M.Ed Program in Advancement of Youth at Risk and in Distress

Program head: Dr. Liat Yakhnich

Education and welfare systems in Israel have been coping with youth at risk and in distress since the state was established, and even before. Youth at risk can be found in all parts of Israeli society – among Arabs and Jews; Haredim, religious, and secular Jews; Olim, migrants, and native-born Israelis; rich and poor; in strong socioeconomic surroundings, but more usually among disadvantaged groups and in deprived neighborhoods. Hundreds of thousands of children and young people in Israel are estimated to be at risk and in distress, many of them in disadvantaged neighborhoods, among minority groups, and among Olim and migrants.

This master’s degree program is intended for professionals who work with youth at risk and in distress in various frameworks. The curriculum meets the need on the ground for senior professionals and creates a framework for advanced academic studies in the field of studies in the advancement of youth at risk and in distress. The program deepens and expands the knowledge of those involved in social-educational work regarding at-risk and detached youth, as well as relevant aspects of management, instruction, and guidance in this field.

The studies lead to a master’s degree (M.Ed) in Advancement of Youth at Risk and in Distress.

Who is the Youth Advancement program intended for?

  • The Youth Advancement master’s program is intended for candidates who hold bachelor’s degrees in education, teaching, special education, youth advancement, informal education, social work, criminology, psychology, and behavioral and social sciences.
  • Candidates with degrees in other fields (e.g. law) will be able to take an individually-adapted course with a selection of courses from the B.Ed program in Youth Advancement.

Goals of the Youth Advancement program

  • To prepare the students to fill senior positions as professional instructors and counselors in the field of work with diverse populations of youth at risk and in distress in the education and welfare systems, as policy makers, and as candidates for unit management positions in frameworks such as residential schools, Youth Advancement Units, etc.
  • To enrich the theoretical and professional knowledge and expand the academic background of those involved in the advancement of youth at risk and in distress and in diverse rehabilitation frameworks.


The master’s program in Youth Advancement includes diverse courses and seminars. Selected courses include:

  • Foundation courses – characteristics of adolescence, symptoms of distress and trauma among at-risk youth in Israel. Shaping and choosing educational goals.
  • Policy and leadership – social policy for the education and welfare of youth and in distress in different population groups.
  • Skills in work with at-risk youth and in management – managing teamwork, theories and approaches to guiding workers.

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