Jennifer Muller <firstname.lastname@example.org>, Office of Communications
The graduation ceremony held on September 27, 2018 in front of an enthusiastic crowd in Assembly Hall was for a different type of AUB student: those graduating from the Continuing Education Center (CEC)
. A total of 358 students graduated and received certificates and diplomas representing 17 different specializations and—for the first time—CEC diploma graduates were recognized as associate alumni of AUB.
Among the graduates were professionals who gained new competencies to advance their careers, Syrian refugees who strove to enhance their skills and equip themselves for a brighter future, and civil society actors who wish to better contribute to the economic, social, and educational development of their communities.
In addition to the graduates and their proud family members and friends, the ceremony was attended by AUB President Fadlo Khuri, Vice President for Regional External Programs Hassan Diab, senior administrators, CEC instructors, and representatives from various government agencies.
“AUB’s primary role is to educate, to empower, and to enable the leaders of tomorrow,” said President Khuri in his speech
. “Through CEC we serve a different clientele, those whom we expect to carry the model and the imprimatur of AUB forward in a different but important way.”
“AUB seeks to position itself as the institution in the Arab world that is most impactful, that is most far reaching, and—most of all—that is most fair,” Khuri added. “And to be fair, we need to engage a new type of students, and you represent these students. CEC provides knowledge to the community at large; all ages, all levels, all industries.”
The ceremony also included speeches by CEC Director Ziad Shaaban, as well as a guest speaker and student speaker, who highlighted the importance of continuing education and its long-ranging impact on Lebanon, the Middle East and North Africa region, and beyond.
The CEC’s core objective is to strengthen AUB’s academic mission by extending its reach into the community. Its program makes a statement that AUB can and will always serve the community in the best way possible by providing knowledge and education in many forms and to all types of students.
The Continuing Education Center is an integral part of the Office of Regional External Programs (REP)
and has grown exponentially over the past few decades in terms of courses, certificates, and diplomas offered, as well as the number of students served. CEC offers over 220 courses, 31 certificates, and nine diplomas with a total registration of almost 2,200 students. CEC is now in the process of seeking accreditation from the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training which entails maintaining high standards that guarantee high quality continuing education.
REP’s and CEC’s next goal is to widen AUB's horizons through expanding its mission to other countries around the world in order to prepare future leaders, innovators, and lifelong learners who blaze new trails and become agents of change in their communities.