Achva Academic College
|Achva Academic College|
|Officer in charge||Prof. Alean Al-Krenawi|
|Location||, Be'er Tuvia Regional Council, Israel|
The Achva Academic College is located on the seam line between the Negev desert and central Israel. The College was established in 1971 and is implementing a unique academic model which allows students to combine a B.Sc degree with thorogh pedagogical training which also includes a hands-on practicum experience. This model is set to effect a long-term change in the quality of teaching in general and the teaching of the sciences in particular within the educational system in Israel. Achva Academic College comprises three major units: the School of Education where students study towards a B.Ed degree or a teaching certificate; the School of Graduate Studies which offers courses towards an M.Ed degree, and the School of Sciences which offers the B.Sc degree in a variety of disciplines, some under the autonomous management of the college (e.g. Psychology, Environmental Studies and the Life Sciences) and others under the auspices of the Ben-Gurion University. Achva Academic College encourages a multiculturalist approach and a fruitful dialogue between members of different communities. This approach is manifested in the heterogeneous composition of the college’s student community and faculty as well as in its curriculum. The college currently serves 3500 students and employs some 250 members of faculty. Alongside its drive for academic excellence, the College also places much emphasis on making its physical and intellectual environment accessible to people with special needs. To that end the college has installed advanced technological accessories for the disabled throughout the campus, initiated individual mentorship programs and launched culturally adapted courses for various audiences.
Upgrading the teaching profession
Achva Academic College is at the forefront of revolutionizing the teaching profession in Israel. Under the leadership of its new President, Prof. Alean Al-Krenawi, the College is offering its growing body of students a unique opportunity to combine advanced academic studies with a thorough pedagogical training and a hands-on practicum experience. In this way, our graduates acquire skills that allow them to enrich and empower the teaching staff in their communities and to offer their future pupils an improved educational environment. Additionally, the applied Research Authority of the College endeavors to develop innovative workable models of instruction for the benefit of educational practitioners. These efforts are supplemented by the work of the Achva School of Sciences which aims to equip the College’s graduates with a solid scientific education that will further enhance their professional expertise.
Reaching out to underprivileged communities
The College is well known for catering to very diverse populations which are normally marginalized in Israeli academia. Orthodox Jews and Bedouin Arabs are among the direct beneficiaries of Achva’s inclusive admission policy as are adults over 30 who wish to complete their education. All students on campus enjoy a convivial social and intellectual environment based on tolerance and pluralism and are actively engaged in voluntary activities in the neighboring communities. Drawing these populations into the world of academic study and research helps to open new opportunities for them to escape the cycle of poverty and unemployment and to set out on a successful career.
Respecting the needs of the disabled
The College places much emphasis on the special needs of the disabled. Our technological learning center is equipped with innovative software to help these populations cope successfully with academic studies and special guiding systems have been installed around the campus for the benefit of sight-impaired students.
Protecting the environment
In 2007, Achva Academic College was declared a Green Campus by the Ministry for Environmental Protection. We are proud to be the first academic institution in the country to use a photovoltaic (PV) system for the production of solar energy. The college is now in the process of consolidating the final plans for the construction of a new section to be dedicated to environmental studies.
In 1971 the regional council of Beer Tuvia established Achva as a teachers training college in order to enhance the skills and qualifications of the educational personnel employed within its boundaries. The college started off with 50 students, gradually expanding and adding more programs. In 1991 Achva had close to a thousand students who were offered, alongside their pedagogical training, the opportunity to complete their B.A. studies though the Open University. In 1994 the college won the recognition of the Higher Education Council and was allowed to award its students the B.Ed degree. By the year 2000 almost 2,500 students studied at the college. In 1996 a fully fledged academic college was established on the campus alongside the teachers training college. This new college offered courses towards the B.A and later on also the B.Sc degrees in various disciplines under the academic auspices of the Ben-Gurion University in the Negev. By the year 2000 some 700 student studied at this college. In 2009 the Higher Education Council authorized the college to open an independent B.Sc course in the Life Sciences and in 2012 a second independent course, in Psychology, was opened. In 2013 a third course, in Environmental Studies is due to be launched. In August 2012 the two colleges merged into one – the Achva Academic College. This merger created a unique model whereby teachers acquire simultaneously both pedagogical and disciplinary knowledge in their field of expertise and are thus better equipped to carry out their educational work. The united college now has three schools working in concert: the School of Education which provides the pedagogical training, the School of Sciences where students pursue various disciplinary degree courses, and the School of Graduate Studies for advanced degrees. Alongside these schools the College's Research Authority endeavors to develop workable educational models. The College is presided over by Prof. Alean Al-Krenawi, a distinguished and widely published scholar who is the first non-Jew to be appointed to such a position in Israel. His appointment is a testimony to the College’s commitment to both academic excellence and multiculturalism.