High school is hard. Academically, as well as socially, it’s hard for almost all of us. For some students, life’s challenges hit them early, making getting through to graduation even harder.
The student who missed a lot of school after a health crisis and is now behind. The student who is managing a difficult home life. The student who struggles with anxiety and depression. The student who made some mistakes and needs a fresh start. The student who is being bullied and doesn’t want to go to school. The student who just doesn’t do well in a traditional high school environment.
For all the students asking, “Isn’t there some other way?” Gateway to College is another way. A partnership between Springfield Public Schools and Springfield Technical Community College, Gateway to College offers students an opportunity to earn high school credits and experience college early free of charge. Gateway covers the cost of tuition, fees, books, and public transportation. In addition, students have access to all the supports and benefits available at STCC.
Gateway students take all their classes at STCC, earning transferable college credits or placement for most classes. Because the program is small, Gateway staff are able to provide individualized academic and personal support to help students achieve.
Gateway to College was a much needed change for 2020 Gateway graduate Talaija Lawson, who was not sure she would graduate after experiencing some personal challenges and setbacks. In fact, when she started at Gateway she was not on track to graduate on time. However, through ongoing guidance, encouragement, and support from the Gateway staff and her family, she graduated a year early. She attributes her success to better planning and time management, studying, tutoring, seeking extra help from her professors, and the many pep-talks she received from the Gateway staff. So for those wondering, there is another way!
Gateway to College is currently taking applications.