What is Gateway to College at STCC? On STCC Around, former Gateway student Mahailey Butler describes how the program changed her life. Academic counselor Anita Gallers gives an overview of the program, which is accepting applications for the fall semester

Anita says, “We’re an alternative high school program for students in Springfield who have faced challenges in a traditional high school setting or for whom traditional high school is just not working. We know there’s no one-size-fits-all for education, and some people need something a little bit different. Our students take classes at the college and earn credits for their high school requirements at the same time as they’re earning transferrable college credits or placement.

Anita Gallers and Mahailey Butler at STCC.
Anita Gallers, left, and Mahailey Butler at STCC in January 2020.

“So, it’s a great opportunity for students to earn college credits while they’re in high school, and it’s a particularly good opportunity for students who may be behind in credits because of the challenges they’ve experienced, or they’re not on track to graduate on time,” Anita adds.

“It’s a scholarship program. It’s free to the student and the student’s family. It’s a partnership between the Springfield public schools and the college. It’s free to the students. We just expect students to work very hard for that scholarship, so they’re earning that scholarship every day through their hard work in the program,” Anita says.

Mahailey says, “I found out about Gateway from my brother, a STCC student, about a year after I had to drop out of high school. Gateway was amazing all around. It was such a warm welcoming. They strive to work with you, to help you out in any way they can, even if that’s just when you need a small break from the stressfulness of classes. If you don’t understand something, they’re always there to motivate you and help you do the best you can do.

Mahailey is currently a general studies student at STCC. She’s considering transferring to a four-year college or university, but she also might pursue another associate degree from STCC. She hopes to one day become an interior designer and own her own business.

“Gateway played a big part in me being able to push through everything. Without Gateway, I feel like I wouldn’t be where I’m at today,” Mahailey says.

Anita says, “Mahailey is just a model of perseverance, really. She is the student who never gave up, no matter what barriers or obstacles were in her way.”

Visit the news section of stcc.edu to read a feature article about Mahailey Butler.
Gateway is recruiting new students. The first step to apply is to attend an information session. Listen to Anita and Mahailey on STCC Around, the radio segment on WTCC, 90.7 FM, which airs each Thursday at 8:30 a.m.

You can register online to attend an info session. They are every Wednesday at 3:30 p.m. online. You do have to register for a session. Visit stcc.edu/gateway to register. Get more information about the program as well as registering for an information session.