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Pathways Center for Education and Entrepreneurship


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Pathways Center for Education and Entrepreneurship

  1. 1. Pathways│Center for Education and EntrepreneurshipPazardzhik, BulgariaOctober 2010 Skills of the Future Delivered. Providing Skills for the Future.
  2. 2. Table of ContentsI. BackgroundII. Preliminary WorkIII. Opening Ceremony & Press ConferenceIV. Student RecruitmentV. Beginning of Classes 1
  3. 3. I. Background Skills of the Future Delivered.
  4. 4. Project Overview Angel Kelchev, an MPA student and Kokkalis Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, worked closely with a team of Harvard faculty and staff for a year in order to devise a comprehensive business plan for an education center that was submitted to USAID The proposed idea was selected by USAID as the winning initiative under the US-Bulgaria Partnership for Information Technology and Innovation. In April 2010, Pathways was awarded seed capital in the amount of ~$500,000, making it the largest USAID initiative in the country during 2010 Pathways ( was officially unveiled in Pazardzhik, Kelchev’s hometown, three months ahead of schedule on September 21st, 2010 The organization aims to leverage significant resources through a multi-layer education public-private partnership. Pathways and its founders aspire to increase the competitiveness of Bulgaria’s youth in the fields of computer science, English language and entrepreneurship Pathways is working with diverse partners such as Microsoft, Cisco Systems, Athens Information Technology Center (AIT), Rotary clubs and many more The organization is open not only to students but also to professionals looking for opportunities for career transitioning and enhancement of their productivity 3
  5. 5. Pathways’ Offerings Pathways has two state-of-the-art facilities, focused on IT and English language The facilities feature three classrooms that address the needs of today’s most demanding students and offer up-to-date computer equipment, multimedia and software IT Center’s and English Language Center’s course offerings include: IT Courses Cambridge University ESOL Certificates MS Office 2007 & Introduction to Windows 7 First Certificate in English (FCE) PHP programming Certificate in Advanced English (CAE) HTML/CSS University Admission Exams Adobe Suite (Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Flash, etc.) TOEFL Cisco Networking Academy (CCNA Certification) SAT Pathways’ curriculum is flexible and innovative and integrates eLearning capabilities. It is complemented by a dynamic mentoring program, staffed by more than 50 high achieving volunteers from top academic and professional institutions from the U.S. and beyond In addition, Pathways offers seminars on business development, business ideas generation and career planning through Project LEAD. Pathways offers scholarships as it aims to ensure that people from disadvantaged backgrounds gain access to world-class education 4
  6. 6. II. Preliminary Work Skills of the Future Delivered.
  7. 7. Volunteers From the U.S. and Bulgaria Help to Assemble theFurniture at Pathways’ English Language Center … 6
  8. 8. … And the Newly Arrived Computer Equipment at the Same Location 7
  9. 9. Construction and Equipment Installation Work at Pathways’ IT Center 8
  10. 10. III. Opening Ceremony & Press Conference Skills of the Future Delivered.
  11. 11. Greeting the guests Left: Mr. Kelchev, Pathways’ founder and CEO, and his family greet public officials before the commencement of the opening ceremony Right: Mr. Alan M. Trager, Senior Fellow, at the Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business and Government and Chair, Public-Private Partnerships Study Group, both at the Harvard John F. Kennedy School of Government, greets Mr. Todor Popov, Mayor of Pazardzhik 10
  12. 12. Mr. Kelchev outlines Pathways’ vision and Mr. Popov talks about thesignificance of this project to the community 11
  13. 13. Cutting the ribbon at Pathways’ IT Center Left & Right: Mr. Seiji T. Shiratori, Deputy Chief of Political/ Economic Section at the Embassy of the U.S. to Bulgaria and Mr. Kelchev cut the ribbon in front of the new IT facility Bottom Left: Mr. Shiratori gives a welcoming speech in Bulgarian to the dismay of the guests 12
  14. 14. Traditional Bulgarian custom of expressing hospitality and showingrespect by greeting guests with bread and salt Left: Ms. Michelle Barrett, USAID Program Officer in the Regional Support Center in Budapest, and Mr. Shiratori are the first to tour the new facilities Bottom: Mrs. Katia Alexieva, USAID representative at the Embassy of the U.S. to Bulgaria 13
  15. 15. Tour of Pathways’ IT Center 14
  16. 16. Tour of Pathways’ English Language Center All: The English Language Center features two state-of-the-art classrooms, equipped with multimedia and modern computers 15
  17. 17. Pathways’ press conference Left: Mr. Shiratori shares his ambitions for Pathways with the media and talks about USAID’s commitment to the region Right: Mr. Trager outlines the involvement of multiple partners in the process and the achievements and ambitions of the Pathways’ team. Ms. Yanachkova, Pathways’ Manager of Business Development, was in charge of the ceremony and translated for Mr. Trager 16
  18. 18. IV. Student Recruitment Skills of the Future Delivered.
  19. 19. Pathways Reaches Prospective Students Through MultipleInformation Sessions at Local High Schools Left: Presentation on Pathways’ offerings to students from the Language High School of Pazardzhik Right: Prospective students pick up Pathways applications at the end of an information session 18
  20. 20. Project LEAD, a Pilot Project on Business Planning and CareerDevelopment, Implemented by Ms. Krasteva of the MIT Sloan School 19
  21. 21. V. Beginning of Classes Skills of the Future Delivered.
  22. 22. Pathways’ Incoming Class Pathways received more that 100 applications in its first operating cycle The applicants have all been recommended by instructors from local high schools or from current employers After careful screening of the application pool, including in-person interviews, Pathways commenced operations with 65 students in eight classes 27 students were offered full scholarships made possible by the generous support of the American people through USAID Class Profile Male/Female Ratio IT/English Classes Ratio Students per Course (1) MS Office, 5 SAT, 5 TOEFL, 6 HTML/CSS, 7 Male English 43% Classes IT CAE, 11 Female 46% Adobe, 11 Classes 57% 54% FCE, 10 Cisco, 12 (1) Total exceeds 60 students as some students are registered for more than one class 21
  23. 23. FCE Students Receive Their Textbooks 22
  24. 24. First FCE Lesson Left: Mrs. Dureva and her students practicing reading comprehension in preparation for the First Certificate in English (FCE) exam Right: The lesson also features a listening comprehension exercise while utilizing modern computer equipment and multimedia 23
  25. 25. Pathways Offers a Challenging Working Environment and Providesthe Tools Necessary for Students to Succeed 24
  26. 26. First CCNA Lesson Top: Mr. Stoitzev, a student at Sofia University and winner of the National Olympiad in Information Technologies in 2010, teaches the highly popular CCNA class 25
  27. 27. 7A Cherven Stoyan Office of Press Relations Pazardzhik – 4400 Ronald Reagan Building Bulgaria Washington, D.C. 20523-0016 T: +359-34-919-495 T: 202-712-4320 W: F: 202-216-3524 W: www.usaid.govThis presentation is made possible by the generous support of the American people through the United StatesAgency for International Development (USAID). The contents are the responsibility of Pathways and do not necessarily reflect the views of USAID or the United States Government.