The idea of establishing the Preparatory Year initially originated as a "Preparatory Year Unit" at King Faisal University in 2008 at the College of Architecture and Planning, the College of Engineering and the College of Design. The unit was established as a means to achieve integration and cooperation among the three colleges, as they all share the same basic knowledge and skills. The Preparatory Year for these three colleges provided an opportunity for students to be introduced to various majors in the field of engineering and architecture.
During the academic year 1430/1431 AH (2009 / 2010 AD), and one year after
Imam Abdurrahman bin Faisal University (formerly Dammam University) became independent from King Faisal University in 2009 AD, the College of Computer Science (female students) joined the College of Architecture and Planning, the College of Engineering, and the College of Design, which were already under the supervision of the Preparatory Year.
Due to the university's constant efforts to develop its academic programs and enhance its endeavor towards excellence and quality, the Council of the Ministry of Higher Education approved the establishment of several supporting deanships at the university including the Deanship of Preparatory Year and Supporting Studies in its session N. (58) dated 3/27/1431 AH corresponding to 13 / 03/2010. The primary objective was to supervise prep-year students and to follow up the implementation of the Deanship’s programs in cooperation with the concerned colleges as well as the Deanship of Admission and Registration. The Deanship also continued to supervise students in the Colleges of Architecture/ Planning, Engineering, Designs and Computer Science during the academic year 1431/1432 AH (2010/2011)
The Preparatory Year programs, thereafter, have developed and become taught as tracks. In the academic year 1432/1433 AH (2011/2012), “Engineering and Science” tracks were established for engineering and scientific colleges. In the following academic year, 1433/1434 AH (2012/2013), the "Health track" for health colleges was also initiated. In the academic year 1437/1438 AH (2016/2017), the programs were applied to the "Humanities track" at humanities colleges. In addition, the supervision and teaching of the first year at the Community Colleges (Qatif and Dammam) were also assigned to the Deanship, and this was applied to other colleges as well.
The Deanship of Preparatory Year and Supporting Studies at Imam Abdulrahman bin Faisal University now accepts all male and female students admitted to the four tracks (Health, Engineering, Science, and Humanities) in addition to teaching first-year female students in the following colleges: (Community College in Dammam - Community College in Qatif - College of Applied Medical Sciences in Jubail- College of Sciences and Humanities in Jubail).
Leadership and excellence on the level of preparatory year programs.
Preparing students for university and professional life by developing their knowledge and skill abilities within an appealing atmosphere that stimulates creativity.
The Deanship of Preparatory Year and Supporting Studies believes in the following values that it adheres to and adopts in its activities and general policies: participation - transparency – sense of belonging and responsibility - creativity - team spirit - social responsibility
1. Developing the basic skills and scientific knowledge that students need in their future specializations.
2. Providing students with the 21st century skills.
3. Offering quality services to both students and society.
4. Providing continuous professional development for faculty members and administrators.
5. Promoting the culture of research, scientific publication and innovation.
6. Promoting the ethics and culture of Islamic and national values.
7. Developing the preparatory year program in a way that contributes to achieving the university's competitiveness and excellence.