The University of Massachusetts Amherst

UMass Donahue Institute

2016 Publication Archive

MassGrad summary brief: The Gateway to College program

From the brief's introduction:

This brief provides an overview of the promising practices and lessons learned from implementation of the Gateway to College (GtC) program in three Massachusetts sites that received planning and implementation funds through the MassGrad initiative. The program enrolls youth between the ages of 16 and 21 who have dropped out of high school or who are at very high risk of dropping out based on indicators such as attendance or credit accumulation. GtC is an early college model offered at community colleges that combines targeted supports with academic courses to allow students to complete their high school diploma while earning college credit toward a postsecondary credential.

Funded by the U.S. Department of Education and implemented by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (ESE), MassGrad’s primary goal was “to substantially increase the number of students who earn a high school diploma.” MassGrad targeted the 133 schools from 76 districts that exceeded the statewide annual dropout rate of 2.9 percent during the 2008–09 school year. In order to receive funds, GtC programs had to partner with at least one of the MassGrad districts.

Through a competitive proposal process, ESE awarded three years of funding to Bristol Community College (BCC), Quinsigamond Community College (QCC), and Springfield Technical Community College (STCC). Each award supported a planning year followed by two years of serving students, although BCC only needed one planning semester and then enrolled five semesters of students. BCC began enrolling students in January 2012 in partnership with the Fall River Public Schools, QCC began in September 2012 with the Worcester Public Schools, and STCC began in September 2013 with the Springfield Public Schools. The awards also enabled the Gateway to College National Network (GtCNN) to provide technical assistance for three years.

Read the full brief. 


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