AUC Is Featured as a Success Story in the Global ASHA Convention 2022
The American University in Cairo (AUC) maintains a remarkable 45-year partnership history with USAID/ASHA representing a life-long journey to a brighter future. In 2017, with the support of ASHA, AUC modernized five physics, biology and chemistry labs. With the addition of state-of-the-art laboratory equipment, AUC created small size "Studio Classrooms" that have further integrated meaningful use of technology into the curricula. All of this has incentivized faculty to redesign their courses to use more interactive and innovative teaching methods. Larger numbers of students across diverse backgrounds are now able to utilize these spaces more effectively, where the space design and furnishings allow for collaborative learning and knowledge construction.
AUC’s success in renovation and its ability to create an environment conducive to inclusion and learning is the reason for its feature as a success story at the 2022 American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) Convention. This global event, as affirmed on their website, “is the most comprehensive education event in the world for speech, language, and hearing professionals”.
Students like Radwa Mohamed Elhelw, a senior scholarship student studying mechanical engineering, were allowed to pursue their passion in the field through applied renovations.
Radwa stated in an interview:
“My dad was my first inspiration to join the School of Engineering as he was always passionate about showing me how things worked. For example, he used to show me how his car operated and if there was a certain issue to be fixed, he would try to explain to me.”
The new lab spaces allowed her to engage in hands-on experimentation and direct application of course concepts, leaving her well prepared for a career post-graduation. Radwa wants to gain industrial engineering experience working for a company so she can one day start her own business in the automotive industry.
Going forward, AUC is now aiming to take education innovation even a step further. With ASHA support, AUC has begun developing Hybrid Flexible Learning Spaces, or Hyflex spaces, where classroom and learning space technologies are leveraged to promote data-empowered, cooperative learning. Through the Hyflex model, we use an instructional approach driven by different learning modalities such as facilitated conversations, collaborative, and experiential learning in both face-to-face and online settings.
Our partnership with USAID/ASHA has shown decades of success from education investments reinforced by American values of equality, diversity, tolerance, and freedom of expression. These investments have built on AUC’s existing strengths to help it become a leading University in the Middle East. AUC creates a culture of leadership, lifelong learning, continuing education and service among its graduates, nurturing the generations of globally aware, engaging, dialogue-driven and diverse thinkers who are making significant contributions to Egypt and their larger international community.
On a final note, as AUC Provost and Principal Investigator of the Science Labs project, Dr. Ehab Abdel-Rahman has affirmed that:
"AUC continues to lead higher education in Egypt and the region. The introduction of new programs, pedagogies, and courses help us constructively disrupt higher education and prepare our students to become the leaders of tomorrow. It also helps us to infuse in Egypt's higher education the notion that we prepare the students for jobs that are yet to be created.”