Tel-Hai College, located at the tip of Israels northernmost periphery, provides excellent academic education that is accessible to students from across Israel. Opening the academic year of 2014-2015 with over 3,500 students, Tel-Hai is a leading public college in Israel that drives change and economic development in the Upper Galilee.
Providing a toolbox for success
The Support Center for Students with Learning Disabilities at Tel-Hai is a pioneer in the treatment of learning disabilities in a formal higher education setting, as it provides personal tailor-made guidance and support to students with a wide range of learning disabilities. This effort is led by a diverse team that combines a highly professional staff with student mentors. Students receive not only support in learning strategies that are designed to assist them in achieving academic success, but also life skills and guidance that follow them to the workplace and to the management of their personal lives.
For many young people undiagnosed throughout their school years, encountering the Support Center is a life-changing experience, the first time that their special needs have been recognized and treated. The program is made up of a series of components, the first of which is a rigorous pre-academic summer course that grants students with learning disabilities a head start, allowing each participant to enter the first year of college with a clear understanding of his or her disability coupled with a personal toolbox for success. This is followed by personal sessions with academic advisors and coaches, which grant theoretical understanding of learning disabilities and present the use of assistive technologies and applicable learning strategies for long-term success. Participants also receive treatment that involves identification of their individual emotional challenges, learn relaxation techniques, and receive emotional support and coaching, both in group and individual settings.
A core element of the ongoing support program is the student mentoring program that uses highly effective methodology of peer-based learning. Outstanding Tel-Hai students, some of them coping with learning difficulties themselves, offer academic and emotional support through weekly sessions. The student mentoring program serves as a critical platform of collaboration and support, an element that is central to Tel-Hais mission.
The Support Center is a model for other institutions across Israel, as reflected in the words of Professor Manuel Trajtenberg, Chair of the Planning and Budgeting Committee of the Council for Higher Education in Israel, speaking at Tel-Hai College in 2012: The concept of equal opportunity assumes a new and powerful aspect: the intensive, comprehensive and creative handling of learning disabilities. No other institution in Israel is capable of identifying and treating them with so much success, and with such tremendous dedication. I salute you, and I want to introduce your wonderful example to serve as the vanguard for all institutions of higher education in Israel.
As the Center enters its 20th year, celebrating with graduates who have achieved professional and academic success in a myriad of fields in Israel and around the world, the results are astounding. The College management and the dedicated staff of the Center are immensely proud of an almost perfect retention rate of over 98 percent, and over ten doctorates completed by graduates, with more on the way – in fields ranging from cancer research and computer voice recognition to social work. No less significant is the body of knowledge and experience accumulated over 20 years of work, leading to advanced research on learning disabilities that has made its mark on many young lives, realizing their dreams of higher education and a future of personal fulfillment.
For more information about Tel-Hai College, visit english.telhai.ac.il. or contact Rachel Sachs: +972-54-6780070, firstname.lastname@example.org
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