April 10, 2019, TORONTO: On Tuesday, April 9, 2019, Dr. Yervant Zorian, Chief Architect and Fellow of Synopsys and Chair of AGBU Silicon Valley Chapter, and Member of the AGBU’s Central Board, met with the Zoryan Institute’s President and staff. Dr. Zorian shared how one of AGBU’s initiatives, the Armenian Virtual College (AVC) is using multimedia e-learning technology to make education accessible across Armenian diasporas around the world.  

Less than 1% of Armenian students attend Armenian schools in the diaspora and most have no access to intensive education in Armenian language, culture, history and heritage. In order to make Armenian Studies more universally accessible, the AGBU and Dr. Zorian developed the AVC to create a virtual learning community for students around the globe. When asked about the inspiration for such an initiative, Dr. Zorian replied:

“While globalization typically puts national identity and heritage at risk, the Armenian nation, which has been dispersed over a widely diverse diaspora, needed effective mechanisms to maintain and advance its own heritage. The AGBU Armenian Virtual College is one such mechanism to maintain the diaspora vitality by leveraging today’s state of the art multimedia e-learning technologies”

The AVC has various departments such as Armenian Language, Armenian History, Armenian Culture, Armenian Architecture and Chess. In order to best serve the Diaspora dispersed across the continents, the courses offered under each department can be taught in seven different languages: Eastern Armenian, Western Armenian, English, French, Russian, Spanish and Turkish. 45 full-time employees provide technical and operational support to this interactive educational program. To date, the AVC has over 12,000 registered students from 106 countries around the world all linked through this platform. AVC students may choose to earn credits for each course they complete ultimately, leading to the completion of a certificate, diploma or a master’s degree in language and history.  AVC students may transfer credits to their learning institutions worldwide.

After meeting with Dr. Zorian, it was evident to the Institute’s staff that there was real synergy between the two organizations where Zoryan Institute can be a content provider for AVC, particularly in the fields of Human Rights and Genocide Studies and for Diaspora and Homeland relations.

“With over 35 years of accumulated educational resources, publications, archival collections and syllabi, the Zoryan Institute would be glad to provide its peer-reviewed publications and well-developed educational programs for AVC in their development of future courses” 

 – K.M. Greg Sarkissian, President of the Zoryan Institute. 

To explore some of the courses and e-books that the Armenian Virtual College has to offer, please visit the link below: https://www.avc-agbu.org/en/.html

Zoryan Institute, a non-profit organization, serves the cause of scholarship and public awareness relating to issues of universal human rights, genocide, and diaspora-homeland relations. This is done through the systematic continued efforts of scholars and specialists using a comparative and multidisciplinary approach and in accordance with the highest academic standards. To these ends, the Institute undertakes and supports multi-disciplinary research, documentation, lectures, seminars, colloquia, and publications.

As an academic and scholarly center, Zoryan provides research assistance to scholars, writers, journalists, film-makers, government agencies, and other organizations.