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Students’ success celebrated at AABP Award Ceremony
A semester of success was recognized in the virtual award ceremony of the Achievement Academy Bridge Program (AABP) at American University of Sharjah (AUS) on December 20. Forty-six of the program’s students were honored for their academic excellence and participation in extracurricular activities.
The ceremony recognized 26 students who made significant progress in their Bridge Program courses and increased their language proficiency to a level suitable for study in university-level courses taught in English. The ceremony also recognized 20 students who showed improvement in personal, academic and study skills.
The AABP is designed to help new AUS students improve their English language skills and prepare for university success, while enjoying everything AUS student life has to offer. In addition to helping students improve their English language skills, the program also helps them prepare for university math and physics courses, and enhances students' personal, academic and study skills to maximize the likelihood of success in their university experience.
Reem Alhadrami, an international studies student and vice president of the AABP Club, won the Achievement Academy Director’s Award this semester for her academic accomplishments and active participation in university events.
“I have learned a lot during my one semester at the AABP and I feel ready to conquer my major. I developed many language skills and my own study method. Also, being the vice president of the AABP Club taught me leadership and problem-solving skills. My AABP semester was the best start to university life, as it builds a foundation that prepares you for what is to come.”
The award winner also offered her fellow students some advice. She said: “What I learned the most this semester was time management, which I know will help me in my university journey. We can alleviate study pressure if we are able to manage our time wisely and divide our efforts on courses.”
While the semester came with its own set of challenges, it was evident that students were able to come out of this experience with a wealth of knowledge and a set of skills that are vital for them to pursue their majors in Spring 2021.
“I learned to be patient and responsible for my studies since everything was done online. I faced internet connectivity issues especially as I was working from Kuwait, I did not have a designated study area at home, and I faced many interruptions. However, I managed to overcome all that and here I am today. This was quite an exciting semester for me at AABP and I am looking forward to starting my major,” said Mona Al-Ali, a chemical engineering student.
Mohammed Ahmed, President of the AABP Club, congratulated the students who were honored in the ceremony. “I hope they see these awards as a source of motivation. This just goes to prove that hard work is always awarded.”
Ahmed added: “One of the major challenges that most students faced was time management, and the pressure that comes from being in your first year of college. However, with time and with university preparation classes, we managed to build time schedules where students can organize themselves and decrease any stress they may face.”
Since all classes were offered remotely, the AABP instructors developed new ways to ensure that students remained engaged and enjoyed their university experience. This was especially important for students starting their first year of university.
“Our key priority was to make sure that students who registered in the AABP for Fall 2020 would have a fulfilling and enjoyable experience to help them achieve their learning outcomes. The instructors spent time during July and August attending training and courses to upskill so that they were ready to offer the AABP students the very best online learning experience possible. In our planning stages, consideration was given to adapting our syllabi and assessment tools to ensure they were suited to online delivery mode,” said Jessica March, Director of the Achievement Academy at AUS.
Among the steps taken were working with former student volunteers and the AABP Student Council Representative to offer a wide range of online workshops and events to help students navigate the challenges of the semester. Mentoring programs were also activated to support students through their journey. To help maintain a sense of community, informal quiz nights were held every Wednesday, and the weekly news program “Bridge News Network” was launched.
For more information about the Achievement Academy Bridge Program and to read about its students’ successes, please visit www.aus.edu/achievement-academy/bridge-program.