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Access Program Graduates

AUC’s School of Continuing Education Graduates 13th Access Program Cohort

Raghda ElMeligy
December 11, 2022

More than 150 students from Cairo, Tanta, Port Said and Aswan walked across the stage at AUC last month to celebrate their graduation from the English Access Microscholarship Program, commonly known as Access.

Funded by the U.S. Department of State and managed by the U.S. Embassy in Egypt, Access is a global scholarship program that provides a foundation of English language and 21st century skills to promising but disadvantaged high school students. The two-year program involves a variety of experiential tracks that develop cross-cultural understanding in addition to soft skills. The aim is to empower participants to pursue better educational and career opportunities and compete for future exchanges and study in the United States. 

Kareem Mohamed, a graduating Access student from Cario, reported feeling determined as he finished the program. “I want to do something useful for my community — the kind of work that is written in history books. It may sound ambitious, but I believe we can do it and I will do my best to achieve it,” he said.

Since its inception in Egypt in 2006, more than 5,000 students have participated in the Access program. AUC’s School of Continuing Education (SCE) has delivered classes to over 2,000 of these students in more than 16 cities around the country. 

Access graduates at the ceremony in Bassily Auditorium, AUC New Cairo
Access graduates at the ceremony in Bassily Auditorium, AUC New Cairo

“AUC has a long history of collaborating with the U.S. Embassy on a variety of projects. However, we have always had a soft spot for the Access program,” said AUC President Ahmad Dallal. “We thank our partners for having the vision to create such an impactful program and for their continued confidence in AUC to deliver it to its full potential.”

In addition to English language learning, the Access program includes an immersive skill-building camp and a community service project. This year, students focused on initiatives that complement Egypt’s environmental goals against the backdrop of COP27. They also performed a series of theatrical skits that demonstrated the significance of climate action. 

This particular cohort will also be eligible to benefit from the upcoming Bridges Plus Program, which will facilitate for them a smooth transition to college life.

“The Access students are a constant source of inspiration and optimism for all of us at the School of Continuing Education,” said James Ketterer, dean of SCE. “They represent hope and possibility for their families and for the future of Egypt, and I thank parents and teachers for their constant support.”