Gateway to College
Your Connection to College
Do you want to go to college, but aren't sure how to get there? The Gateway to College program at STCC helps students who have faced significant challenges and/or are behind, or may have dropped out of high school. Through our program, you can obtain your high school diploma and earn college credits at the same time. Many of our graduates go on to finish certificate programs, Associate's degrees and transfer to four year colleges.
Gateway to 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 also has a formal partnership with Springfield and Agawam Public Schools.
The cost of tuition, books and most fees are covered by the scholarship. In addition, you'll have an academic counselor dedicated to your success. Your academic counselor will guide you through the college experience; teach you about careers, organization and time management; and provide you with referrals to community resources.
Program Eligibility Requirements
- Student must be between 16 to 20 years of age
- Student must be able to obtain their high school diploma by the age of 21 (Or age 22 with an IEP)
- Student must have faced significant challenges in a traditional high school setting and/or be behind in high school credits, or could have dropped out
- Student must be at an 8th grade reading level (minimum) and meet other writing and math standards at entry level
- Student must be a resident of Springfield or Agawam
- 100 percent attendance
- Be on time, be prepared, and complete all class and homework assignments
- Spend 2-3 hours studying and/or doing homework daily
- Attend regular meetings with academic advisor and maintain close communication with your professors and the Gateway staff
- Respectful and Responsible behavior
- Adherence to all STCC policies and procedures
How to Apply*
The Gateway to College Program has an application process that requires a series of steps:
Step 1) Attend an Information Session
- 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
Step 2) Complete the Gateway to College application
The application is lengthy. It requires a personal investment of time and effort. All applicants must include academic history, interests, strengths, weaknesses, and commitment through three formal essays and targeted questions. This information and the quality of the response provide additional insights for the selection committee.
In addition to the completed application, applicants are required to provide the following materials by the assigned deadline in order to be considered for Gateway to College. Further detail is included on the application and Consent Form.
- Three application essays
- School district information form
- Consent form
- Transcripts from all high schools attended and MCAS scores (if applicable)
- Recommendation Form
- Copy of IEP or 504 plan, if applicable
- Copy of Medical card
The completed application must be returned to the Gateway office located in Building 16, Room 285.
Step 3) Obtain an appointment from the Gateway office to take the College Placement Test
After you have submitted a completed application you will be scheduled for an appointment to take the College Placement Test. 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.
Step 4) Student information is sent to district for Approval
After you have taken the College Placement Test, your information will be sent to your sending school district for approval. The sending district must approve each student in order to continue on to the next step in the application process.
Step 5) Participate in an Individual Interview (by appointment only)
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.
Step 6) Selection Committee Review
The Selection Committee will review all applications for the Gateway to College program and contact applicants with their decision.
*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 . 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
Jennifer Sanchez, Director
Garvey Hall (Building 16) Room 285
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