Pre-academic programs have been active in Israel since 1963, with the intention to help weakened or peripheral populations to fit in optimally in the country’s social and economic life. Their main goal is to enable young adults, who do not have a full matriculation certificate, to improve their achievements and be eligible for admission to academic studies in higher education institutions in Israel (Source: Report of the Ariav Committee, the committee to examine the activity of pre-academic programs in Israel, 2010).
Pre-academic programs play an important key role in expanding the accessibility of higher education to all parts of the population, thus reducing social gaps. Moreover, these programs provide accessibility for sectors that are underrepresented in academic life such as the ultra-orthodox, Israeli-Arabs, or members of the Ethiopian community.
The Kinneret pre-academic program is one of the oldest programs in Israel, and has been operating for over 40 years. Within this framework, students can choose from a variety of study tracks, at the end of which they can gain admission to universities and academic colleges throughout the country. Moshav and kibbutz members, ex-servicemen, members of the Arab community in the Galilee, new immigrants or adults who did not have the opportunity acquire higher education, and young people from the center of Israel who want to study in the landscapes and atmosphere of the Jordan Valley on the shores of the Lake of Galilee – all receive the utmost attention and tools that prepare them for academic studies.
In the past, the Kinneret pre-academic program operated designated matriculation tracks, but the Council for Higher Education has recognized dedicated study tracks that replace the matriculation certificate for young people who seek admission to Engineering or Social Sciences & Humanities academic programs.
The program at Kinneret offers three distinct tracks:
- For candidates with a matriculation certificate: A program for those enrolling in Engineering studies – to improve proficiency in mathematics and physics, and an additional program for those enrolling in Social Sciences & Humanities – to improve grade averages.
- For candidates who do not have a matriculation certificate: A 9-month program in preparation for both Engineering and Social Sciences & Humanities.
- For 30+ candidates, turning to academic studies at an older age.
We have recently opened a new track for people coping with mental disabilities in cooperation with the Ministry of Health, the National Security Institute, and the Eshnav organization.
The pre-academic program is staffed by skilled and professional teachers, who prepare the students and help them succeed and reach high achievements in their preparatory studies and in the final exams, while providing personal attention to each and every student. Additionally, the pre-academic mechina program also provides a study assistance service, which includes remedial lessons, personal tutoring, and an individual mentoring project – all in an attempt to enable each of the students to achieve his or her goal, to gain admission to higher education, or to learn a profession.
The Kinneret pre-academic program operates under the supervision of the Council for Higher Education, and in cooperation with the Ministry of Defence Foundation and Unit for Discharged Soldiers, which provide students with study scholarships and living stipends, based on criteria determined by the Unit for Discharged Soldiers.