"Gateway to College empowers youth who have dropped out of high school or are not on track to graduate to earn a high school diploma and college credit in a supportive college environment."

Gateway to College

Frequently Asked Questions

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  • How does the Gateway to College program work?

    Once you have been admitted, you will be assigned to a Gateway to College learning community.

    • A learning community is a group of 20-25 students who take all of their first (Foundation) semester courses together on the STCC Campus.
    • Foundation term courses are reading, writing, math, college survival and success, and academic lab.
    • After successfully completing the Foundation term courses, students transition into regular college classes.
    • Students enrolled in STCC courses will continue to earn both high school and college credit, as they work towards earning a high school diploma.
    • All courses after the foundation term are selected with the guidance of an Academic Counselor based upon each student's high school completion plan and educational goals.
  • What can I achieve in this program?

    Students can earn their high school diploma and earn a significant number of college credits toward a certificate or a degree.

  • How long would it take me to earn my high school diploma?

    Most students are in Gateway to College for 1.5 - 3 years. The exact length of time to earn a diploma varies by a student's course load and credit needs. Students remain in Gateway to College until they earn a diploma or turn 21. We encourage graduates of the program to continue their college studies to meet their academic goals.

  • What is expected of me?
    • Students are expected to attend 100% of their classes.
    • Students are expected to come to class on time, be prepared with class materials, and to complete all class and homework assignments.
    • Students are expected to spend 3-4 hours a day working on their homework (outside of class time). We strongly encourage students who have jobs to consider the time demands of the program.
    • Students are expected to adhere to all STCC policies and procedures.
  • What is the cost of the program?

    Through a partnership with Springfield Public Schools, Gateway to College pays for college tuition and books. Gateway students are expected to pay a one-time $50 program fee associated with their course work and college participation. A waiver is available if financially eligible.

  • What kind of support will help me be successful in a college setting?

    Students who are accepted into the program are assigned an Academic Counselor. Academic Counselors provide support and access to resources to help all students in the program to be successful. Academic Counselors provide the following services:

    • Transcript reviews and academic advising.
    • Assistance with completing enrollment and registration.
    • Referrals to resources, such as tutoring, counseling, student activities, health services, and more.
    • Personal counseling and guidance including assistance with problem solving, time management and stress management.
  • If I have been on an Individual Education Plan (IEP) at my high school, will I still receive the same services and support at STCC?

    Applicants who have received Special Education Services and who have an Individual Education Plan (IEP) in place may be required to participate in an IEP meeting in the school district. This meeting will involve a staff from the Gateway to College program and will help determine if STCC is an appropriate placement for you. We cannot guarantee that this process can be completed in time for acceptance for the term for which you are applying. Applicants can submit a copy of their IEP during the application process. This will allow the Gateway to College staff to review the necessary services in the IEP to assist the student and determine if appropriate services will be available at STCC via the Disability Services office.

  • Can I be considered for the Gateway to College program if I am still enrolled in high school?

    No. If you are currently attending high school, please consider staying in your school. Gateway to College only serves students who have dropped out and are not currently enrolled in school. You cannot be dually enrolled in the Gateway to College program and a high school or alternative education program.

  • How do I apply?

    Please review the Application Process page

  • How is the Gateway to College program funded?

    Gateway to College at Springfield Technical Community College is a competitive scholarship program funded through the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education which awarded STCC start-up support through the Massachusetts High School Graduation Initiative (MassGrad). Gateway to College at STCC also has a formal partnership with Springfield Public Schools. The cost of tuition, books and most fees are covered by the scholarship.