About the Program
“This program has opened so many doors for me. I’m finally excited for what the future holds.”
– Gateway to College student
In 2008, Front Range Community College received a $325,000 grant to become a replication site for Gateway to College, a national dropout recovery model developed by Portland Community College in Oregon. The Gateway to College program now partners with Adams 12, Adams 50, Mapleton District 1, Adams 14, Brighton 27J, Jeffco Public Schools and Front Range Community College to provide classes, support, and services for up to 335 students. The program covers tuition and books for up to 12 credits each semester, while students pay their student fees. Students must meet all program requirements to continue participating in the program.
A second chance for students
Gateway to College serves youths (age 16 to 20 years old) who have dropped out of school or are at risk of dropping out. Students earn high school diplomas while earning college credits, allowing them to progress toward certificates or associate degrees or earn transfer credits. Gateway to College students learn how to succeed in an educational setting under the guidance of a caring team of instructors and resource specialists who have experience with at-risk youth.
Setting the foundation
In their first term, Gateway to College students take foundational courses as part of a learning community. This experience builds their academic and personal skills, preparing them for college courses with the general student population.
During the foundation term, students take reading, writing, math, and a college survival and success class in which students learn how to take effective notes, study for tests, and juggle school, work, and family life. Later, students take a career development class to help them focus their academic goals and select a college major. They also begin taking classes on the campus.
Acting locally on a national problem
According to the American Youth Policy Forum:
- If dropouts would stay one more year in high school, the United States would save $41.8 billion in future health care costs.
- If one-third of dropouts would earn their diplomas, the United States would save $10.8 billion in annual Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF).
In the 2009-2010 school year, more than 13,000 students dropped out of school in Colorado. More than 2,100 of the dropouts were in Adams County.
Thanks to Gateway to College, students who previously were unlikely to graduate high school are now earning their diplomas and succeeding in college. They are pursuing college degrees and challenging careers, and are reinventing themselves for a better future.