Gateway to College Doubles Reach in New England

Proven Early College Program to Double its Reach in New England

Gateway to College National Network president outlines a funding opportunity for new partnerships between New England colleges and K–12 school districts.

Nearly 15 years ago, Gateway to College National Network (GtCNN) began replicating an innovative early college program featuring intensive support for 16- to 21-year-olds who have dropped out of high school or are not on track to graduate. Since that time, dozens of additional communities have come to appreciate the needs of the nearly one million young people who leave high school without a diploma each year. The Gateway program has been replicated in more than 40 communities and GtCNN now spans 21 states.

While the challenge of youth disconnection remains, Gateway to College programs have demonstrated a pathway back to education and renewed hope for thousands of vulnerable youth who have not only completed high school, but graduated with more than 20 college credits and momentum toward college and career success.

Mount Wachusett Community College in Gardner, Massachusetts, launched the first New England-based Gateway to College program in 2006, and since that time, the program has expanded statewide, providing the only early college option to out-of-school and off-track high school students in the region. Six communities in Massachusetts currently offer the Gateway to College program as an opportunity for struggling school students to return to education through a college-based program. However, with more than 160,000 disconnected youth in New England, more programs are needed.

Thanks to generous support from the Barr Foundation, GtCNN is poised to double the number of communities in New England offering this program by 2018, and we are pleased to announce a Request for Applications (RFA) for a new round of funding and technical assistance to launch three Gateway to College programs in New England.

Gateway to College National Network (GtCNN) invites applications from colleges, school districts, and charter schools across New England interested in forming new partnerships that would begin to serve students in fall 2018. Through this application, communities will receive $150,000 in funding for planning and initial program start-up costs, as well as no-cost training, coaching, and technical assistance from GtCNN during an 18-month planning and implementation period.

Gateway to College is pleased to announce a Request for Applications for a new round of funding and technical assistance to launch three Gateway to College programs in New England.

Applications are due to GtCNN by June 30. Information about the RFA, supplemental materials, and upcoming webinars can be found at gatewaytocollege.org/new-england-rfa.

Gateway to College programs, once they are serving students, are sustainable through local partnerships, leveraging K–12 per-pupil funding and the facilities of postsecondary institutions to deliver supportive, high-quality, alternative pathways to young people who are unlikely to achieve success in traditional high schools.

GtCNN is proud to partner with Barr, and we appreciate the close alignment with the Foundation’s new education strategies (announced in March 2016), focused on connecting students throughout New England to success in high school and beyond. In particular, GtCNN encourages communities to recognize that, in order to effectively prepare all students for high school completion and postsecondary success, multiple pathways are crucial for meeting the diverse needs of their students—a strategy reflected in Barr’s support of personalized learning.

Early college and similar dual-enrollment partnerships are increasingly being recognized across New England and around the nation as excellent strategies to increase college readiness and postsecondary matriculation for first-generation and low-income students. And, at the same time, many communities and states have established priorities to re-engage students who have dropped out of high school or who are not on track to graduate.

As these two key movements gain traction in New England, GtCNN is eager to assist communities in addressing both priorities with one effective, sustainable program model.

Gateway to College National Network

GtCNN is a national, college-based dual-enrollment program for off-track and out-of-school youth. It designs and supports programs and initiatives aimed at building pathways for disconnected youth to earn a high school diploma and meaningful college credential. GtCNN is the national leader in bridging the aspiration and attainment gap for our most vulnerable young people.

Gateway to College New England

In 2017 GtCNN selected two new Gateway sites in New England at Roger Williams University in Providence, RI and at North Shore Community College in Lynn, MA. These new programs join the existing six Gateway programs in Massachusetts: Brockton (Massasoit Community College), Central Massachusetts (Mount Wachusett Community College and Quinsigamond Community College), the South Coast (Bristol Community College), and the Pioneer Valley (Holyoke Community College and Springfield Technical College). Collectively, these eight sites will serve more than 600 students, and the sites are supported by a new GtCNN position of New England Regional Director.

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Gateway to College President Emily Froimson

Emily Froimson

Guest Author · President, Gateway to College National Network