Frequently Asked Questions

What type of student is successful at Gateway to College?

Gateway students have dropped out, or are in danger of dropping out because they are behind in credits.  Most of our students left high school with a GPA of 2.0 or less.   Promising students who drop out because of unfortunate circumstances do well at Gateway.  All applicants should consider the tough work load, extra transportation time, and amount of homework necessary to do well in college.

What support will I get?
You will work closely with a Resource Specialist to choose classes, pick a major, and identify and manage issues before they escalate into problems. We will help you find creative solutions to all sorts of challenges (homelessness, daycare, medical issue, transportation, childcare, family issues, lack of motivation, etc).  The KEY component to success is communication: we can't help you if we don't know what's going on.

What is the school day like?
Each student has a different schedule based upon their classes, so the school day is different for everyone.  While Gateway students typically spend less time in actual classes than high school students, the amount of work required outside the classroom is MUCH greater.  Expect to spend three hours on homework and projects for every one hour you are in class.

What does it cost?
Gateway is free to students, as your school district pays for you to attend.  Because it is a scholarship program, students need to meet minimum standards in order to stay in the program. 

What about transportation?
Gateway students receive PVTA bus passes that are valid for each academic semester.  If students choose to drive, they must register their car and post a (free) HCC decal in their vehicle.

What if I am a young parent?
Twenty percent of our students have young children, and Gateway's flexible schedule is helpful. However, young parents often feel overwhelmed by the college workload and homework, and need to have contingency plans in place.  All applicants, especially young parents who are juggling multiple responsibilities, should consider the tough work load, extra transportation time, and amount of homework necessary to do well in college.

Can a student with an IEP attend Gateway?
Yes, if the student's IEP team determines that the college-based accommodations available through HCC are adequate to meet the student's needs.

Can I stay connected to my high school?
Some Gateway students participate in high school events such as prom and graduation.  Some Gateway students even play sports for their high school.  Some Gateway students choose to never have contact with their high schools.

Will Gateway let me earn my High School Equivalency?
NO.  Gateway is for students who want to earn their high school diploma.  If you want to get your High School Equivalency, we will help you find a High School Equivalency testing site.

Do I need to pass MCAS?
Yes.  You need to meet all of your district's graduation requirements, including courses and MCAS. 

Can I have a job while I'm in Gateway?
It is very difficult to juggle the demands of college and a job, especially in the first semester.  If you need to have a job, work with your Resource Specialist to find a manageable schedule that allows you to juggle your multiple demands.  School needs to be your top priority.  If you are not successful academically, you will lose your scholarship and will be withdrawn from the program.

How do I apply?
Interested students MUST attend an Information Session at HCC.  That begins a process that includes testing, a written application, and an interview.  Call Julissa Colon at 413-552-2013 to reserve your spot in an Information Session.

 

Holyoke Community College
303 Homestead Ave. Holyoke, MA 01040
(413) 538-7000