Princess Sarvath Community College
Guided by Her Royal Highness Princess Sarvath El Hassan, the Y.M.W.A has always kept itself abreast of the educational needs of the Jordanian society and has done its best over the past thirty years to address them. The establishment of the Princess Sarvath Community College in 1980 with the technical and financial assistance offered by GTZ of Germany was an instance of this response. The College aimed to provide a much-needed intermediate level in higher education and to concern itself with the improvement of the quality of education. Her Royal Highness, the chairperson of the Board of Trustees, advised from the very beginning that the College would be non-profit, catering primarily to the educational needs of young girls from financially disadvantaged backgrounds and that the specializations offered should equip them with practical skills that will enable them to be self-sufficient, able to earn independent livelihood.
The College offers a two-year academic programme which qualifies students to sit for the national General Examination of community colleges which is held by Al Balqa Applied University.
Initially, the College concentrated on specializations that were considered new fields for women such as Architectural Drafting, Bilingual Secretarial Training and Business Administration.
The College, being sensitive to the needs of the Jordanian society and the demands of the labor market, began gradually to add more disciplines and suspend others. Besides Computer Programming, the College now offers Arabic, English, Early Childhood Education, Special Education, Management Information Systems, Accounting Information Systems, Accountancy, Nursing, and Pharmacy. Adding new courses and suspending others is really a continuous process depending on demand.
Number of Students
The number of the students increased to become around 900 students. They come to the College from different areas in Amman by transportation offered by the College. The number of the graduates has reached so far five thousand. Some of them scored high averages in the General Examination which enabled them to join Jordanian universities. By a decision from the Higher Education Accreditation Commission, the number of the students has been reduced to around 600 students.
Administration of the College
A Board of Trustees supervises the educational policy of the College. HRH Princess Sarvath chaired the Board since its establishment (1980) up to 2009 when HRH Princess Rahma Bint El Hassan took over.
Community Service Courses
The College has distinguished itself in its resourceful response to changing community needs. Since 1989, the College with the cooperation of the Ministry of Education, the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) and the Association of Canadian Community Colleges (ACCC) has been working on strengthening and expanding the services of the Early Childhood Education Programme. Firstly, two teachers were sent to Canada to receive training in the "Learning Through Play" educational concept. Upon their return, they conducted a series of workshops applying the principles of this approach. Credit goes to the College for spreading this educational philosophy among kindergarten teachers in Jordan.
Secondly, in 1992, under the auspices of H.R.H. Princess Sarvath, the College focused its efforts on developing a national Learning Difficulties Programme, an area that had not received the proper attention it deserved. Ten teachers from the Ministry of Education were selected by the College and were sent to Canada to receive training, planned and supervised by the New Brunswick Community College in the above mentioned field. Upon the return of the teachers, a centre of excellence was officially opened by H.R.H. Princess Sarvath in November 1995 and the title which was given to this centre is: The National Center of Learning Difficulties.
The Center has become a national referral institution that combats learning difficulties (Dyslexia, Dysgraphia, Dyscalculia, Attention Deficit Disorders ….) by conducting short-term awareness workshops and long-term training courses in detecting and assessing learning difficulties and in planning individual educational plans to meet the particular needs of a disabled learner. Since 1998, the College, with the cooperation of Al- Balqa Applied University, began granting a higher diploma in learning difficulties.
Facts and Figures
1. Around 5000 students graduated from the College and passed the Comprehensive Examination. A handful of outstanding graduates were admitted to the universities of Jordan through the bridging policy between community colleges and universities.
2. 400 kindergarten teachers benefited from the 20 workshops conducted by the College in the "Learning Through Play" approach.
3. The College has been given a ten-year mandate to train Ministry of Education teachers in learning difficulties.
4. In 1996, the College devised a course of study that qualifies participants to become resource room teachers. Upon the completion of the theoretical training and the practicum, the participant receives a Diploma in Learning Difficulties.
5. 631 teachers attended the two-day awareness workshops in learning difficulties. The material of this core was prepared and executed by the College. This programme was eventually developed and expanded to become a higher diploma course of study in learning difficulties executed by the College and supervised technically by Al–Balqa Applied University. The obtained certificate is accredited by both the College and the University.
6. Around 1000 teachers thus far hold our Higher Diploma in Learning Difficulties. This Diploma qualifies them to become resource teachers or complete their higher education.
7. In addition to translating and preparing resource books for the higher diploma course of study, a battery of tests for the detection of learning difficulties have been translated and adapted to suit the Jordanian context. More tests will be adapted in the near future. Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children-III, which is a reliable intelligence test and an excellent learning disabilities detecting tool, has also been adapted and standardized.
8. 2000 children have so far benefited from the diagnostic services of the Center. One disabled learner has received remedial help at the Cenre's Resource Room. This service is most beneficial because it enables a disabled learner to receive help for a number of hours a week without skipping school, a student's natural environment.
9. The College, in recognition of its learning difficulties programme, received the first degree of "El Hassan Bin Talal Award for Excellence" in 2004. The College won "CIDA's Academic of Excellence" certificate for its learning difficulties programme in February 2000.
10. The College with the cooperation of the Ministry of Education called for and executed a regional seminar in LDs. Representatives of 13 Arab countries attended.
11. The College established the Arab Association of Learning Difficulties in the year 2000.
Future Goals of the College
1. To become a university college offering a specialization in Early Childhood Education and Learning Difficulties while remaining a community college.This will reflect positively on the College's reputation and boost the morale of the Centre's graduates.
2. To construct a model college building on a piece of land owned by the Y.M.W.A.
3. To make the Centre a regional centre offering services to the Arab region. It is worth mentioning here that the Centre has conducted many workshops in some Arab countries.
4. To increase the number of the trainers at the Centre and to expose all the trainers -old and new- to further training.
5. To form ties with similar centres with the aim of exchanging expertise and knowledge.
6. To issue a specialized periodical in learning difficulties.
7. To conduct regular meetings with the LD Programme graduates at the College to exchange views and experiences.