POLICY AGENDA

Nearly 20% of young people in our country do not complete high school on time. Many of those who do graduate are unprepared for the demands of the 21st century workplace or postsecondary education system. GtCNN works to close the achievement gap through the following strategies.

In order to achieve equity for all students and meet the workforce needs of our economy, we must have an education system that ensures high school completion and equips students with skills and resources required for lifelong learning and success.

 

The Gateway to College National Network policy agenda reflects our work with communities to build additional pathways for disconnected youth to achieve a high school diploma and a meaningful college credential.

 

Reengagement for High School Completion

 

Youth who have dropped out of high school need relevant pathways to reengage with education.

  • States and school districts should be rewarded for reengaging out-of-school youth
  • Reengagement programs must feature robust opportunities for postsecondary success
  • Accountability systems should account for the challenges facing opportunity youth

 

Dual Enrollment and Genuine Postsecondary Readiness

 

All students should receive robust college readiness curriculum and dual enrollment opportunities.

  • No student should be guided to pursue a high school diploma or GED as a terminal goal
  • Dual enrollment has the greatest benefit for students who would have otherwise not attended college; therefore, access must not be restricted to previously successful students

 

Personalized Postsecondary Support

 

First generation and low-income students have dramatically higher rates of postsecondary success when they receive personalized, on-campus support including structured coaching and coordinated peer groups.

 

Postsecondary institutions must provide:

  • Services that foster students’ sense of belonging on campus
  • Personalized relationships with caring adults on campus featuring low student/staff ratios

Exemplary Public Policy

 

Colorado

House Bill 1146 permits community colleges and school districts to create Gateway-inspired “Dropout Recovery Programs." Gateway to College partners at Front Range Community College (FRCC) and Pueblo Community College played key roles developing and advocating for this legislation.

 

Washington

Open Doors Youth Reengagement (HB 1418, 2010) creates a statewide reengagement system for out-of-school youth that funds alternative instructional models, features accountability measures relevant to reengaged students, and emphasizes the role of community and technical colleges in that work. Lake Washington Institute of Technology’s Dean of High School programs and Gateway to College program director served on a state committee that crafted regulatory language for Open Doors.

 

Mississippi

Mississippi Works, an initiative to fund students at risk of dropping out to complete high school on a college campus, was informed by Hinds Community College, at the request of Mississippi Department of Education, and its experience with Gateway. Gateway to College National Network also provided information and recommendations directly to the task force designing the policy.

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