Gateway to College
Your Connection to College
Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates: Gateway classes at STCC are online for the fall semester. Attend a live information session online and then complete the online application to apply for the upcoming semester. See the links below to register for an informational session.
Are you looking for an alternative to traditional high school, and an opportunity to attend college? Well, the Gateway to College scholarship may be an option for you. The Gateway to College program at STCC helps students who have experienced challenges in high school such as bullying, medical issues, or the negative consequences of high school social expectations. If you had to leave school before finishing, are attending homeschool or a school other than public school, or for whatever reason, the Gateway to College program is an alternative option!
Through the Gateway to College scholarship, students have the opportunity to complete their high school graduation requirements at our college-based program while simultaneously earning college credits. Students earn their high school diploma and college credits at the same time. Some also continue on to finish certificate programs, associate degrees and transfer to four-year colleges.
Gateway to College is a scholarship program funded by Springfield and Agawam Public Schools. The costs of tuition, books, and fees are covered by the scholarship. In addition, students have an academic counselor dedicated to their success. The Academic counselor guides students through the college experience, helps them navigate academic challenges, teaches organization and time management techniques, and provides referrals for college and community resources to increase student success.
Benefits of Gateway
- A chance to experience college courses with actual professors
- A chance to accumulate college credits toward a college degree, or a certificate program. Credits are transferable
- Access to on-campus resources (tutoring, library, computer labs, student clubs and activities, fitness center)
- A smaller school population with individualized support
- The course schedule is broken into semesters. Students take fewer courses per semester than in high school
Program Eligibility Requirements
This scholarship is designed for:
- High school students ages 16 to 20 with any of the following conditions:
- Students who experience challenges with the traditional high school setting for various reasons
- Students who are behind in high school
- Students who have left high school before obtaining their diploma
- Students who attend school other than public school for various reasons, including homeschool
- Students must read at an 8th grade level or higher
- Students must live in Springfield or Agawam, MA (Agawam is by referral only)
How to Apply
We are currently taking applications. Interested students must attend an information session to start the application process.
The following steps are required to apply:
- Learn more about the expectations and benefits of the Gateway to College program
- Have a chance to ask questions
- Allow us a chance to meet you and learn why you are interested in the program
- Receive an application and go over requirements
Zoom Information Sessions
In-person information sessions are canceled until further notice. Students interested in applying to Gateway to College are encouraged to attend a live online Zoom information session, this is the first step to apply. Please click the link below to register.
Can't Make a Zoom Information Session? Try a Prerecorded Information Session!
To complete a prerecorded information session, watch the video below and complete the review survey.
The application is lengthy. It requires a personal investment of time and effort. Applicants must include all requested information, including three formal essays. This information and the quality of the response provide additional insights for the selection committee.
To complete the Gateway to College Application you will need
- Three formal essays. Essay files can be uploaded with your application or typed directly into the application.
- Essay 1: (at least 300 words) Why are you interested in becoming a part of the Gateway to College Program at Springfield Technical Community College? How will the program help you to reach your goals? Why should the selection committee choose you?
- Essay 2: (at least 300 words) Perseverance is the quality that allows someone to continue trying to do something even though it is difficult, or simply, not giving up. Please tell us what perseverance means to you? Tell us about a time in your life when you demonstrated perseverance? What did you learn from this experience?
- Essay 3: (at least 300 words) Tell us about personal problems or challenges from the past that have interfered with your education and what steps you have taken to overcome them. (Examples of problems or challenges might include attitude, behavior, motivation, skills, support, need to feel accepted, cultural barriers, etc.)
- Contact information and email addresses for your parent/guardian, high school counselor or guidance department, and someone you want to provide a recommendation for you.
After you have submitted a complete application, your information will be sent to the school district for approval. The school district must approve each student in order to continue on to the next step in the application process.
You will be scheduled for an interview if you are eligible for the Gateway program.
Your interview will be with members of the Gateway staff. This gives us an opportunity to get to know you better and learn more about your strengths and motivations. You will have a chance to ask questions about the program. Interviews are generally about 30-60 minutes long.
Eligible students who have attended an information session, and submitted an application will be scheduled to take the college placement test.
- The college placement test takes about 2 hours and will assess reading, writing, and math skills.
- Students will need a picture ID and social security number.
This test is used to evaluate your readiness for the program, and to place you in the appropriate classes if you are accepted. Please visit to learn more about the college placement test, and how to prepare for it.
The Selection Committee will review all applications for the Gateway to College program and contact applicants with their decision.
With the help of my Gateway to College family, I was able to finish high school from an early college program. Their never-ending support and determination made it a little easier for me to get up every morning and never give up. I graduated high school with a GPA of 3.3 and I am now grateful to say that I’m a first generation college student!Linda Fernandez, 2018 Gateway to College graduate
We recognize the hard work and achievements of our graduates with video presentations from our commencement speakers, a list of graduating student award winners, graduate profiles, and messages of encouragement from faculty and staff on the Gateway to College Commencement page.
Special Education (IEP) Services
Gateway to College does not discriminate against students with disabilities. We request that students with an IEP or 504 plan submit copies of the plan with their application so that we may refer them to the STCC Office of Disabilities. Together with their families and doctors or other practitioners, students should consider whether the services and accommodations available on a college campus will best serve their needs.
Gateway to College Staff
- Katara Robinson, Program Director
- Anita Gallers, Academic Counselor
- Staff Assistant
Monday - Friday 8 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Gateway to College
Springfield Technical Community College
One Armory Square
Suite 1, P.O. Box 9000
Springfield, MA 01102-9000