The "Access for All" program's Vision
The "Access for All" program acts to create an equal and just society, enabling every person to achieve education, to study, to develop and to realize themselves.
The "Access for All" goal is to bridge social gaps and to enable equaling opportunities by minimizing knowledge and education gaps, thus by providing basic essential knowledge to the program's participants in order to enable them to better cope with their daily lives, and as a means to expanding their operational options. More importantly, the "Access for All" program acts to empower the participants' personal capabilities, to develop their curiosity, to bring back their lost joy of learning. It also wishes to provide them with the will and the tools required to keep on learning and developing and to become meaningful citizens who take responsibility over their lives and act out of awareness and consideration for their own, their families' and their environment's wellbeing. The Access for All studies become a significant meeting point between the participants and the university's learning experience, the students and the staff – with their professions and world views – thus generating dialog between populations who rarely meet in Israel. This meeting enforces and enriches the participants and contributes to the education, the practice and the social commitment of the students.
About the "Access for All" program
The "Access for All" program provides an access to the center of power and public knowledge – the University – for all people; especially those who have no other way to reach this knowledge center. As part of the program, the university opens its gates to weakened populations and enables them to acquire essential and practical education in an academic environment. The program was founded by MK Dr. Adi Koll and has been operating in the Tel Aviv University since 2005, in the Ben Gurion University in Be'er Sheva since 2010, in the Hebrew University in Jerusalem since 2013 and in the Haifa University since 2014. 2,400 participants and 95 students are participating in the program in 4 universities in this academic year.
The "Access for All" participants, adults and youth, are referred to the program by the welfare authorities, and study in unique introductory courses tailored for them in the academic fields of medicine, law, business and psychology, taught by outstanding BA students. The participants arrive from complicated socio-economical background, after dropping out of other educational environments, and suffer from major knowledge gaps. The program provides them with basic practical knowledge in order to enable them to cope their joy of learning, and to provide them with the will and tools to keep on studying and progressing.
The "Access for All" instructing students take part in an annual academic course designed to train and prepare them for their teaching, and to deal with the examination, formalization and reinforcement of their social commitment. For their course participation, as well as their actual teaching, the students receive academic credits, based on the perception that academic education should encourage, initiate and advance the students' social involvement together with the democratization and accessibility of the academic knowledge. Furthermore, the weekly studies in the campus provide an experience of mutual exposure and learning between the participants and the students and their worldviews, thus generating a dialog between populations who rarely meet in Israel.
The "Access for All" operational model enables the utilization and leveraging of the knowledge gathered in the university, its enormous personal resources – its students and staff, and its physical infrastructure – its classroom, all during the evening hours, when the 'standard' academic operation is over. In order to minimize obstructions in the participants' arrival to the program, they arrive at the university via organized transportation, and upon arriving receive a light meal comprised of a sandwich and a drink. The uniqueness of this operational model is not only in its success to increase accessibility to education for the entire population, but also in being based on a 'thin' cost structure which leads to a high social return compared with the required budgetary investment.
The "Access for All" achievements in its 11 years of operation include: About 14,500 participants have graduated successfully thus far, while minimizing their dependency in the welfare services' support. Dozens have integrated into an academic degree path. An academic research has determined that the "Access for All" program manages to improve its participants' sense of capability in a clear and distinctive fashion. The hundreds of students who taught at the program throughout the years have indicated it has been the most meaningful educational experience of their lives. Many of them have changed their professional progression paths and turned toward social-professional directions. On 2011 the "Access for All" has been awarded the Knesset Chairman's Award for minimizing social gaps.
The "Access for All" Study Fields
The "Access for All" program is operating four departments: medicine, psychology, business and law. Each department offers an introductory course aiming to provide the participants with useful and practical knowledge required for their lives. The courses take place during two semesters and each course is comprised of a total of 24 meetings of 4 hours each.The courses' syllabi are created each year anew by the team of instructing students who examine the knowledge studied at the university and tailor it to the requirements, the characteristics and the interest areas of their participants. In addition, the participants are introduced to governmental systems and to private and governmental institutions and their operation. During the year each group embarks on an educational tour outside the university and meets with leading professionals in their relevant fields.
The Law Department:
The participants in the law department study in the “Introduction to Law” course which provides them with basic knowledge about the legal system's infrastructure, the different authorities, the rights and obligations of Israeli citizens and the basic concepts of contracts law, torts, criminal law, labor law, family law and more. Throughout the year, the participants conduct a tour to the Supreme Court and the Knesset and meet with professors from the law faculty and senior lawyers. At the end of the course, a staged trial is conducted in which the participants act as lawyers and demonstrate their skills to a panel of judges.
The Medical Department:
The participants in the medical department study in the “Introduction to Medicine” course, dealing with clarifying basic term in various medicinal areas: anatomy, physiology, pharmacology, etc. At the beginning, the students conduct an extensive introduction with the human body, its systems and their operation and common diseases, their treatment and the medical research conducted in order to find cures to those diseases. During the course, the participants learn about preventive medicine, hygiene; proper nutrition and first aid and are introduced to the Israeli health system and the patient's rights law. During the year, the participants conduct tours to hospitals, to different labs in the university's medical school and meet with doctors and professors from the medical school.
The Business Department:
The participants in the business department study in the “Introduction to Business” course, exposing to them the market's mechanism and the different components of the Israeli market. They learn about the banks, their operations and how to deal with them, about smart consumerism, how to manage their own family budget and how to start a small business.
The Psychology Department:
Participants in the psychology department study in the Introduction to Psychology course, dealing with the question "What is psychology?" and demonstrating to the participants its major branches: social psychology, cognitive, behavioral and physiological. The course exposes the participants to different theories by psychology's founding father, Sigmund Freud, and other known psychologists and illustrates the daily meanings of their theories. Additionally, participants learn about the practical aspects of psychology such as decision-making practices, group dynamics and different options for conflicts resolutions. During the course, the participants learn how a psychological research is conducted and visit an institute conducting different psychological researches.
The Next Step
"The Next Step" department was established in order to provide a solution to the need of the "Access For All" participants to continue to study and develop while they are part of the project as well as after graduation. As such, it is offered to the advanced participants and its alumni – both participants and instructing students.
Regarding the "Access For All" advanced participants, an emphasis is put on portraying the "Access For All" program as the first hurdle they overcome in a long and meaningful process that turns them from a weakened and dependent population into independent citizens with sense of competence and motivation for action. Based on the "Access For All" vision, "The Next Step" department focuses on the following goals: minimizing education and knowledge gaps by enabling accessibility to different programs and organizations via a process of inquiry, instruction and accompaniment; and creating meaningful citizenship, by leading a consequential process of transferring responsibility, developing motivation and providing practical tools which will turn the participants into independent learners even after their "Access For All" graduation.
Regarding the "Access For All" instructing students, the emphasis is on the establishment of community of individuals who continue to be socially involved as part of their daily routine, while focusing first and foremost on involvement in the area of minimizing education and knowledge gaps in society and enabling accessibility to higher education. Based on the "Access For All" vision toward the students, "The Next Step" department focuses on creating meaningful citizenship by examining the options to continue and contribute to Israeli society through the professional path the students choose in the future.
"The Next Step's" secondary goals are creating an intensive inquiry process for the participants about to graduate the "Access For All" program regarding their ambitions and the possibilities for their future; enabling accessibility by exposing the participants to their available options in the areas of education, occupational guidance and personal development; breaking the dependency circle of the participants and creating a sense of competence for dealing with mental, emotional and physical obstructions; and providing relevant tools for the participants, to help them advance and develop in any area they choose.
Board of Directors