Engaging Partners to Serve More Students

Wednesday, May 13, 2015


In addition to the direct impact that our programs create in students’ lives, GtCNN supports more post-secondary pathways for all students in need, whether they’re enrolled in Gateway or beyond the immediate roles of Gateway programs. 

In 2014, GtCNN continued our work to establish a combined movement of the growing high school reengagement efforts and dual enrollment efforts, which have each gained important traction nationally. We advocated for greater high school reengagement efforts in all communities and high quality programs for reengaged students, providing them the same opportunities for post-secondary enrollment that are offered to on-track and high achieving students.

As a network born from inter-organizational collaboration, GtCNN is engaged in broad, collaborative national efforts that will help ensure that reengagement programs feature robust post-secondary pathways. Collective impact projects have created strong momentum for serving disengaged youth in dozens of communities across the country. In 2014, we expanded our support for these efforts in local, statewide, and national venues.

On the local level, we launched and convened stakeholder engagement projects in several communities where our partners work. In this work, we assist our programs in enlisting a broader range of local public and private organizations, all of whom have a stake in the education and career outcomes of all young people in their communities. We know that students have the best chance of success when given multiple pathways.

block-quote-2By convening a broad representation of organizations, we’re able to help school districts and cities better serve all of their students. An example of this work occurred at Essex County College in Newark, New Jersey, where GtCNN worked closely with Nikkie Constantine, the director of the college’s Gateway to College program. The Gateway staff at Essex identified community organizations whose work either directly or indirectly served students who enrolled in Gateway. We invited these organizations – which included school districts, youth-serving NGOs, community foundations, and Rutgers University – to meet at the college. We asked how we could move the dial to better support disengaged youth in Newark.

Key conversations and partnerships developed out of this stakeholder engagement. Academic advisors from Rutgers now visit Gateway to College classes on a regular basis to discuss academic pathways; two new school districts have the Essex Gateway to College program as an option for their students; and a pre-Gateway program has been developed to better prepare Newark Public Schools students for college success. When we work together with student success in mind, we all benefit.

On the state level, we have continued our work with education agencies and state-based networks to build support for dual enrollment as a reengagement strategy. In 2014, we focused these efforts in California, Massachusetts, and Washington. In each state, we played multiple roles: offering our expertise at early college and high school reengagement events, providing counsel to staff members of state education agencies, and taking on leadership roles convening state-based networks of practitioners. In California, our work expanded to include supporting legislative action to increase post-secondary access for our students. This work will continue to be a significant strategy for GtCNN.

Nationally, GtCNN expanded our role as a member of several coalitions and networks of advocates,
businesses, service providers, and philanthropic sponsors. We were proud to commit time and resources to growing networks such as the Opportunity Youth Network and the National Reengagement Network.

Building a movement that genuinely changes the approach and expectations for serving off-track and out-of-school students requires strong, broad partnerships across sectors. Our membership in these networks amplifies our voice and mission and provides an opportunity to build the college-based dual enrollment movement.

We saw a continued interest in the expertise and experience that comes from operating Gateway to College programs, but even more so, the experiences of our staff and students is recognized as both transferable and crucial for the larger success of a movement which aims to significantly change the lifetime trajectory for disengaged youth.

Rethinking Summer

Friday, May 08, 2015

By Aubrey Perry & Devora Shamah

Summer is generally considered a time for relaxation and play for students. However, for many college students it can be a time to either move toward completion or a time to get off track in their educations. It is well accepted that summer education experiences are important for young children[i], and we find these experiences are equally important for college students.

Gateway to college students are dual credit students working toward high school diplomas while taking college classes at community colleges. These students have had barriers to their educations in the past and were unsuccessful in traditional high schools. Our data show that Gateway to College students who chose to enroll in at least one summer class have continued to take classes in the fall at higher rates than their peers who took summer off. The summer students also passed their future courses at higher rates and ultimately earning their high school diplomas. While our data is not conclusive and may not reflect the experiences of all college students, it does suggest that as educators, we need to pay more attention to what we offer students during summer terms. Others have found similar trends[ii].

We know it is more difficult for students to return from a summer break than the shorter winter and spring breaks[iii].

