Introduction to Almaarefa Colleges for Science & Technology (MCST)
The multi-sided dilemma higher education faces today in Saudi Arabia is how to plan for and implement new technologies how to absorb ever increasing number of high school graduates, and how to train, upgrade personnel, and maintain old systems without spending exorbitant amounts of money. At the same time, institutions are challenged with factors that include shifting demographics, rising student expectations, overburdened traditional government educational institutions, government mandates, and increased competition. Due to such factors; universities in Saudi Arabia are required to adapt their traditional roles, without abandoning them, to the demands of the information society of the future or to adopt a mix of traditional/non-traditional approaches to higher education.
Although the government has invested heavily in higher education, which has grown impressively over the last three decades, the human resources potential of the country is not fully utilized. Higher education needs to be expanded, both horizontally by establishing institutions in regions which lack facilities at this level, and vertically by diversifying the types of institutions and their programs in keeping with recognized priorities of the country and with recent advances in health sciences and technology.
While the government will continue to be the main provider of higher education, the urgent need for Saudi Arabia to meet pressing demands calls as well for an important contribution from the private sector. There is a favorable climate for private initiatives in developing higher education in Saudi Arabia, with due consideration to quality assurance regulations and mechanisms set by the Ministry of Education (MOE) and the National Commission for Accreditation and Academic Assessment (NCAAA).
Almaarefa Colleges for Science & Technology (MCST) is a private establishment of higher education, designed to fulfill a recognized public function, by meeting clearly identified needs in important domains for national development. By adopting an innovative approach to teaching and learning, by making intensive use of cutting-edge educational technologies, MCST attracts students from a broadly targeted clientele, namely high school graduates (both male and female) from the Riyadh region, from other regions of Saudi Arabia, and from the GCC states. It is also envisioned to attract expatriates’ sons and daughters who wish to pursue college studies. Also, MCST attracts Diploma graduates from various health specialties through a bridging program.
To be the most outstanding in the Gulf region in preparing the future leaders in its majors.
To prepare students to meet the modern professional requirements in the medical and computer fields in a technologically advanced setting that encourages initiative and leadership, provide a professional academic environment for its faculty, and excel in community services.
To qualify and develop professionals in the field of medicine, pharmacy, nursing, allied health, computer science and information system for both private and government sectors so they can make an effective contribution to the development of the economic and social sectors in the Saudi Arabia by achieving excellence in education through high quality teaching and using the most modern pedagogy.
MCST Colleges, Majors, and Degrees
Almaarefa Colleges for Science and Technology (MCST) consists of three colleges that offers the following degrees:
- College of Medicine:
- BSc in Medicine & Surgery (6 years + 1 year internship).
- College of Pharmacy:
- BSc in Doctor of Pharmacy (5 years + 1 year internship).
- College of Applied Sciences:
- BSc in Nursing (4 years + 1 year internship).
- BSc in Respiratory Therapy (4 years + 1 year internship).
- BSc in Emergency Medical Services (4 years + 1 year internship).
- BSc in Computer Science (4 years).
- BSc in Information Systems (4 years).
Accreditation & Recognition
MCST is licensed by The Saudi Ministry of Education and its degrees are fully accredited. The academic majors and curriculum have been designed and approved by King Abdullah Institute for Research and Consulting Studies (KAI-RCS) at King Saud University. The scientific references for these programs are international accreditation bodies, scientific associations, and top universities. More than forty experts with doctorate degrees, and medical boards and fellowship have participated in the design of College curriculum.
Quality of Teaching
MCST recognizes that a competent and dedicated faculty is the core of a high quality educational program. To this end, MCST facilitates the development of its faculty by providing an environment that nurtures individual efforts and professional growth. MCST encourage all its faculty members to provide high-quality instruction, intellectual contributions, and service activities. In pursuit of its mission, MCST continuously assesses its programs and improve services to all of its constituents.
The undergraduate programs aim to develop the basic skills and understanding necessary for success in a broad range of careers. To accomplish MCST mission, the curricula emphasize:
- The importance of quality professional education;
- An understanding of the global market-place;
- The ability to analyze and resolve ethical dilemmas and legal concerns;
- The ability to recognize and understand the issues of cultural diversity;
- The development of computer competencies;
- The necessity of effective oral and written communication.
Quality education is accomplished through effective teaching, which is the highest priority of MCST, complemented by intellectual contributions and community service. Effective teaching in the pursuit of MCST mission requires that the students are proficient in their field of study and must acquire competencies in the following areas:
- Critical Thinking
- Ethical Sensitivity
- Effective Communication
MCST Administration Policy
Entering students are required to satisfactorily complete the following:
- Provide The Saudi Secondary School Certificate or Equivalent (for the Scientific Track).
- Submit the Qiyas Aptitude and Achievement tests.
- Pass the MCST Admission Test.
- Pass the MCST Comprehensive Interview (for some tracks).
- Satisfy any other criteria put forward by the MCST administration.
Preparatory Year Program
Successful completion of the preparatory year is a prerequisite before the students start the professional programs. The purpose of the prep year is to prepare the students to be proficient in English language by teaching English skills at all levels. This is achieved adequately by providing intensive English language coaching at every level before starting the professional course. Courses like Medical Terminology ensure that the students have an adequate understanding of the language before embarking on the more intensive professional courses. Highly skilled native English teachers are recruited to ensure excellence in written and spoken English. Also, during this year, students study Islamic Culture, Arabic, Chemistry, Physics, Biostatistics/Mathematics, Biology, and Computer.
MCST Graduation Requirements
To receive a bachelor degree, a student must satisfy the requirements including a suitable number of a stipulated course credits, grade point average, and an internship (or a senior project, for computing majors), among others. The requirements are detailed as follows:
- Complete the credits required by the student’s chosen program of study.
- Attain an overall cumulative grade point average (GPA) of at least 1.0 (out of 4.0).
- Meet MCST general education requirements.
- Satisfy requirements in the College of the student’s choice.
- Meet the internship (senior projects for computing majors) requirements.