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Gateway to College

Gateway to College is an alternative education program for School District of Philadelphia students, ages 16 to 21, who have dropped out of school but desire to get back on track and earn a diploma and more. What makes Gateway to College truly unique is that our students will not only have a second chance to earn a high school diploma, but will also earn college credits toward an associate’s degree or certificate.

In today’s global economy, more than 80 percent of the fastest growing jobs require education or training beyond high school. Since adults lacking a high school diploma are twice as likely to be unemployed, your options without one are limited.

Community College of Philadelphia's Gateway to College is an educational alternative for out-of-school youth who may not have had success in other learning environments. Gateway is looking for students who have the desire and determination to learn, work hard, and earn a high school diploma and a college degree.

How to Apply

Please review the basic eligibility requirements before applying to the program:

  • You are between the ages of 16 and 21
  • Not currently attending school and have been out of school for at least 6 months
  • You live within the boundaries of the School District of Philadelphia
  • You are able to read at an eighth grade level or higher, as determined by a reading assessment

Please call 215.751.8246 or email gateway@ccp.edu to request an application.

Frequently Asked Questions

1) Who are Gateway to College students?
Gateway to College is for students who meet the following criteria:

  • 16 to 21 years old
  • Dropped out of high school and have not earned a diploma or GED
  • Reading ability at eighth grade level or higher (English proficiency)
  • A diverse group of young people facing many challenges
  • Willing to make a long-term commitment (two or more years) to work hard to complete high school and progress toward a college degree or certificate

Gateway to College does not serve students who are doing well in high school and want to make an early transition to college. Gateway to College works exclusively with students who have not experienced success in a traditional high school and are currently not attending school.

2) How does the Gateway to College program work?
Once you have been admitted, you will begin your first term, called the Foundation term, with a group of 20 other Gateway to College students.

  • This group of students, called a Learning Community, takes all of the Foundation term courses together in preparation for becoming college students on the College’s campus
  • Foundation term courses include reading, writing, math, an academic lab and a college survival and success class
  • Foundation term courses earn students high school credits toward their diploma. The college survival and success class earns students college credits
  • Students spend three to four hours each day working on homework outside of class

After successfully completing the Foundation term:

  • You enroll in Community College of Philadelphia courses and earn both high school and college credit as you work toward earning a high school diploma and a college degree
  • All courses after the Foundation term are selected based upon your high school completion plan and educational goals. The Gateway academic coordinator provides guidance and assistance with this process

3) What can I achieve in this program?
Gateway students can earn their high school diploma and earn Community College of Philadelphia credits toward an associate’s degree or certificate.

4) How long would it take me to earn my high school diploma?
Students are in Gateway to College for one to three years. The exact length of time varies depending on your course load and credit needs. You will remain in Gateway to College until you earn a high school diploma. We encourage and assist Gateway graduates in continuing their education when they have completed the program.

5) What is expected of me?

  • You are expected to attend all of your classes
  • You are expected to come to class on time, be prepared with class materials and to complete all class and homework assignments
  • You are expected to spend three to four hours a day on homework, outside of class time. We strongly encourage students who have a job to consider the time demands of the program
  • You are expected to adhere to all Community College of Philadelphia policies and procedures

6) What is the cost of the program?
Gateway to College is a scholarship program. The scholarship pays for college tuition, fees and books. There is a $50 program fee per semester and summer session upon acceptance into the program.

7) What kind of support can I expect as a Gateway to College student?
An academic coordinator is assigned to students who are accepted into the program. Academic coordinators provide support and access to resources to help you succeed in the program. The coordinators also provide the following services:

  • Transcript reviews and academic advising
  • Assistance with completing enrollment and registration
  • Referrals to resources, such as tutoring, student activities and health services
  • Personal counseling and guidance, including assistance with problem solving, time management and stress management