During the Fall of 2010 I received an application from a young Saudi student, Hassan Alamer, attending Emporia State University in Kansas and wanting to join the MS in Information Technology Management program. Little did I know where his acceptance into the program would lead. The following Fall, four more of his fellow students from Emporia joined the MSITM program.
Since that first inquiry we have had several dozen inquiries and/or applications for admission to the MSITM program from Saudi students. It seems as though the St. Ambrose University MSITM program is approved by the Saudi Arabian Culture Mission for graduate studies in Computer Science. Students accepted into the program are participants in the King Abdullah Scholarship Program (KASP).
As KASP recipients, students receive full university tuition coverage, as well as full medical and dental insurance, a monthly stipend, materials allowances, and annual airfare vouchers for the student and his or her family to Saudi Arabia and back to the host country. KASP students are required to be full-time students and are expected to complete their graduate studies within two years; the MSITM program is a perfect fit.
Today the MSITM program has 13 active Saudi students. These students come from many different universities. Some come from US universities where they have completed undergraduate studies or ESL program and some directly from Hail' University in Saudi Arabia where their studies were in English.
The International Student Services has been invaluable in assisting these students transition to St. Ambrose University. Most appreciate the personal attention the SAU family provides, the safety of the smaller Quad Cities community, and a study program that fulfills their career objectives. They like least the weather–especially our cold, (sometimes) snowy winter.
Two students graduated earlier this year–Hassan Alamer and Omar Mashniwi– and five are schedule to graduate in May–Eid Alanazi, Yahy Alboukare, Jamal Alibrahim, Mohammed Alnemer, and Eyad Mubraki. We especially will miss these graduates since they are the nucleus of what brings an international dimension to the MSITM classroom. Their legacy continues with eight Saudi students accepted for the 2013- 2014 academic year as well as trickle down interest at the undergraduate level. In the Fall the Computer and Information Sciences Department will enroll five undergraduate Saudi students, many of whom have expressed interest in continuing at St. Ambrose for their graduate studies.
Assistant Professor, Computer Information Sciences Dept