Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia – April 27, 2015
The King Salman Center for Disability Research and Beacon College of Leesburg, Florida recently signed an historic Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) and Project Agreement, designed to further joint objectives to improve the educational opportunities of students with Learning Disabilities from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Dr. Sultan T. Al-Sedairy, Executive Managing Director of the King Salman Center for Disability Research, and Dr. George Hagerty, President of Beacon College, were joint signatories to the agreements.
As detailed in the Project Agreement, a first initiative involves developing and offering a new Transition to University preparatory program for students from Saudi Arabia, the Beacon College Compass Program. Beacon’s pioneering faculty will offer all courses in this new curriculum, which is expressly designed to meet the needs of contemporary students from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and which also incorporates the latest cutting-edge pedagogical strategies for individual learners.
One of the most important features of the Beacon Compass Program is the opportunity it affords students to experience “life on campus” and the mature responsibilities they’ll face as independent young adults. While a Saudi chaperone will guide and mentor students throughout their stay, each student will be encouraged to develop and exercise such critical skills as time management and effective study habits.
The MoU outlines additional activities and initiatives that will be pursued as part of the new collaboration. Well-aligned with the newly-finalized King Salman National Program for Learning Disabilities, the objectives of this collaboration will yield vital developments in pedagogy for students with LD in Saudi Arabia, ensuring that the most cutting-edge advances in educational strategy are introduced in Riyadh, the Kingdom, and ultimately the GCC region and beyond.
Dr. Sultan T. Al-Sedairy noted that “this strong relationship is a substantive commitment to the future of education in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and a signal that our patrons and Founders are dedicated to significantly advancing pedagogical capacity in the Kingdom.”
The President of Beacon College, Dr. George Hagerty, noted that “my Board of Trustees is delighted that Beacon is in a unique position to offer the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia matchless capabilities in pedagogy, and to open the door to postsecondary education to deserving young students from Saudi Arabia. We hope to become a destination campus for students from the Kingdom who are interested in two- and four-year accredited degrees from the United States, and we are substantively enhancing our resources and capabilities accordingly.”
About Beacon College
Beacon College, located in Leesburg, Florida, is “A Learning Institution Focused on Critical Thinking.” Beacon College was the first college in the United States to offer bachelor degree programs exclusively to students with learning disabilities. Because of its special mission, Beacon appreciates the importance of assisting students with learning disabilities in reaching their academic goals and in developing the critical thinking skills necessary to contribute to, and compete within, a contemporary society. Beacon College is uniquely equipped to understand the special needs of students with learning disabilities, and provides a curriculum taught by instructors trained in richly integrating critical thinking activities in classroom instruction.
About the King Salman Center for Disability Research
The King Salman Center for Disability Research [KSCDR] was founded by His Royal Highness King Salman bin Abdul Aziz, Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques. King Salman established this critical resource within the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to address the vital needs of persons with disabilities and their families, and to create cutting-edge international models for disability research, education, and support services.
Under the leadership of His Royal Highness Prince Sultan bin Salman bin Abdul Aziz Al-Saud, Co-Founder and Chairman of the Board, and Secretary-General of the Supreme Commission for Tourism and Antiquities, KSCDR annually pursues a broad range of research, professional development, awareness, advocacy, and policy initiatives.
A new, expansive, five-year strategy is outlined within the King Salman National Program for Learning Disabilities, which is expected to include the development of a normed Arabic-language diagnostic battery, LD training programs for educators, an ongoing transition to university program for students with LD, a national, electronic job board and workforce development training program for individuals with disabilities, a college for students with learning disabilities constructed on the Beacon College model, and a juried, bilingual journal of applied research in learning disabilities. The overall strategy was conceptualized by Dr. Brent Betit, an international expert on learning disabilities and member of KSCDR’s senior staff, assisted by the KSCDR expert team.
While valuing and aggressively pursuing high-quality empirical research, KSCDR’s leadership possesses the greatest esteem for applied research, and the application of innovative strategies and best practices that change the lives of people with disabilities today. Through the promotion, conduct and support of scientific research and the application of new knowledge to the benefit of persons with disabilities and their families, KSCDR will accomplish its objective to foster and support science that benefits people.
P.O. Box 94682
Phone: +966 (11) 4884401
Fax: +966 (11) 4826164