U.S. Consul General Donald Blome Delivers Commencement Address for Al-Quds Bard College Graduates

On Tuesday, 118 young Palestinians graduated from the Al-Quds Bard College (AQB) – a joint U.S.-Palestinian educational partnership providing enhanced opportunities for students to study the liberal arts.  The U.S. Consulate General and USAID have supported AQB by launching the Masters of Arts in Teaching program and funding full scholarships for outstanding Palestinian students.

In his commencement remarks, Consul General Donald Blome expressed his congratulations:  “The U.S. connection to the Palestinian people is a deep one, and the Al-Quds Bard Program is a partnership between the United States and the Palestinian people that is just one example of how we are working together to achieve educational excellence and a bright future for you and all Palestinian students.  The Consulate General strongly supports this, and we continue to fund scholarships for Palestinian students to attend this prestigious college and to participate in educational exchange opportunities in the United States and regionally.”

USAID, through collaboration with Bard College and Al-Quds University, introduced the first joint Palestinian-American Masters of Arts in Teaching Program in the West Bank which emphasizes improving teaching methods in schools through a focus on student-centered approaches.  Approximately 380 scholars received USAID-funded scholarships for this program.  Tuesday’s ceremony marks the graduation of the 5th cohort of teachers, with the 6th graduating next summer.

In addition to the USAID scholarships, the Consulate General provided full academic scholarships to10 Palestinian students in 2009 when AQB opened its liberal arts program.  This year, the U.S. Consulate will fund 10 additional Al-Quds Bard College Access Scholarships.  These scholarships will be awarded to bright, academically promising graduates of the high school-level English Access Microscholarship program.  Scholarship recipients will receive four years of tuition funding to attend AQB, with the possibility to study for one semester at Bard College in New York.

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For more information please contact the U.S. Consulate General’s Press Office at 02-622-6908