For Gateway to College Students Summer was helpful because:

  • Smaller classes provided a good opportunity to take more challenging courses
  • Smaller classes provide opportunities for students to connect with each other and ensures that individuals are spending time with others who share their goals
  • More opportunities to complete developmental courses and “make-up time” which is especially key for students who need multiple course sequences before moving into their degree requirements
  • Students in our analysis had slightly higher pass rates in summer course, perhaps because they were focused on fewer courses at a time

Traditionally colleges have long summer breaks. Summer classes or activities certainly do not need to eliminate summer vacations. At the same time, colleges should intentionally provide ways for students to stay connected with each other so they can support each other’s journey toward their goals and ultimately their accomplishments.


  • Summer courses are a good idea
  • Summer is a good time to focus on core subject areas
  • For students who need to increase work hours in summer, alternate activities on campus may support similar goals
  • Summer service learning projects
  • Summer workshops/seminars focused on career exploration
  • Short workshops to prep for fall courses
  • Social events to bring students together on campus

Download the Poster Here: Summer-Enrollment-Poster-307



[i] Alexander, K. L., Entwisle, D. R., & Olson, L. S. (2007). Lasting consequences of the summer learning gap. American Sociological Review72, 167–180.

[ii] Adelman, C. (2006). The toolbox revisited: Paths to degree completion from high school through college. Washington, D.C.: United States Department of Education. Retrieved from http://www2.ed.gov/rschstat/research/pubs/toolboxrevisit/toolbox.pdf

Edgecombe, N. (2011). Accelerating the academic achievement of students referred to developmental education. New York: Community College Resource Center. Retrieved from http://www.eric.ed.gov/PDFS/ED516782.pdf

[iii] Attewell, P., Heil, S., & Reisel, L. (2011). What Is academic momentum? And does it matter? Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis34(1), 27–44.

Bringing the Network Together: 2014 Peer Learning Conference

Thursday, May 07, 2015

PLC keynote speaker, Bertice Berry (right), was told by a high school teacher that she was “not college material.” Fortunately, there was another teacher who believed that she was destined for more, and Bertice proved her doubters wrong.

Gateway to College National Network has taken an increasingly prominent role in bringing organizations and systems together to discuss how we can collectively better serve disengaged youth.

When we meet together, Gateway to College and our partner organizations learn from each other’s work while creating pathways that give more options for students to complete high school degrees and begin their post-secondary education. As our external work has focused on bringing stakeholders together to improve our collective impact, we have also focused on bringing together Gateway to College programs to build a community of practice and share best practices among 42 campuses across the country.

In August 2014, Gateway to College held our 10th Peer Learning Conference in Boston. The conference, with the theme of Strength in Numbers, brought together 245 Gateway to College programs and national staff, representing 36 programs from around the country. Program staff excel in helping Gateway to College students succeed, but don’t often have the opportunity to step back and discuss their work. The Peer Learning Conference provided the perfect venue to share local successes and learn from Gateway to College peers and National Network partners. Guests included partners from the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and the National League of Cities. While our staff focuses on their local programs, our national partners assist in funding, strategy, and in ensuring that our work complements the vision and work of other organizations serving disengaged youth.

annual-report-quote-PLCA highlight from the conference was our keynote speaker, Bertice Berry. Like many of our students experience before coming to a Gateway to College program, Bertice was told by a high school teacher
that she was “not college material.” Fortunately, there was another teacher who believed that she was destined for more, and Bertice proved her doubters wrong. She not only graduated magna cum laude from Jacksonville University, she earned a Ph.D. in Sociology from Kent State University at the age of 26. Dr. Berry became an award-winning lecturer and entertainer, and served as host and co-executive producer of her own nationally syndicated talk show, “The Bertice Berry Show.”

As she shared with PLC attendees, Bertice believes that “when you walk with a purpose, you collide with destiny.” We believe that all of our students can walk with a purpose, and educational achievement is their destiny. For Dr. Berry, one teacher made the difference in her life. Many Gateway to College students consistently tell about how, before coming to Gateway to College, they lacked an advocate for their educational success. For most, all they need is for one person to believe in them. In Boston, 245 student advocates came together to show that our network, and our mission, is stronger than ever.

