Agribusiness Teaching Center
|Agribusiness Teaching Center of ICARE Foundation|
|Affiliations||Texas A&M University|
The Agribusiness Teaching Center (ATC) (Armenian: Ագրոբիզնեսի ուսուցման կենտրոն) of the ICARE Foundation was founded through the collaborative effort of the Armenian National Agrarian University (ANAU) and Texas A&M University and the support from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Marketing Assistance Project. The Center provides agricultural business education.
The ATC is established as a Department within the Armenian State Agrarian University and offers Bachelor and Masters degree programs in Agribusiness and Marketing. The curriculum is western-structured, based on the undergraduate and graduate (MAB) degree curriculum of Texas A&M University. Courses are taught in English by American and Armenian instructors mainly with graduate degrees from the U.S. universities.
Classrooms, the videoconferencing room, and the high-tech computer lab are furnished with modern equipment and technology, which gives the students a complete working environment for both classroom and independent study.
History of Agribusiness Teaching Center (ATC)
The Agribusiness Teaching Center (ATC) was established in August 2000 with an agreement between the Armenian Agricultural Academy (AAA), Texas A&M University and USDA-MAP. The first group of twenty-eight Armenian Agricultural Academy (AAA) students were selected for the first year to study at the ATC. Thirty juniors joined next year, among them the first two students from the Republic of Georgia. The first U.S university professors sent to Armenia to teach and advise at the ATC were: Dr. Daniel Dunn, ATC Director and Country Coordinator; Dr. John Nichols – P. I., program management and strategy; Dr. Tim Schilling; Dr. Carl Shafer; Dr. Emerson Babb; Dr. Bishu Chatterjee; Dr. Barry Carr; Dr. Verne House; Mr. Jack Cocks. Later, Rosemary Veneziale, and Andrew Matestic joined.
Dr. Daniel Dunn started his activities in Armenia on October 26, 1999 as the Agribusiness Teaching Center Manager. Dr. Dunn did much for establishment and approval by the Armenian Agricultural Academy of an agribusiness curriculum, recruitment of students and faculty. In addition to his everyday professional management of the program, he taught financial management classes and monitored an English language summer program. Dr. Dunn developed relationship between the Georgian State Agrarian University and the AAA, which resulted in making the ATC a regional modern agribusiness school.
Dr. John Nichols at Texas A&M University worked closely with Dr. Dunn in selecting and getting new graduate students enrolled in U.S.universities. Dr. Nichols played a key role in assisting Dr. Dunn and the faculty to develop strategy, plan and make decisions on the primary education, maintain excellent cooperative relationships with the Armenian State Agrarian University, as well as develop regional cooperation program with agricultural universities in the Republic of Georgia.
Academic Program Review of the ATC
Academic Program Review of the ATC by Dr. Kerry Litzenberg, Team Leader, Texas A&M University, Dr.Tony Dunne, University of Queensland, Dr. Chris Peterson, Michigan State University, and Dr. Allen Wysocki, University of Florida took place in May 2011. The Review Team conducted individual stakeholder interviews. The overall assessment of the Team was that the ATC has a unique and extraordinary agribusiness education program that serves the needs of many stakeholders in Armenia with a Western-based academic program. According to the Team, the USDA funding, Texas A&M administrative and curriculum support, Director Vardan Urutyan, and the dedicated faculty have been critical factors in ensuring the success of the agribusiness education program.
The Agribusiness Teaching Center adheres to western education values and teaching principles. The two-year curriculum is based on the Agricultural Economics curriculum of the Texas A&M University, with a privileged opportunity to fill the growing agribusiness and related job markets in Armenia, Georgia, and elsewhere. You can also proceed to the Master of Agribusiness degree here at the ATC or pursue other graduate degrees internationally.
Master of Agribusiness Program (MAB)
The Master of Agribusiness (MAB) program was launched in 2010. MAB is the first and the only specialized graduate program in agribusiness in the South Caucasus region taught in English. It grants a Master's degree from the Armenian National Agrarian University and a Graduate Certificate from Texas A&M University. This is a professional degree program exclusively focused on the agribusiness sector with an emphasis on combining economic, business analysis and quantitative methods for managerial decision-making.
MAB program offers high-tech learning tools combined with customized and individual-oriented teaching approaches. With no more than 20 students in each class and with personalized attitude, an exceptionally high level of teacher-to-student individual communication is achieved.
The program aims to:
- Increase the capacity of students as future agribusiness practitioners through an emphasis on research and applied case studies.
- Expose students to real business situations through engaging visiting professors, international and local experts.
- Strengthen the existing link between industry leaders and students through field trips, summer internships, and other on-site opportunities.
<< "The MAB program at ATC helped me develop from the junior I was into a young professional who is ready to walk and thrive at the international level among other students and colleagues from all over the world." Tatev Avetisyan, MAB graduate 2012, PhD Candidate at Michigan State University, USA >>
Internship Program at the ATC
The hands-on learning experience via local and international internships is an essential aspect of the outstanding education that the Agribusiness Teaching Center provides to its students.
International student exchange and study abroad programs are integral components of student experience at ATC. Many ATC students participate in exchange programs in Greece, Portugal, the Netherlands, and Germany, while students from the Western and Eastern Europe, the United States, and other regions complete internships or study at ATC every year.
Over 40 (fall 2013) ATC alumni have completed or are pursuing Master's or Doctorate degrees at reputable U.S. and European universities, while many others are on their professional career paths.
The ATC has now about 350 alumni (fall 2013). They add quality to the job market in Armenia, Georgia and elsewhere each year. The ATC Alumni and Friends' Association established in 2010 is becoming a strengthening factor for the growing ATC alumni network. The alumni reunions during traditional year-end picnics evidently indicate this growing power of the ATC family. In 2010, the U.S. Chapter of the ATC Alumni and Friends' Association initiated scholarships for the best senior and junior ATC students. In 2011, three students were selected by the U.S. Chapter.
The largest solar panel installment in Armenia is on the roof of the ATC building.
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