New Business Associate Degrees Make Dreams Come True

As part of its work in Afghanistan with the University Support and Workforce Development Program (USWDP), CIE is responsible for starting five Associate Degree programs attached to universities in Afghanistan.  Two were started earlier in the program and have now graduated their first cohorts, one in Biomedical Equipment Technology and the other in Information Technology (IT graduation pictured left). These two programs have been very popular and almost all the graduates have found employment.


In fall of 2017, three more Associate Degree programs were initiated. The new associate degrees in Business Administration and Business Accounting are located in the universities in Balkh, Herat, and Nangarhar provinces.  A total of 93 students (23 females) are now enrolled in these three programs. A total of 21 instructors have been identified and prepared to teach in these programs. 


CIE is working in collaboration with faculty members from the UMass Isenberg School of Management, and Greenfield, Holyoke and Berkshire Community Colleges to support these Business degrees.  These faculty members assist their Afghan counterparts in developing and strengthening syllabi, identifying resource materials, and developing participatory pedagogy.  They are in regular contact with Afghan instructors on Skype and travel to Afghanistan periodically to offer faculty development workshops.


At the opening ceremony At Balkh University (pictured right), Chancellor of Balkh University Professor Mukamel Alkozai said Establishing the Business Accounting Associate Degree is vital to producing a skilled workforce to meet the needs of the market of the northern region of Afghanistan. Business professionals will now prepare themselves for a career through this degree program at Balkh University.


In the opening ceremony in Herat province the Governor of Herat, Mohammad Asif Rahimi, said  The launch of the new degree programs is an important step toward economic development and self-reliance in the country, and I thank USWDP, USAID, and the partnering universities for their support in establishing these degree programs.


The Associate Degree programs have been a very successful part of USWDP in achieving education to job market transition.  The programs are shorter and produce results more quickly and, through internships, provide linkages between the universities and employers, a relationship that did not exist before.



Tags Our Work: