For the fourth year, the Gateway to College Program at Montgomery County Community College has earned the national Achieving the Dream (ATD) Program Excellence Award for helping students achieve academic success.
Gateway to College is an early college program that helps young people reengage with their education and launch postsecondary careers while completing high school diplomas.
The Program Excellence Award recognizes positive outcomes for students participating in the Gateway program at MCCC. The award is presented to participating institutions that have exceeded all four performance benchmarks established by the Gateway to College network: first-term success, one- and two-year persistence rates, and three-year graduation rates.
Of the 30 colleges in the Gateway network, MCCC is one of 11 to have exceeded all four benchmarks to receive a Program Excellence Award in 2022.
Founded in 2000, Gateway to College is an early college program model supported by ATD that facilitates sustainable, revenue-sharing partnerships between local colleges and school districts. Gateway programs are a second chance for students who have been disconnected from education or who might not otherwise be college-bound.
“The recipients of this year’s Gateway to College awards are committing to student success during a time when supporting disconnected learners has never been more important,” said Dr. Karen A. Stout, President and CEO of Achieving the Dream. “Gateway to College aims to provide young students who might not otherwise have been on track for college with support that leads to postsecondary credentials and life-sustaining careers. Each college receiving a 2022 award has done incredible work to widen those pathways and expose young people in their community to vital opportunities in higher education.”
Since MCCC launched the program in 2013 at its Blue Bell and Pottstown campuses, 231 students have earned their high school diplomas – transforming their pathways and redefining their futures.
“The Gateway program is transformative for students and enriches our community,” said Michelle Kulla, Gateway Program Manager. “This award reflects the valuable work and dedication of Montco’s talented team to help students reach their goals and believe in themselves.”
MCCC’s Gateway team includes Program Manager Michelle Kulla; Resource Specialists Esau Collins and Jezerey Weiderman; and faculty Michael Baron, Karen Harding-Tasca, Stephanie Wuertz, Tracey Fida, David Pica, Dr. Victoria Vetro and Dr. Durrell Jones.
MCCC collaborates with 20 school districts – Boyertown, Cheltenham, Colonial, Daniel Boone, Exeter, Hatboro-Horsham, Jenkintown, Norristown, North Penn, Owen J. Roberts, Perkiomen Valley, Phoenixville, Pottsgrove, Souderton, Spring-Ford, Upper Dublin, Upper Merion, Upper Moreland, Upper Perkiomen and Wissahickon – and Montco Works, the County’s workforce investment board, for student referrals for the program.
Additionally, partners Waste Management, PECO, Univest, TD Bank, the Kahn family, the Maguire Foundation, the Malik family, Ambler Savings, Thompkins VIST Bank, First Priority Bank and the Gateway to College National Network have provided financial support for the program and student scholarships.
PECO, which has been a longstanding partner since 2013, provided funding to secure laptops for all Gateway students who needed them and for lunches two days a week for students who were able to come to campus for hybrid classes.
For more information about MCCC’s Gateway to College Program, contact Gateway Program Manager Michelle Kulla at firstname.lastname@example.org.