Pre-Academic Preparatory Program
in Computer Sciences for Arab Youth
A unique MTA initiative
The MTA pre-academic preparatory program in Kfar Qasim represents a significant attempt to make computer science studies accessible to the Arab population, who typically do not have direct access to academic studies in this field. The strength of the pre-academic preparatory program lies in its provision of a supporting envelope that specifically addresses the difficulties Arab youth face when seeking to undertake academic studies in the field of computer sciences. On the one hand, the program offers a direct route to computer science studies, by bypassing the standard requirement for a psychometric test. On the other hand, it increases the chances that its participants will successfully complete their first year of study, during which most students drop out due to its demanding curriculum.
Israel’s Arab community, comprising 20% of the state’s population, has for years suffered from governmental neglect. With over 57% unemployed and more than 50% under the poverty line, it is one of the most disadvantaged communities in the country today. Higher education can help close this socio-economic gap by opening the door to new and more profitable career paths. MTA's tailored Pre-Academic Preparatory Program in Computer Sciences for Arab Youth is a direct response to this pressing need. It does so by providing the knowledge and skills needed to enter lucrative undergraduate tracks that pave the way to a fruitful career in Israel’s booming high-tech industry. This program also answers the great demand in Israel’s fastest-growing industry for highly skilled workers.
A collaboration with the Kfar Qasim Economic Company, the Pre-Academic Preparatory Program in Computer Sciences for Arab Youth includes courses in math, English, computer science and information systems and academic enrichment studies. The one-year, intensive (32 hours per week) program is set to open in January 2020 in Kfar Qasim. Operating the program in the Arab village of Kfar Qasim, near the students' homes, will help the students deal not only with the challenging and complex curriculum but also with linguistic, social and cultural obstacles, which often prevent them from realizing their potential.
MTA's School of Computer Science is one of the most prestigious in Israel. A hub of groundbreaking research, the school boasts an alumni body that accounts for ~10% of the professional workforce in Israel's high-tech sector, many in leadership roles. Participants who obtain sufficient grades in the pre-academic preparatory program are immediately accepted to MTA’s graduate programs in computer science or information systems.
MTA is establishing this unique pre-academic preparatory program as part of its vision to integrate minority groups in Israeli society out of the desire to bring into fruition the forging of a cohesive society whose members strive together toward common goals. The program will bridge financial and social gaps by paving the way for underprivileged talented Arab youth to the highly profitably high-tech industry. This will strengthen Israel's economy and society by reducing unemployment rates and, at the same time, provide highly competent workers to a thriving, high-paying, labor-intensive sector eager for workers.