Access Academy is a flagship year of pre-collegiate courses at Asian University for Women (AUW) focused on English communication skills, critical thinking, problem-solving, and strategies for life-long learning. The program is designed to help students overcome prior deficits in their educational background and prepare for success in AUW’s liberal arts and sciences undergraduate program.
- Courses include: Computer Literacy, Geography, Language & Composition, Pre-Calculus, Reading Across Disciplines, and World Civilizations;
- Features a required Leadership Seminar and Martial Arts training;
- Offers opportunities for community service and extracurricular engagement.
ShagufaHabibi | Afghanistan | Class of 2010
At first Shagufa found Access Academy to be difficult. She felt behind other students because her secondary school did not provide high-quality English-language training, and her secondary school teachers taught rote memorization instead of critical thought. Her education was also frequently disrupted by conflict in Afghanistan and the conservative men in her community.
Fortunately, Shagufa has never been one to back down from a challenge. She redoubled her efforts to do well at AUW. She actively participated in her classes, and met with her classmates and professors outside of class hours. Her English communication and study skills improved. She developed an academic and professional interest in Development Studies and the question of how to resolve the conflicts in Afghanistan. She began to ask analytical questions and develop potential solutions. She successfully entered the AUW undergraduate program, and is on her way to earning a Bachelor’s degree.
“Before coming to AUW, I didn’t know anything about women’s leadership potential. Now I have self-confidence. I can communicate with friends from different cultures. I have hopes for my future and the future of my country.”
Saren Keang | Cambodia | Class of 2014
Saren’s mother left school after the third grade to work in a grocery store. Her father left school after the sixth grade because of the Cambodian Civil War and genocide.
Saren’s father supported the family by making sugar from palm-tree fruits. After he became ill, Saren’s mother sold meat, vegetables, and cooking oil to support the family. Saren’s eldest sister was forced to drop out of school after fourth grade to support the family full time. Fearing a similar fate, Saren worked harder in school and eventually earned a full scholarship to study at AUW.
Thanks to the training she received in Access Academy, Saren overcame prior deficits in her secondary schooling and successfully graduated from AUW. Now she is pursuing a dual Master’s degree in Sustainable International Development and Coexistence & Conflict at Brandeis University in the United States with full scholarship support from Open Society Foundations.
“At AUW, I learned to believe that my opinions matter and that I can do anything.”
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Last updated January 4, 2018