About Gateway to College

""Gateway to College Academy (GtC) is an Early College Charter High School, which is an innovative partnership between Santa Rosa Junior College and K-12 partner Petaluma City Schools, that enables high-promise students to obtain a quality high school education while simultaneously receiving invaluable access to college courses and services. Gateway to College prepares students for college academic success and career readiness by maintaining high academic standards while providing high individual support. 


Once admitted into the program, students begin receiving comprehensive services like tutoring, job referrals, health care, housing and more. Students attend high school classes on the college campus exclusively with other GtC students and instructors.  During their first semester, also called the "Foundation Term", students enroll in 2-3 high school courses and co-enroll in a College Survival class to learn and practice the habits of mind needed to transform themselves into successful college students. This experience builds their academic and personal skills, preparing them to transition to college courses with the general student population beginning their second semester.


After completing the initial Foundation Term, students transition to the comprehensive campus, taking college classes with the general student population. Students focus their studies in a "pathway" or major that is aligned with high school completion requirements as well as a college degree, certificate, and/or university transfer requirement. This allows students to maximize college credit acquisition toward their post secondary goals.


The program achieves success by combining high academic expectations with one-on-one counseling and support. Throughout their experience, students work with their academic counselor on issues ranging from transportation and study habits to pathway selection and applying for scholarships. Staff and faculty act as coaches, mentors and advisors. The wrap-around support of the GtC team keeps students on the right track for success.


Gateway to College admits emerging adults, 16 to 20 years old, who are behind in high school credits or stopped attending high school before graduating. Students attend both high school and college classes Monday through Friday exclusively at the SRJC Petaluma campus. SRJC enrollment fees are exempted for high school concurrent enrollment students and all required SRJC textbooks are provided at no cost to GtC students.

SRJC Petaluma's Gateway to College program is part of a national network of Gateway to College programs. Here is more information about the Gateway to College Network:


In 2000, Portland (OR) Community College developed an innovative suite of programs featuring intensive support for 16 to 21 year olds who have dropped out of high school or are not on track to graduate.


In 2003, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation provided funding for Portland Community College to begin replicating the Gateway to College model in other cities. In 2004, Riverside (CA) Community College became the first Gateway to College partner program. By 2008, there were 17 sites in 13 states, working with 81 school district partners.


Gateway to College National Network became a 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization in 2008, governed by a 6-member Board of Directors. In 2009, Gateway to College was awarded $13.1 million by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Open Society Foundations, The Kresge Foundation, and Carnegie Corporation of New York to have a broader impact on a national scale. The impact of Gateway to College was further recognized in 2010, when the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education included Gateway to College as a core component of its federal High School Graduation Initiative application.


In 2011, the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation and the federal Social Innovation Fund awarded Gateway to College $3.5 million to increase evidence of effectiveness and build organizational capacity to serve more young people. In the same year, CEOs for Cities highlighted Gateway to College in its recommendations to enhance opportunities in America’s cities. A 2012 study by Pacific Research & Evaluation showed that Gateway graduates continue in college at higher rates than other students.


By 2013, Gateway to College had grown to 43 programs in 23 states. Gateway to College’s 10th annual Peer Learning Conference was held in Boston in 2014, with nearly 200 local and national staff coming together to share best practices. By 2015, Gateway to College celebrated service to more than 20,000 students over the course of the organization’s history. In 2015, GtCNN convened student leaders in the second annual Northwest Student Leadership Conference at Portland Community College and explored network-wide collaboration in enrollment and recruitment strategies in the first Summer Enrollment Conference.


Laurel Dukehart, founding director, retired in 2015 and Emily Froimson became the organization’s new President. Gateway to College National Network continues a legacy of providing students a pathway to a meaningful postsecondary credential. Learn how you can join our movement.

Source: gatewaytocollege.org 


Here is more information about California Early College High School models:""

California Education Code (EC) Section 11302 declares that Early College High School (ECHS) are innovative partnerships between charter or non-charter public secondary schools and a local community college, the California State University, or the University of California that allow pupils to earn a high school diploma and up to two years of college credit in four years or less. ECHS are small, autonomous schools that blend high school and college into a coherent educational program.

The basic elements of ECHS include:

  • Coherent instructional framework
  • Student-centered learning environments
  • Location near or on a college campus
  • Students simultaneously earn a high school diploma and up to two years of transferrable college credit
  • Strong school district partnerships with colleges

ECHS facilitate a greater participation of at-risk, low-income, and students of color in college level courses. ECHS potentially decrease high school drop-out rates while increasing students’ access to post-secondary education. Students are rewarded for hard work by the opportunity to accelerate at typically minor cost to the student. The physical transition between high school and college is eliminated, and learning takes place in a personalized environment where rigorous work is demanded and supported.

California Education Code (EC) Section 46146.5 exempts an ECHS and a MCHS from the 240-minute school day requirement. The legislation provides that a day of attendance for an ECHS or MCHS student is 180 minutes if the student is a special part-time student enrolled in a community college under specified provisions, or the student is enrolled in grades 11 or 12 and is also enrolled part-time in classes at California State University or University of California campuses. EC 46146.5 also reduces the minimum instructional time requirements for charter schools that operate as ECHS and MCHS.

Source: http://www.cde.ca.gov/ci/gs/hs/echsgen.asp