What is Academia program?

What is the Academia program?

The Academia program is a unique program of higher education for residents of periphery communities . The program was established in 2000 in collaboration with the Rashi Foundation with the goal of providing residents of these communities with real equality of opportunity for attaining an academic degree. The program guides the students during high school, military/national service and undergraduate studies – until receiving the degree.


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The vision

The Academia program is based on a vision of a healthy and sound society. Education is one of the key socialization processes to eliminating the social gaps that exist in Israeli society which are passed on from generation to generation. Through the students' personal advancement, both their home communitiea the society as a whole will become stronger.

Epictetus expressed this well:
"We must not believe the many, who say that only free people ought to be educated, but we should rather believe the philosophers who say that only the educated are free."


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The objective

The supreme objective of the Academia program is for all of the participating students to attain an academic degree. In order to achieve this goal, we have set these interim goals:

v      Attaining a full and high-quality matriculation certificate that enables entry to an academic institution, in general, and to the desired faculties, in particular.  

v      Boosting the self-confidence of the students

v      Increasing motivation for self-advancement and higher education



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The values

In the Academia program, we believe in a tolerant educational approach that is expressed in the following ways:

v      Boosting the students’ self- esteem and developing their motivation to succeed.

v      Increasing the students' sensitivity to their surroundings and society and developing an ability to give, which will be translated into social action and contribution in the community.


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How does the Academia program work?

During high school:

The program works by identifying the communities and schools in need of assistance through two main parameters:

§         The extent of  need for support within the education system according to  statistical data

§        Communities and schools with the highest chance for collaboration

Identifying the school  coordinator to the  following criteria:

§         A significant and dominant figure in the school environment

§         A sensitive and tolerant figure who is very accepting and understanding

§         A figure who is ready to take on a lot of intensive work


Creating an Academia class (home room) for students recommended by the school run according to the following criteria:

ü       Students whose  learning potential that has not been fulfilled

ü      Students with  motivation and desire who make an effort in order to succeed

ü      Students coming from a middle-class or lower socio-economic background

ü       Students who pass the interviews with representatives of Academia

How does the Academia class work?

The Academia class is a part of the overall school environment with its own special elements:

§         A personalized  track for each student according to his/her needs and pace 

§        Intensive reinforcement lessons according to the students' needs, provided by the teachers and students designated for the program

§         Individual tutoring on a weekly basis provided by students chosen for this

§          Building a “safety net” - a system which regularly follows up with the students and provides solutions for needs and difficulties that arise from the field

§          Touring institutions of higher education once a year

§         External workshops for students, tutors and parents


During military/national service:

Social action is integrated throughout the entire program and reaches a peak in fulfilling the civic obligation of military or national service. Those who are unable to serve are asked to find an alternative framework for significant social action, to be approved by the program's management. During the course of military/national service, the connection with the students is of a different nature:


·         An annual national seminar for all graduates of the program. Participants are exposed to  issues related to self-fulfillment in general and the academic area in particular.

·         An annual local meeting in collaboration with the unit that deals with soldiers in the community. In this meeting, the emphasis is on maintaining a closer connection – updates about the status of military/ national service, a detailed explanation about the next phase of the program and answers for specific questions from the graduates. In addition, the graduates are exposed to the community array of services for soldiers.

·         Telephone contact, e-mail and meetings according to the need arising from the field. All of the graduates who contact the program receive personal and professional attention.


Near the end of military/national service, workshops are held in the various communities, sponsored and initiated by the local authority. The workshops expose the options available to them in the community and facilitate the return to civilian life, with an emphasis on encouraging academic studies. There is a professional relationship between the program's director of academic studies and the relevant community unit.


During undergraduate studies:    
The Academia program maintains reciprocal relations with a number of academic institutions throughout the country. Graduates of the program are entitled to apply to any academic institution in Israel, as long as the institution is recognized by the Council for Higher Education and awards an Israeli academic degree. The Academia program works only with institutions requiring university tuition. In the institutions where the program operates, there is a contact person who guides the program's graduates. The program will encourage studies in these institutions.


       Graduates of the program are entitled to a differential assistance package, which is determined according to the judgment of the institution's steering committee.


      Each student is required to engage in social action throughout his/her undergraduate studies. The Academia program encourages "Perach" tutoring. Those who choose other social action are required to confirm this vis-à-vis the program's steering committee.


At each institution of learning, a steering committee convenes bimonthly to closely monitor the students' progress in their studies, in their social action and in their adjustment to the academic system. The committee guides the students until they attain their degree.


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