Like many seniors graduating this year, the Gateway to College Class of 2020 was disappointed to learn they would not be getting their long-awaited traditional graduation ceremony due to the global pandemic.  That made Gateway Program Director Katara Robinson all the more determined to give them special recognition for reaching this milestone despite the extra obstacles associated with a public health crisis.

Since Gateway to College at STCC is an alternative high school serving students who want a different experience from a traditional high school environment, it often attracts students who have experienced challenges in or outside of school.  Given the barriers many Gateway students overcome to reach graduation, the added challenges of remote learning, remote academic support, extra responsibilities at home and/or at work, and the strain of quarantine made these students’ graduation a unique achievement.

So in partnership with STCC and the Springfield Public Schools, Robinson arranged to deliver the students’ caps and gowns to them – with a special surprise: lawn signs celebrating them as 2020 grads, delivered with socially distanced cheers from the Gateway staff. Watch the video!  

Gateway to College is a partnership between Springfield Public Schools and Springfield Technical Community College that 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.  

As a small program, Gateway staff are able to provide individualized academic and personal support with a family atmosphere that helps students achieve.  

Gateway to College is currently taking applications.

Gateway to College 2020 Virtual Commencement