Gulzat Kochorova

After graduating from the CIE, I worked for a year as the Monitoring and Evaluation Coordinator with USAID's "Reading Together" project implemented by the American Institutes for Research. My main task with the project was to travel to the regions and train local early educators in conducting EGRA (Early Grade Reading Assessment) tests at schools, and then preparing collected data for analysis. I joined the project team for its first phase, and was able to participate in the baseline data collection. That is when Rebecca Paulson Stone visited Bishkek on this project, and we had a CIE meet-up in Bishkek. [12-14]


Before coming to CIE I spent five years introducing a newly developed Humanities Curriculum specifically designed for Central Asian undergraduate students.  This Curriculum consists of eight interdisciplinary courses intended to be taught using student-centered teaching methods by using teaching skills such as critical reading, thinking, and writing. 


While this kind of curriculum and teaching methods are fairly common in other countries, for Central Asian region it was new. The Humanities Curriculum was implemented through week-long, intensive workshops (6 days, 7 hours per day) for university faculty members. I was excited to see how certain participants were changing their professional, and sometimes, even their life view-points by the end of the workshops! 


I saw that changes are possible when focused on a specific group. But unfortunately I also saw that local changes are not enough. While these instructors realized the importance of changing and were willing to implement new things they had just learned, the existing higher education system that was created during decades of soviet regime simply did not allow them to change. I realized that support for changes must also come from the top of education management that should introduce supportive policy, as well as its effective implementation mechanism.


Feeling like I needed to explore these issues, and to try somehow to contribute to progressive changes in the higher education system of my country motivated me to apply to the Edmund S. Muskie Fellowship Program, funded by the US Department of State, and administered by IREX. I was fortunate to be selected and to come to CIE where my studies prepared me to work with the higher education system in the Kyrgyz Republic [9-11]




Entrance Year: 
Graduation Year: 
5-year span: 
CIE Graduate