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MCC Opens ´Gateway´ to Help Students Graduate

Spring 2010 | Archives

Nationally, about one-third of high school students don´t graduate. This fall, Metropolitan Community College (MCC) hopes to improve that statistic through the Gateway to College program.

MCC will become Nebraska´s only Gateway to College site. The national program helps students complete high school diploma requirements on a college campus while simultaneously earning credits toward a college degree or certificate.

Coordinators anticipate the program will serve about 150 students annually.

"MCC helps to fill a need in our community by helping reengage youth who need to continue their education," said Connie Eichhorn, MCC Coordinator for Secondary Partnerships.

The program serves highly at-risk youth ages 16 to 21 who have left high school without a diploma. Students enter the program with an average high school GPA of 1.6 and less than half of the credits they need for a diploma.

MCC will team up with Omaha Public Schools to help identify students for he Gateway to College program, and OPS will pass a portion of its per pupil expenditure to MCC to fund staffing, tuition and books.

Students take classes at the Fort Omaha Campus and receive high school and college credit. Advisors provide intensive services to help students achieve their goals.

Nationally, Gateway students graduate with about 41 college credits, putting them well on their way to earning an associate degree.

"More students will graduate from high school, earn postsecondary credits and most likely become more productive employees and workers," Eichhorn said.

MCC collaborated with OPS, The Sherwood Foundation and Building Bright Futures to become a Gateway to College site. For more information, contact Peggy Swanson, Gateway to College Program Director, at (402) 457-2600.

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