Gateway Became Family: Jahath’s Story

Tuesday, May 05, 2015

MCC_MA-Jahath-2-BW-By-himselfGateway to College recognizes that by building bridges to other programs serving disengaged youth, we can be much more effective at serving the needs of young people. Many Gateway to College students come to our programs because they did not have a bridge to educational success in their own lives.

For years, Gateway to College graduate Jahath Harriott struggled to find his community. As a child in Brockton, Massachusetts, a working class community south of Boston, Jahath’s abundant imagination often left him picked on by classmates and disciplined by teachers who didn’t know how to direct his energy. Throughout much of his teen years, Jahath felt like an outcast among his peers. He wrote poetry and mainly kept to himself. He ultimately found acceptance by a group of kids involved in activities that sometimes skirted the law. Jahath’s interest in school waned as he become more involved with this new group of peers.

By 18, Jahath had left school and become the victim of a gang-related robbery that nearly left him dead. After nearly six months of recovery, which included reconstructive surgery, Jahath was directed to the Gateway to College program at Massasoit Community College. Jahath was ready to learn again and in Gateway to College, he immediately found a group of peers and mentors who accepted him. He began to thrive in the classroom.

“Before Gateway to College, I wasn’t exposed to big ideas. I didn’t feel like there were opportunities for me to grow as a person. In Gateway to College, the people who were supporting each other and
leading me down the righteous path became family.”

Jahath graduated from Gateway to College in June 2013, and counts himself as a proud alumnus. Upon graduation, Jahath began to mentor young people who were in the situation he was in just a few years earlier. He was initially excited about the opportunity to share what he learned just a few years earlier, but he soon faced a difficulty that many young teachers and mentors face. The work is emotionally challenging, and sometimes isolating. “Working with ‘at risk’ youth on a daily basis, I had become frustrated with the ones who slipped through the cracks into obscurity.”

An invitation to travel to Washington D.C. and participate in the National Opportunity Summit came at the perfect moment. “Attending the Summit allowed me to realize that this movement is bigger than me, bigger than the street corners where I grew up,” Jahath shared. “What I learned is improving opportunities for youth is a movement that has to be addressed at a range of levels including mentorship, employment and political advocacy. I learned about the power that networking with other people with similar goals and ideas can have in organizing a movement.” Once again, Jahath felt a sense of being part of a larger movement.

Today, Jahath’s imagination is flourishing and focused. He funnels his energy into writing a novel, taking classes, advocating for Opportunity Youth, and mentoring peers with a renewed sense of being part of a larger movement. His belief in creating a better world has led to an interest in studying solar energy. “If we don’t divest in traditional energy uses, we’re setting ourselves up for a lot of trouble in the future.” Jahath would like his studies to lead to work in the renewable energy field, but he hopes to use his writing to travel the world and learn about other cultures, people, and spiritual beliefs.

Jahath’s novel, ‘Bludkey’, tells the story of a young man who was born into a caste system in a city built into a bunker beneath the surface of the earth. He’s heard rumors about the outside world, but systems are set up in his bunker city to keep citizens stuck in place. Jahath’s protagonist fights for opportunity, along with literal and figurative upward mobility. He takes enormous chances to eventually break free, and he discovers a world and a new community that he did not know existed previously.

GtCNN Directors’ Convening: Excerpts from Emily Froimson’s Remarks

Tuesday, April 28, 2015


At the beginning of April, Gateway to College welcomed our new president, Emily Froimson. Emily comes to Gateway after ten years with the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, most recently as vice president of programs. Emily spent a considerable amount of her time at the foundation building their community college transfer work, with a focus on improving pathways for low and moderate income community college students to transfer to the nation’s best four-year colleges. Prior to the Cooke Foundation, she led a small grassroots nonprofit organization in Phoenix providing intervention, mentoring and afterschool programs for high risk youth. At the recent Gateway to College Directors Convening in Dallas, Emily shared some of her thoughts with the Directors. An excerpt from her comments are below.

I believe that everyone wants to be educated but traditional pathways are not designed for everyone. 

I believe that all of us benefit when everyone has a chance to develop their talents, regardless of how much extra support we need to get there.

I believe that none of us can walk through this life without the help of others.  Some of us need more support; some less. 

I believe in second chances. 

