Access Academy

Access Academy

AUW has pushed me to discover my strengths and become a leader who will make a difference.

– Bayan Salaymeh, Access Academy alumna

Access Academy is a non-degree bearing flagship year of pre-collegiate courses focused on English communication skills, critical thinking, problem-solving, and strategies for lifelong learning. The program is designed to help students overcome prior deficits in their educational background and prepare for success in AUW’s Undergraduate Program.


  • Courses include: Computer Literacy, Geography, Language & Composition, Pre-Calculus, Reading Across Disciplines, and World Civilizations;
  • Features a required Leadership Seminar and Martial Arts training;
  • Offers opportunities for community service and extracurricular engagement.

Upon successful completion of the Access Academy program and passing of its exit exam, students will be prepared to succeed in the AUW Undergraduate Program. For a detailed overview of the Access Academy curriculum, pedagogy, and assessment methodology, please review the AUW Academic Bulletin and Handbook. 

I used to think in a very small box, but now when I look at a situation, I try to look at it from every angle.
– Sumayea Shafiul, Access Academy alumna

Student & Alumnae Stories

Shanah Khanam | Bangladesh | Class of 2021

Shahnaz did not finish secondary school. She left after 10th grade to avoid an early marriage and to support her parents, who are both unemployed.

Fortunately, AUW offered Shahnaz admission and full scholarship to Pathways for Promise. In this program Shahnaz received the English and mathematics training she was previously unable to pursue.

Shahnaz worked for a Japanese electronics company for six years before transferring to the Pou Chen Group garments factory. There she dreamed of advancing to a management position, but after six years she realized she needed higher education to reach her goals.

After successful completion of Pathways for Promise, Shahnaz entered Access Academy. Upon completion of Access Academy, Shahnaz will enter the liberal arts and sciences undergraduate program of AUW and eventually earn her Bachelor’s degree. In the future Shahnaz will use her education and experience on the factory floor to improve the ready-made garment industry from the inside.