"What we're really doing is offering the students an opportunity to sharpen their skills in computer and data science, but also in innovation and how to be entrepreneurial,"
The initial program was madey displaced people, Fadel says, as well as to qualified citizens of Jordan. The organizers made extra efforts to promote the program to women, and because access to records can be difficult for displaced people, applying to the program does not require transcripts or standardized test scores.
The program includes five online courses - two in computer science, and one each in data science, innovation, and leadership. The courses will be taught by a combination of MIT faculty and students, both live and on the edX platform.
The concept was initially created under the leadership of Admir Masic, the Esther and Harold E. Edgerton Career Development Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, who as a child was a refugee from Bosnia and Herzegovina whose family fled to a refugee camp in Croatia. He then lived in Germany and Italy, where he earned his college degrees. "I know firsthand that a good education is the ticket to a better life," he says.