Unlike a lot of people who come to their nonprofit or service work because their own stories resonate with the populations they serve, I come to this work from a place of humility and gratitude that my own educational pathways and experiences were made easy for me and that I had access to extraordinary opportunities along the way. I had knowledgeable parents and educational institutions designed for people like me. So, I’ve always been moved by the moments that I know that a student’s life has been transformed because he or she has not only been given an opportunity, but has seized that opportunity.

Witnessing a young woman who is failing out of school and ready to give up have a profound breakthrough and change course. Calling a student to let him know that he has been awarded a life-changing college scholarship. Seeing a student surpass what they thought was possible. I know that the population we are working with here at Gateway is challenged and that the students face an array of obstacles at they seek to continue their education. But, I also know that the payoff of our success and theirs is huge and our work here is critically important.

A few days ago, I heard Malcom Gladwell speak at a conference and he talked about the capitalization effect, a concept devised by psychologist James Flynn. Capitalization is “the rate at which a given community capitalizes on human potential… what percentage of those who are capable of achieving something actually achieve it.” He argued that we have a low capitalization rate in this country, and he’s right.  

In essence, he is saying what we all know: We waste lots of talent in this country. We give up on people who don’t get it quickly. And our increasing need for instant gratification makes it even harder to make a case for those who need extra time and effort. But the cost of giving up on people who have talent (which all of us do have to varying degrees) is immense. Gladwell says this is important because when we observe differences in how individuals succeed in the world, our initial thought is always to argue that that is the result of some kind of innate difference in ability. But, the reality is that there is another explanation that has do with poverty, with stupidity (and by that he means institutions and practices that stupidly stand in the way), and with culture.

What we do at Gateway is to increase our society’s capitalization rates.

We all can list example after example of students that eventually succeeded with our efforts and, often, the efforts of other caring adults. Students that succeeded at a different rate from what our structures and culture expect. But they do succeed.

Many of our students may need the extra support and guidance, and a different setting in which to allow their abilities to flourish. Success for them may be some college and a decent paying job that enables them to take care of themselves and their families. If we can help those students, that’s wonderful. But many of our students are like my friend, who dropped out of high school and found her way back to school via a GED, then community college, then a degree from a state flagship university, then a master’s degree. She now leads a national nonprofit organization.  Or another exceptional student, who dropped out of high school for countless personal and life challenges, also found a way back to school, got a 4.0 in community college and won a Jack Kent Cooke Scholarship. She is now working on her PhD at an elite university.  All of these folks are not only highly capable; they are resilient.

What does all this mean for us? You guys get it and you believe in second chances and putting in the extra effort that it takes to help our students succeed. But we can do better. We can set higher expectations for our programs so we’re not also leaving students behind. 

Over the next day, you’ll be sharing your ideas, concerns, no doubt sharing what works and what needs improvement with respect to the role of the national office. And you’ll be sharing the challenges you face working in the field with our students. This is important and important for me to hear.  But, this isn’t the only time I want to hear from you. Know that we are listening.  Not just the staff from the education services team. We are all listening.

You are the experts on the day to day experiences of our students and we need to make sure that your perspectives are brought to the fore. And we will do that.

PCC 2014 Gateway to College Commencement Speech

Thursday, April 23, 2015

PCC_OR_Grad_2014 (326)By Nicole, PCC Gateway to College Grad, 2014

What I’m going to tell you describes my experience at Gateway, but is mainly just a love story.

Before the age of seventeen, I didn’t understand the concept of academic success. I couldn’t imagine what it was like to do well in school. I thought it was an inherent ability that unfortunately, I didn’t have. Because of this idea, throughout my almost entire academic career, I taught myself that I was stupid. My actions began to reflect this thought until it became apparent that I was a bad student. By the time high school came around, I had already developed habits that were detrimental to my performance in school. I was constantly missing classes, not participating when I was in class, did absolutely no homework, and rarely completed in-class assignments, all the while becoming increasingly frustrated at my teachers, my peers, and mostly myself. No matter how hard I, or anyone else tried to force myself to do better-- even just a little-- I couldn’t do it. Looking back, the most frustrating thing was the fact that nobody understood what I was going through. Nobody even tried to understand. Not one single person.

