Frequently Asked Questions for Gateway to College Applicants

Gateway graduate

How does the Gateway to College program work?

All new students start in a one of two Gateway to College learning communites.

  • A learning community is a group of 20-25 students who take all of their classes together the first one to two terms.
  • Students who begin at the Preparation learning will be in learning communities for two terms, with the first term always at Southeast Campus.
  • All students will complete the Foundation learning community, and may take these courses at Cascade, Southeast, or Sylvania Campuses, depending on availability.
  • Learning community courses are reading, writing, math, college survival and success, and academic lab. In these classes, students work on building both academic skills and good academic habits.
  • Students earn both high school and college credits for their learning community courses.
  • Students are typically in class for 3-4 hours a day and also have about 3-4 hours of homework every day.

After successfully completing a Foundation learning community, students transition into regular college classes. Students in good standing may take those at which ever PCC Campus is most convienient.

  • Students enroll in PCC courses and continue to earn both high school and college credit, as they work towards earning a high school diploma.
  • Students work with their Resource Specialist to select their classes every term, based on each student's credit needs and educational goals.

What can I achieve in this program?

You can earn your high school diploma and a significant number of college credits toward a certificate or a degree. The typical Gateway to College graduate earns—on average—70 college credits in the time it takes to complete the diploma.

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

Most students are in Gateway to College for 1-3 years. The exact length of time to earn a diploma depends on how many credits a student has earned before starting Gateway. Students continue in Gateway to College until they earn a high school diploma, at which point we encourage them to continue on in college.

Who are Gateway to College students?

Gateway to College is for students who are:

  • 16 to 20 years old.
  • Behind in high school credits for their age and grade.
  • Have fewer than 17 credits when they begin the program
  • Live in one of the following school districts: Portland Public, Beaverton, Hillsboro, Lake Oswego, Tigard/Tualatin, Sherwood, or David Douglas.
  • Reading at an eighth grade level or higher (English proficiency).
  • Able to complete their high school diploma by age 21.
  • Willing to make a long term commitment to work hard to complete high school and progress toward a college degree.

Gateway to College does not 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 or who are at risk of not graduating on time.

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 3-4 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 PCC policies and procedures.

What is the cost of the program?

Gateway to College is a scholarship program. The scholarship pays for college tuition and books, and is worth about $5000 per school year. The scholarship does not cover PCC student fees, which include the student activity fee and the technology fee. Gateway students are expected to pay their student fees, which usually total about $80-$100 each term.

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

All new Gateway students are paired with a Resource Specialist. Resource Specialists provide support and guidance to help students in the program to be successful. Resource Specialists can assist with:

  • Transcript reviews and academic advising.
  • A college study skills course, which helps students with problem solving, time management and stress management.
  • Referrals to resources, such as tutoring, counseling, student activities, health services, and more.
  • Support to students as they make the transition into college.

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

Students who have an Individual Education Plan (IEP) are eligible to apply to Gateway and will receive equal consideration. PCC does not provide special education services, and it is up to your school district to provide support services for your IEP. We will coordinate with your school district to facilitate this process. Your school district IEP team will make a final placement determination once you are considered eligible for enrollment in Gateway to College. Some students with an IEP may be eligible for support through PCC's Office for Students with Disabilities.

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 program if I am still enrolled in high school?

Yes. If you are currently attending high school, please consider staying in school until you know that you have been accepted into the Gateway to College program. 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 program and a high school or alternative education program.

Sounds great! How do I apply?

Please review the How to Apply for the Gateway to College program page.

I was in Gateway to College before but didn't finish. Can I return?

See the Gateway to College Appeal Process web page.

Gateway to College

"Empowering students through personalized support, educational innovation, and academic excellence."