Doha, January 17, 2016—Forty one new students were admitted to the Academic Bridge Program (ABP) of Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development (QF) this spring semester, raising the total number of ABP students to 184. The 41 new students attended an orientation session in the ABP’s LAS building in Education City to learn about ABP policies and procedures and to meet ABP administrators and faculty members before they started classes the following week.
The orientation session started at 9am with a short welcome speech by ABP Director, Dr. Bryan Lewallen. Dr. Lewallen advised the new students to take full advantage of the next five months, urging them to attend all of their classes on time and to keep up with their studies so that they are not overwhelmed at the end of the year. Dr. Lewallen pointed out that ABP’s courses, homework and coeducational setting will at times seem challenging to the new students, but that they should not forget that they have a strong support system— ABP’s qualified faculty and staff—who are geared towards helping them to transition smoothly into ABP’s pre-university system.
Assistant Director for Student Services, Ms. Moza Al Boainain, came next to explain the role of Student Services and to introduce the new students to the Student Services team. She went on to explain ABP’s general rules of conduct and policies (dress code, health and wellness, parking and traffic policy, to name a few). Ms. Al Boainain then introduced ABP’s Student Association and listed the different events and activities Student Services will be sponsoring this semester. She wrapped up with a list of the 13 available clubs students can join, explaining that, “many colleges look to see that students are involved outside the classroom, because this shows that the student is well-rounded.” She added that, “it is good to spend time participating in activities that you enjoy,” because “it provides you with an opportunity to meet people of similar interests and passions, and expands your leadership skills.”
This semester, ABP students will be able to join any of the following clubs: Social Service & Volunteering, Model United Nation, Photography, Robotics, Botball, Computer, Music, Walking, Science, football (for boys), Creative Writing, International Club, and Book Club.
Assistant Director for Academic Affairs, Dr. Mark Newmark, then gave a presentation that explained how students are placed in the different course-levels and outlined the proper procedure to address an academic question or concern. He went on to explain cross registration, which is “the process of taking a class at one of the six HBKU [Hamad bin Khalifa] partner universities in Education City,” adding that only some ABP students are eligible to take these classes. Most importantly, Dr. Newmark summed up the keys to academic and university success in five main points: managing time, organizing materials, getting help, acting honestly, and staying motivated. The ABP currently has 41 students enrolled in 47 cross registration courses.
Brief presentations were also made by Admissions and Records Coordinator, Mr. Hassan Zeidan, who talked about the ABP grading system and absence policy; the ABP College Placement Counselor, Dr. Marcie Linsey, who explained her role and talked briefly about how ABP will help the students with their college applications; ABP Librarian, Mr. S.C. Kumaresan, who introduced the library, its facilities and resources and its activities; and finally, the Learning Resource Center (LRC) Coordinator, Mr. Mutassim AwadAllah, who highlighted the many resources available to students in the LRC such as standardized test resources (for IELTS and ACT), English language support and tutoring in all the subjects offered in the ABP (English, math, science and computer skills). Students also attended a goal-setting session conducted by the ABP Student Services team, an orientation to their computer accounts and they were given a tour of the building.
Fatima Hilal Al Mohannadi and Salem Al Mana are new ABP students who decided to join the ABP this semester to improve their chances of being accepted in an HBKU partner university.
Fatima Hilal Al Mohannadi, who is planning to study either International Politics at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service in Qatar or Communications at Northwestern University in Qatar finds that ABP’s use of technology [online classroom] will keep her organized and make it easier for her to access lesson resources, tutorials, and homework/classwork she might miss if she’s absent.
Salem Al Mana came to the ABP to qualify for Mechanical Engineering at Texas A& M in Qatar. “The ABP helps us in many ways; both academically and socially. We have a place called the LRC to sit in groups and work or socialize with other people”, Salem remarks. “In my opinion, the ABP is a different world that is full of intelligent and enlightened people”, he concluded.
Meera Al Mohannadi, on the other hand, came to the ABP because she needed a foundation year to study in the UK. She was very interested to discover the LRC and the tutoring support that is available, in all subjects, for any struggling students.
For the past 15 years, the Academic Bridge Program has successfully provided an important link in QF’s complete cycle of education as it seamlessly bridges students’ transition into higher education. Serving as a gateway to the future for post-secondary students who want or need some development before they enter college or university, the ABP has helped more than 2600 young men and women to enroll and succeed in top ranking universities in Qatar and abroad. While the majority of ABP students enroll in the program during the fall semester, which starts in August, a limited number of students are accepted in the spring semester (semester two). Students enrolling for the spring semester start classes in January. With only a few months to go before university deadlines, the New Student Spring Orientation is essential as it provides these students with a useful overview of ABP’s policies and procedures, specific admissions goals to work towards, keys to academic success, and an overview of what their peers have learned so far. It also introduces them to key members of the faculty and staff who will be providing them with academic and personal support.
For further information please visit the Academic Bridge Program website: www.abp.edu.qa
, or the ABP contact on +974 44542120 /
To read more about this event go to the following links: the Gulf Times (pg7), Qatar Tribune, The Peninsula (pg6), Al Raya, Al Watan (pg 34),and Al Sharq newspapers.