About 4,000 students began the new academic year earlier this month at Hadassah Academic College (HAC), in Jerusalem. The institution in the heart of the city known especially for its diverse student population and high rate of job placements of students upon graduation.
Over the last four years, the College has doubled its number of students—it grew by 10 percent in the previous academic year—and has the highest rate of student growth of any college or university in Israel. HAC recently opened its new Helmsley Charitable Trust Interdisciplinary Science Center.
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“Hadassah Academic College is poised for another phenomenal academic year, full of growth and exciting opportunities for our students and graduates,” says Professor Bertold Fridlender, President of Hadassah Academic College. “HAC students continue to excel and to build practical skills that position them for success here in Jerusalem and beyond.
For example, the current third-year student of photography, Ms. Netta-Lee Masuri, produced a short film on a 27-year-old friend challenged by Fibromyalgia, which is a chronic disorder associated with widespread pain in the muscles and bones, areas of tenderness and general fatigue.
“I produced the film within the framework of my studies at the College under the direction of Yitzhak Lerner and Shai Ron. I chose the subject as I have a close friend who struggles each and every day with fibromyalgia,” said Netta. “I looked for a way to explain the condition to others from the perspective of someone who while struggling with the daily pain remains strong and optimistic and embraces each and every day.”
HAC’s exceptionally diverse student population includes Christian and Muslim Arabs (both Israeli and Palestinian); new immigrants from around the world; Ethiopian Jewish students; secular and ultra-orthodox Jewish Israelis; and those with special needs. Women comprise 70 percent of the student community.
The College hosts Israel’s largest academic program to educate male and female ultra-Orthodox “Haredi” students toward rewarding careers in the public and private sectors. There are currently 900 students in the program. Bachelor degree tracks offered include Biotechnology; Communication Disorders (speech & hearing therapy); Computer Science; Management; Optometry; Politics and Communication, and—new for this year—Social Work.
As the academic year begins, HAC also notes that:
- 90 percent of students successfully complete their degree. Student focus groups attribute this to the high level of personal assistance provided to every student by both faculty and student counselors.
- Alumni surveys reveal that 85 percent of all College graduates find employment in their field of study upon graduation and that this high rate of career placement is equal for both Jewish and Arab students.
- For four consecutive years, a national survey of 10,000 students commissioned by the Israel National Union of Students has selected HAS as the top institution at which to study in Jerusalem. In January 2018, Forbes-Israel rated HAC as the number one college at which to study in Jerusalem.
- Over 50 percent of the College’s students are the first in their family to pursue a college education.