Frequently Asked Questions

How does the Gateway to College program work? 

Once you have been admitted, you will be enrolled in Gateway to College Academy, a Petaluma City Schools charter high school located at SRJC Petaluma. All new students are placed into a Foundation Term cohort upon admission.
   • Each Foundation Term cohort is a group of 20-25 students who take their first term courses together in preparation for becoming college students on the college campus.
   • Foundation Term first term courses are pre-selected and include reading & writing, College Survival, and academic lab; Foundation Term students may also be placed into a Social Science course.
   • Students will earn both high school and college credits starting in their first term.
   • Students spend 8-10 hours per week outside of class working on homework.

After successfully completing the Foundation Term, students transition onto the Continuing students' cohort.
   • Students enroll in SRJC Petaluma courses and continue to earn both high school and college credit, as they work towards earning a high school diploma.
   • All courses after the Foundation Term are selected with the assistance of a GtC Counselor based upon each student's high school completion plan and educational goals. 

What can I achieve in this program?

Students can earn their high school diploma and earn college credit toward a certificate or a degree


How long would it take me to earn my high school diploma?

Most students are in Gateway to College for 2-3 years.  The exact length of time to earn a diploma varies by a student’s course load and credit needs.  Students remain in Gateway to College until they earn a diploma as long as they maintain continuous enrollment.  We encourage graduates of the program to continue their college studies to meet their academic goals.


Who are Gateway to College students?

Gateway to College is for students who are:
   • 16 to 20 years old
   • Not performing to their full potential or are otherwise not thriving at their current high school
   • A diverse group of young people facing various 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

Gateway to College is not designed to 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.  They are often no longer attending or are significantly behind in credits and are unable to graduate with their peers.

What is expected of me? 

   • Students are expected to attend 100% of their classes. 
   • Students are expected to come to class on time, be prepared with class materials, and to complete all class and homework assignments.
   • Students are expected to spend 2-3 hours a day working on their homework (outside of class time).  We strongly encourage students who have a job to consider the time demands of the program.
   • Students are expected to adhere to all Santa Rosa Junior College and Petaluma City Schools policies and procedures. 

What is the cost of the program? 

Gateway to College Academy is a public charter high school.  College tuition is exempted and required textbooks and materials are not charged to students; however, students are responsible for paying for books if they are not returned at the end of each semester.


What kind of support will help me be successful in a college setting?

Students who are accepted into the program are assigned a GtC Counselor. GtC Counselors provide support and access to resources to help all students in the program to be successful. GtC Counselors provide the following services: 
   • Transcript reviews and academic advising
   • Assistance with completing enrollment and registration
   • Referrals to resources, such as tutoring, counseling, student activities, health services, and more
   • Personal counseling and guidance including assistance with problem solving, time management and stress management

If I have been on an Individual Education Plan (IEP) at my high school, will I still receive the same services and support at Gateway to College Academy?

Applicants who have received Special Education Services and who have an Individual Education Plan (IEP) in place are required to participate in an IEP meeting in the school district where you are currently enrolled.  This meeting will involve a manager from the GtC program and a Petaluma City Schools Special Services representative and will help determine if Gateway to College Academy will be able to provide all the services that you need to be successful.  We cannot guarantee that this process can be completed in time for acceptance for the term for which you are applying.

I am enrolled in high school and do not want to withdraw until I know if I have been accepted.  Can I be considered for the Gateway to College Academy if I am still enrolled in high school?

Yes. If you are currently attending high school, please continue attending school until you know that you have been accepted into the Gateway to College Academy.  Once you have been accepted into the Gateway program, you will need to withdraw from high school.  You cannot be dually enrolled in the Gateway to College Academy and a high school or alternative education program.

How do I apply? 

Please review the GtC Admission Process webpage.