In March 2012, MALAG -the Israel Council for Higher Education (CHE) issued a call to all colleges and universities to propose special undergraduate degree tracks for "Haredi" men and women. The purpose of the initiative is to encourage the ultra-Orthodox to pursue a career-focused academic education while respecting their way of life, leading to full and productive integration into the workforce.
This CHE program (entitled "MACHAR") is viewed as instrumental to ensure a better future for the students' families and the Haredi community while strengthening Israel's economic and social base.
Hadassah Academic College was among a small group of institutions selected to pioneer this CHE initiative. The College's program opened in January 2013 with the first pre-academic preparatory programs ("mechinot"). After only two years, no less than 40% of all Haredi students enrolled in the national MACHAR program today study at Hadassah Academic College.
The College is offering six different undergraduate tracks. Each track is on the same academic level and with the same requirements as in the College's general program.
1) Biotechnology (3 year program)
2) Optometry (4 year program)
3) Computer Sciences (3 year program)
4) Management of Service Organizations (3 year program)
5) Politics and Communication (3 year program)
6) Communication Disorders – Hearing and Speech Therapy
(7 semester program)
Plans are to offer an additional track in Economics and Accounting (3 year program) in the next academic year.
Graduates will be awarded a fully accredited bachelor's degree from Hadassah Academic College.
Students begin studies with a one-year preparatory program ("Mechina") tailored specifically for the "Haredi" student. There are separate studies for men and women.
Frontal lectures take place on a separate mini-campus located at the edge of the Haredi "Meah Shearim" neighborhood of Jerusalem, just minutes walking from the College's main campus. Laboratory and clinical studies are conducted on the College's main campus.
Each student is provided with individual assistance to ensure his/her success. Toward graduation, each student receives career counseling to prepare for successful entry and integration to the workforce. The College is also cementing relations with relevant institutions in both the private and public sectors that can offer promising career paths and a welcoming work environment for our Haredi graduates.
This past academic year (2013-14), 500 ”Haredi" students were enrolled in this special program (285 in the preparatory program and 215 students in first year undergraduate studies).
Registration is projected to rise to 700 students in the current 2014-15 academic year including 300 students in the preparatory year and 400 students in first and second year undergraduate studies. Plans call for 1,000 students per academic year once the program reaches "steady state" consisting of an equal number of male and female students.
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