One day, I stumbled upon a Gateway to College brochure and out of utter hopelessness, I decided to attend an information meeting. Little did I know, that was possibly the best decision I have ever made. I learned all about Gateway and the opportunities and support it provided for students struggling under the public school system. It didn’t even cross my mind that a change in environment was all that I needed, and I had never even considered going to college. I left the meeting feeling inspired. I immediately signed up, and before I knew it, college became a reality. I started Gateway the fall term of what would’ve been my senior year of high school. Over the course of the first few days, my perspective on school shifted. I learned the way teachers were there to support me without judgment. I learned that all of my classmates were going through similar experiences as I was. And most importantly, I discovered that hey, maybe I’m not stupid.

I still remember the moment I received my first grade report. My knee-jerk reaction was to toss it in the trash before it got into the hands of my mother, but then I realized that no one was there to supervise me anymore. I was on my own. I slowly opened the packet and peered into it, all the while coming up with elaborate excuses as to why these assignments weren’t completed. But when I saw the report, I couldn’t believe my eyes. I had all A’s! I reviewed my work in awe. I did this? I did this! I. I analyzed them the whole way home as I silently cried. I felt progressively moved. I had never felt so strongly about anything before. I wanted to feel this good and this capable forever. Then something wonderful happened… I fell in love with school. It was a snowball effect from that moment forward. I went from having a 0.7 GPA to a steady 3.98 GPA throughout my entire college career while working full-time. And the best part? Nobody was forcing me to do this. I wanted to do this, I loved doing this, and I was surrounded by loads of support. I couldn’t have been successful without the support of my peers, my teachers, and Jane! Oh, Jane. Jane Larson folks, let me tell ya. Jane was my advisor for Gateway to College. She helped me every-- I mean, every step of the way. She made me do a lot of things I didn’t want to do, one of them being thinking about my future, which was something I had never really contemplated before. I decided that I’d like to get my associate’s degree then transfer to a 4-year college and eventually begin a career in my birthplace, Hong Kong. Thank you, Jane.

I believe that my story speaks for itself. My experience at Gateway to College changed my life irrevocably. I genuinely believe I wouldn’t be the same person not having gone through those experiences.

We all have our own stories. We’ve all learned different things throughout our lives and we’ll continue to learn until we die. What we share are these memories, struggles, dreams, and achievements. And nobody can take those things away from us.

With that said, Gateway to College Class of 2014, I wish you luck, you’re all so awesome in your own ways, and I congratulate each and every one of you because God knows, it’s been one hell of a journey.

Directors' Convening 2015

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Directors and Gateway to College National Network staff at 2013's convening in St. Louis.

Over the course of the next two days, directors from nearly every Gateway to College program from around the country are gathering in Dallas, Texas, for the annual Directors' Convening. As part of a national network, the convening allows directors the opportunity to share and learn from each other's experiences. As the convening kicked off, new Gateway to College National Network president, Emily Froimson, introduced her herself to directors and spoke about the urgency of our work. "Everyone wants to be educated, but traditional pathways are not for everyone. The cost of giving up on people who have talent is immense."

Gateway to College directors share a singular passion for the success of their students, and show that giving up on these students is simply not an option. Throughout the course of the convening, directors will be sharing practices that have helped them achieve student success on their individual campuses. Directors and national staff will address topics such as how to build support among campus leadership, challenges with enrollment, engaging students once they are enrolled,and building deeper partnerships with local school districts.

In working together as a network, individual Gateway to College programs can achieve even greater success in helping students find their path in education and in life.

Why Join Us at the Summer Enrollment Conference? Enrollment Project Testimonials

Tuesday, April 14, 2015


“One of the great advantages of being a part of the Gateway National Network (GtCNN) is the collegial sharing of good ideas.  Although the successes of Camden Gateway are numerous and satisfying, our program’s sustainability has been truly enhanced as we reassessed our recruitment strategies/approaches to the potential population we serve.  This  GtCNN Enrollment project initiative has provided a unique opportunity for us to build new linkages with our community partners, as we reach out to the many students who are now ‘enrolled’ in the ‘college of the street corner’.

Dr. Irvin R Sweeney
Executive Director
Gateway to College
Camden County College
Camden, New Jersey

"Before the enrollment project our GtC team seem to do the same repetitive strategies of enrollment with small variations. The enrollment program gave us the tools and fresh ideas to greatly increase our enrollments. The most powerful tool of this program is bringing like-minded people together to solve a problem and share ideas.

