More than 500 students graduate this month from the Jerusalem-based Hadassah Academic College (HAC), 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 to 4,000 – it grew by 20 percent in the current academic year – and has the highest rate of student growth of any college or university in Israel.
HAC’s 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.
According to Prof. Alexander (Alik) Honigman, Chair of the College’s Department of Biotechnology, “Last year, we graduated our first class of 35 “Haredi” women. These wonderful students have either found jobs in industry or in public institutions. This year, we look forward to graduating a first class of male “Haredi” students, nearly all of whom already have job offers waiting for them!”
Bachelor degree tracks offered include Biotechnology; Communication Disorders (speech & hearing therapy); Computer Science; Management; Optometry; Politics and Communication. A bachelor’s degree in Social Work is expected to be offered next academic year.
HAC anticipates an increase in students next academic year as well, due in part to the scheduled opening of the College’s Helmsley Charitable Trust Interdisciplinary Science Center.