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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 disengaged from high school but desire to get back on track and earn a diploma. 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 3 months
  • You live within the boundaries of the School District of Philadelphia
  • You are able to perform in college-level courses as determined by a Reading and Math assessment

Register for an Upcoming Information Session

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
  • Disengaged from high school and have not earned a diploma or GED
  • Willing to make a long-term commitment (1-3 years) to complete high school diploma requirements and accumulate college credits

2) How does the Gateway to College program work?
Once you have been admitted, you will begin your first term, called the Foundation term. Your Foundation Term includes: 

  • Taking a "Gateway to Success" course to prepare you to become a college student at the College's Main Campus
  • Completing Foundation term courses in reading, writing, math, an academic lab, and a college survival and success class
  • Weekly meetings with your academic coordinator
  • Spending three to four hours each day working on homework outside of class

After successfully completing the Foundation term, you will enroll in Community College of Philadelphia courses and earn both high school and college credits. All courses after the Foundation term are selected based upon your high school completion plan, educational and career goals. The Gateway academic coordinator assigned to you will provide guidance and assistance with your individual success plan.

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 degree or certificate.

4) How long will it take me to earn my high school diploma?
Students are in the Gateway to College program 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 beyond Gateway, including developing a transition plan during your senior seminar class.

5) What is expected of me?

  • You are expected to attend all of your classes with 90%+ weekly attendance
  • 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, and 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 pays for college tuition, textbooks and program fees. There are no out of pocket fees to students.

7) What kind of support can I expect as a Gateway to College student?
An academic coordinator is assigned to students upon acceptance 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 

Please call 215.751.8404 or email gateway@ccp.edu for additional information.