In the past we greatly suffered from low enrollment numbers, now we have the opposite problem, but is a very nice problem to have-a waiting list. We are now filled to capacity and actually have a space issue that we have to put prospective students on a waiting list. We wish we could bring in more, so we are expanding our program to other South Texas College campuses.

If you want to increase your enrollment numbers, I greatly recommend attending this powerful event. This sole event can greatly impact your program."

Michael Wilson
Program Director
South Texas College
McAllen, Texas

"When I think of enrollment for our GTC program, I think of the many folks at the college who should be interested and want to assist me in this goal.  Then I realize that it may only be important to me because it has to do with my job (as others view it).  Is this true at your establishment?

If it is, then come to the Enrollment Conference this summer and learn new ways to increase your program impact and showcase why other others would want to help you succeed.  The enrollment project with GtCNN opened my eyes to discovering new ways to share our program and benefits to other programs here at the college.  This could be a new partnership opportunity for you right in your backyard.

Make it a priority and learn what YOU can change to help you grow your program.

See you in June at the conference."

Marci Skillings
Director, Gateway to College
Quinsigamond Community College

Register Here

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What We're Reading - April 2015

Wednesday, April 08, 2015

reading-bannerAs a national network, Gateway to College works with a wide variety of school districts, colleges, and community partners from around the country. The national office understands that our programs face a complexity of issues, from local education policy to national trends in dual enrollment. As a group, we try to stay aware of these trends and issues through direct interaction with programs and partners, and in what we read.

Each month, the GtCNN Blog will feature a sampling of stories, trends, and videos that we’re reading and discussing in the national office. We invite you to share any stories that you feel we should be following. You can comment on our blog, or email Glenn Fee, our Director of Communications and Marketing, at gfee@gatewaytocollege.org.

Stories from our field that help inform our work

“Measuring Access to Opportunity in the United States”, Annie E. Casey Foundation, February 2015.

  • Paper supports the use of the Supplemental Policy Measure (SPM), from the U.S. Census Bureau, as a more accurate measure of child poverty and the effects of safety net programs and tax policies on families.
  • The child poverty rates among Latinos (29 percent) and African Americans (29 percent) were approximately three times that of whites (10 percent), using the SPM. Poverty rates for American Indian children (26 percent) and Asian and Pacific Islander children (16 percent) also are significantly higher than the rate for white children.
  • Poverty rates by state vary dramatically, and the SPM measures poverty levels with and without government intervention.

“How a state where community colleges have been an afterthought is turning that around, Hechinger Report, March 6.

  • Three year graduation rate for students in Massachusetts community colleges ranks 30th, a low number for a state that prides itself in educational achievement.
  • Massachusetts has historically sent a higher number of its high school graduates to private institutions over public universities. For the first time, that number has shifted in favor of public institutions.
  • 69 percent of employers surveyed by the Massachusetts Business Alliance for Education say they’re having trouble finding workers with the skills they need.
  • Presidents of the 15 Massachusetts community colleges, nonprofit advocates, and business leaders see the current climate as an opportunity.

“Our Communities Must Become Education Collectives”, Education Northwest, March 10.

  • Blog post by Jerry Colonna, member of the state’s Board of Education.
  • Encourages Oregon communities to adopt a Collective Impact approach to education – “We have to strengthen communities as part of improving schools.”

“Next Phase for Gates’ Completion Agenda”, Inside Higher Ed, March 11.

  • Gates lays out a strategy “reboot”, with a focus on four priorities - data and information, finance and financial aid, college readiness, and innovation and scale.
  • Data piece will take precedent. Paper describes plan to “create a national data infrastructure that enables consistent collection and reporting of key performance metrics for all students in all institutions that are essential for promoting the change needed to reform the higher education system to produce more career-relevant credentials.”
  • Ten states will be emphasized in this work - California, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee, Texas and Washington.

“Goldman Sachs Commits $2 Million to LaGuardia Community College”, The New York Times, March 11.

  • Gift represents one of the largest in nation’s history to a community college, and doubles the endowment at LaGuardia.
  • Goldman Sachs CEO – “Community college is a real accelerator to the middle class, and I can’t think of anything the country needs more than that.”

“A ‘promising’ way to help low-income students to and through college”, Hechinger Report, March 25.

