the first of its kind in Armenian circles. Through online education, AVC focuses on helping learners acquire basic knowledge in Armenian Studies.
 
The AVC project was initiated in 2004 by AGBU’s Silicon Valley Chapter. Since then, the technology has been developed largely in Armenia with the direct collaboration of scientists and engineers at the Yerevan State University. The e-learning methodology in turn, has been designed in collaboration with a team of pedagogical experts in the USA and Europe.
 
AVC is currently comprised of three departments – Language (with its Eastern and Western Armenian branches), History, and Culture (Architecture, Music, Fine Arts and Literature) – each of which offers several courses at varying knowledge levels. In order to truly accomplish its aim of widening the reach of Armenian education worldwide, AVC offers the same program in six languages: Armenian (Eastern and Western); English, Russian, French and Spanish.
 
Through the use of both synchronous and asynchronous communications, AVC allows students not only to learn new material at their own pace but also to confer face to face with their virtual instructors and classmates. In addition to weekly multimedia lessons, students have access to study tools, assignments, quizzes, course calendars, syllabi, drop boxes and grade books. Moreover, discussion forums, audio-video conferencing, emails and live chat options provide students with opportunities to better connect with their virtual classmates and to forge friendship with fellow students from across the globe.
 
On July 2, 2010, AVC celebrated the first anniversary of its activities by holding a Global Online Forum to reflect on its achievements and discuss future perspectives on online Armenian education. The list of participants of the event included Dr. Yervant, Zorian, Founder and Chairman of AVC and Member of AGBU Central Board of Directors, RA Diaspora Minister Hranoush Hakobian and Dr. Carol Aslanian, Member of the AGBU Central Board and Board of Directors of the University of Phoenix, the biggest university of online education in the world, AVC students from different countries of the world, as well as AVC Online Instructors and online education experts participated in the Global Online Forum through a live video bridge.

During its first year of operation, AVC had students ranging in age from 17 to 82, with a geography stretching from USA to Russia, from Venezuela to South Africa, from Argentina to Reunion Island. The number of applicants, representing over 35 countries, has steadily grown and exceeded 500 in one year, attesting to AVC’s growing popularity. Even traditional Armenian schools, besides the individual learners, started to use AVC’s online educational system and methodology, such as the Ohanessian school in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates.

A new Armenian classroom has emerged and is finally available to anyone, anytime, anywhere.
 
Further information about AVC is available at its website: www.avc-agbu.org. Questions about the admissions process, financial aid, courses and programs may be directed to; info@avc-agbu.org.
 

THE ARMENIAN VIRTUAL COLLEGE (AVC)
WINTER TERM 2011 - ENROLL NOW!

 

The Armenian Virtual College (AVC) of the Armenian General Benevolent Union (AGBU) is pleased to announce the opening of its enrollment period for Winter Term 2011. The following courses are offered in multiple languages (including Eastern Armenian, Western Armenian, English, French, Russian and Spanish) on multiple levels:

• Eastern Armenian;
• Western Armenian;
• History of Armenia;
• Introduction to Armenian Architecture;
• Introduction to Armenian Music.

The enrollment period closes on December 19, 2010. Classes start on January 10 and end on March 15, 2011. To enroll, visit the AVC website at www.avc-agbu.org, create your log-in and complete the enrollment application.

For further details and questions, please contact: enrollment@avc-agbu.org.

AVC Global Online Forum held in Yerevan, on 2 July 2010

In the photo left to right are: Dr. Carol Aslanian, Member of the AGBU Central Board of Directors, Dr. Yervant Zorian, Founder and Chairman of AVC and Member of AGBU Central Board of Directors, and Her Excellency Dr. Hranoush Hakobyan, the Diaspora Minister of the Republic of Armenia.
 

BUILDING UP WITH THE AVC

The story of an outstanding AVC student, Maria Inés

An Argentina native, born to an Armenian father and a Spanish mother, Maria Ines started her lifelong pursuit of learning Armenian from a very young age. However, being born in Venezuela, then growing up in Buenos Aires prior to moving to California for education, and finally setting with her family in Italy, haven’t helped her much to achieve that goal.

During her school years, Maria was always active in sports, spectacles, languages and arts. She used to sing in an Armenian choir and danced in a local Armenian folk dance group. She became a French teacher and later graduated in architecture and urban design.

Maria liked to learn and experiment activities as much as she loved to help people. She had her first two sons very young, but that didn’t prevent her from moving to California, where she studied in UCLA, while her little boys attended school too. Later, back in Argentina she met the man who would become her husband, and she had the courage to follow him to Italy with her kids. Her third son was born in Sardinia, where she resides now.

Early at her family home, she used to speak only Spanish. Her elementary school had been outstanding, the teachers followed an audiovisual method, but they were overloaded by the official curriculum in Spanish during high school. Of course the very few hours of Armenian lessons were not enough to reach an Armenian style education. Once Maria graduated from the Mekhitarista School in Buenos Aires, she didn't have the chance to keep on practicing Armenian, because of the university, her kids and everyday life. On the other hand, while in Buenos Aires, she had other ways of practicing her culture, like cooking lessons, dance group and choir, and socializing with fellow Armenians. The lack of an Armenian community in her current town is another difficulty.

However, AVC gave her the chance to reset an order, helping her to find a system, a method to improve her Armenian language. Maria found new possibilities of practicing Armenian, writing and talking, reading and listening. She had to start from the most basic lessons because she had to restore so many "missing areas", but she already achieved incredible results according to her teachers at AVC. “I'm restoring those empty spaces, it's like rebuilding the structure,” she says. “I'd love to reach a level that would allow me to follow any Armenian communication.”

Maria, who is now working as an architect, is interested in land architecture, interior design and the relationship between cities and people. She also organizes field trips of her old school to Europe. “I'm happy to help my old school in Argentina, Mekhitarista, the institution that gave me the chance to have a nice instruction!” she said.

Coming from a very distinct and multicultural background, Maria had an amazing experience with AVC that attracted her to study her ancestors’ language, and to gain the essence of the identity that she has long pursued.

“I adore Sardinia for its landscape, Argentina for the passion, United States for the energy, Italy for the power of work, and Armenia for its deep meanings,” she said.

 
 
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