“Once in Gateway, Always in Gateway” is the vision that keeps students thriving during and upon graduation from the Gateway to College at Massasoit Community College (GtCMCC) program in Brockton, Massachusetts.
Tucked in the back of the campus library, in a space partitioned off for the program 11 years ago, is the Gateway office at Massasoit. GtC banners marking each year, signed by every graduate, are proudly displayed. A warm welcome, a big bowl of snacks and intentional, daily student support from Resource Specialists, Balbina Cardoso, Cheryl Ryan, Sharice Miles and Program Assistant, Desiree Singleton greet every student. This team has worked together for over a decade and they consistently monitor student attendance, academics, and state of mind. They have built close ties with MCC faculty and community members, and celebrate them each year along with students at Gateway’s graduation.
A team approach to student support, three sequential student success focused seminars and cohort-based classes led by dedicated Gateway faculty are central to the success of a program that prepares students for college, career and life. GtCMCC, graduates a great majority of students with an average of 22 college credits, and 84% of GtCMCC students persisted through their first year in 2016-17. Most importantly, students report a sense of family, connection and care from Gateway staff and faculty that provides the safe space and opportunities for self-reflection, growth and continued engagement with Gateway staff well beyond high school graduation.
Three staff-led seminars anchor the student experience and are designed to scaffold students towards the development and achievement of their dreams. A first-year experience seminar supports student transition into Gateway and the college environment. In the second semester, students deepen their connections to the community and build workplace skills through a community service-focused internship. All students in the final semester at Gateway complete a capstone seminar which supports transition to college and career. Every student presents their personal post-Gateway plan in front of their peers, parents, professors and community leaders, helping them reflect on the journey that led them to a second chance at success.
Gateway to College at Massasoit was one of the initial Gateway replication sites, launching with its first cohort of students in 2007. As Gateway enters its 12th year on campus, Christina Alves has been promoted to serve as Assistant Dean for Early College Programs at Massasoit. She will retain leadership of the program while Cheryl Ryan will coordinate logistics. In these new roles Christina and the team will bring Gateway-esque supports and early college experiences to more students on Boston’s South Shore at Massasoit. The team plans to train other college and district leaders in the Pathways to Success, Identity-based Motivation curriculum so that it can be implemented in area high schools as a pre-Gateway experience.
If you are interested in learning more about Gateway to College at Massasoit, plan to register for the Pathways to Success training that will take place at MCC on October 10 and 11th, 2018.