  • Gap in college enrollment between richest and poorest students remains where in was in the 1970s, when the Pell Grant program was created.
  • Two researchers—Robert Kelchen of Seton Hall and Sara Goldrick-Rab of the University of Wisconsin at Madison—propose a pilot program guaranteeing the maximum Pell Grant to low-income eighth-graders who complete high school and enroll in college.

“Lawmakers try and try again to expand dual enrollment”, Ed Source, March 31.

  • Focus on three proposed bills in California to expand dual enrollment opportunities for students.

Stories with a Gateway to College focus or mention

“Program can be gateway to both diploma, degree”, Newton (IA) Daily News, March 6.

  • Newton Community School District approves MOU with DMACC.
  • DMACC now has agreements with Des Moines, Newtown, Knoxville, Norwalk and Carlisle Public Schools.
  • Ahmed Agyeman, associate director of program development at DMACC, hopes the college can also get agreements soon with the Ames, Saydel, Southeast Polk, Northeast Polk and West Des Moines districts.
  • Article describes challenges that Gateway helps some students overcome.
  • Mention of support from the WalMart and Gates Foundations.

“JKCF Vice President to Become President of Gateway to College National Network”, Jack Kent Cook Foundation website, March 9.

  • Announcement of Emily Froimson being named as GtCNN president.

“St. Paul works to reengage dropouts”, Minneapolis Star Tribune, March 12.

  • Star Tribune details new GtC program at St. Paul College.
  • Quote from Valeria Silver, St. Paul School District Superintendent.
  • Mention of the support from Edna McConnell ClarkSocial Innovation Fund, and Travelers Foundation.

“The Opportunity Summit was a defining moment in my life”, Opportunity Nation Blog, March 19.

  • Jahath Harriott, Gateway to College student at Massasoit Community College, describes his experience at the Opportunity Summit in Washington D.C.

Videos about Gateway to College:

  • Julius DeFour, Gateway to College Academic Success Coach at Spokane Community College, featured in a video produced by Spokane Public Schools.
  • South Texas College GtC students produce a hip hop video in support of their Gateway to College experience.

What We're Reading - March 2015

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Gateway to College National Network staff keeps a close eye on education policy, research, practice, and trends that might impact any of our 42 programs and our work to ensure that a greater number of students graduate from high school and have access to college. Our staff follows blogs and news feeds from national education leaders, foundations, education writers, and our partner institutions. In our national office, we consistently circulate impactful pieces and discuss their significance on our work. Each month, we’ll share some of our favorite work on the GtCNN Blog. Our hope is that if more of our friends and colleagues read what we find impactful, they’ll share and discuss this work, and encourage us to read even more. Enjoy!

“Closing Achievement Gap Would Boost Economy, Report Finds”, Philanthropy News Digest

“BCC Interim President Marti Joins Board of Directors of Gateway to College National Network”, CUNY Newswire

“Kate Brown on Education”, OPB News

  • OPB airs the entirety of Kate Brown’s comments from Reengagement Plus, citing them as evidence of her prospective education policy as Oregon’s new governor.

“Poverty Data Signal Urgency for Schools”, Education Week

  • A majority of the nation’s 50 million students qualify for free and reduced lunch, representing the first time their numbers have been in the majority.
  • States with the highest rates of low-income students are clustered in the south and west.
  • States are struggling with providing extra services needed in schools with high numbers of low-income students.

“U.S. High School Graduation Rate Hits New Record High”, U.S. Department of Education

  • Nation’s high school graduation rate is at 81%, the highest level since states adopted a uniform way of calculating grad rates five years ago.

“Increased graduation rates are great, and they don’t solve our equity problem”, GtCNN Blog

  • GtCNN’s Nick Mathern responds to the news of increased graduation rates, and contends that there is much more work to do.

“The Promise and Failure of Community Colleges”, New York Times Opinion

  • Community College graduation rates have been declining over the past decade.
  • Community Colleges have students with the greatest problems, yet the fewest resources.
  • Cites an MDRC study that showed dramatic improvement among CUNY students with wraparound support.

“Dropout Adjust Outcomes”, Inside Higher Ed

  • Summarizes a report published by the Center for Analysis of Postsecondary Education and Employment at Columbia University’s Teachers College.


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