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Frequently Asked Questions

How does the Gateway to College program work?

  • Once a student has been admitted, he or she will be enrolled in a Gateway to College learning community at one of the Montgomery College campuses in Germantown, Rockville, and Takoma Park/Silver Spring.
  • The learning community is a group of 20 to 25 students who take all of their first-term courses together in preparation for becoming a student on the college campus.
  • The foundation courses include reading, writing, math, career development, college survival and success, and an academic lab.
  • The learning community meets five days a week.
  • Students in the foundation term are expected to participate in Service Learning activities and attend field trips as arranged at each campus.
  • Near the end of the first term, students will take the Montgomery College placement tests to determine placement in English, reading, and mathematics.
  • Students who successfully complete the first term will transition into the general college population. They will take courses that will fulfill their remaining Montgomery County Public Schools diploma requirements while also earning college credit. During the second term, students will take an additional college preparation class with the learning community.
  • After the first term, students will select all courses with the assistance of a resource specialist. Students will select classes based on their high school completion plan and educational goals.
  • Throughout the course of this program, students will be considered enrolled at both Montgomery College and Montgomery County Public Schools.

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What can students achieve in this program?

Students can complete their high school diploma requirements while earning college credit.

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Who are Gateway to College students at Montgomery College?

  • Gateway to College is for students who are 16 to 20 years old.
  • Gateway to College students are behind in high school credits (for their age and grade), they have earned no more than 17 high school credits and/or are lacking five credits for graduation, and they may have a history of absenteeism and low GPA.
  • They are a diverse group of young people facing many challenges.
  • Gateway to College students are current or former Montgomery County Public High School students who reside in Montgomery County.
  • These students initially have at least a tenth grade reading level (English proficiency)
    and other academic skills that would enable them to transition to college classes after the foundation Gateway experience.
  • These students will remain in the program until they complete their high school diploma or until age 21, whichever comes first.
  • Gateway students are willing to make a commitment of two or more years, to work hard to complete their high school diploma, and progress towards a college degree.

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What is expected of Gateway students?

  • Students are expected to attend 100 percent of the classes. For maximum benefit, students are expected to attend each semester consecutively until they earn their high school diploma or turn 21.
  • 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 earn grades of “C” or better in all classes.
  • Students are expected to be respectful and courteous to others and adhere to all Gateway to College and Montgomery College policies and procedures and the Montgomery College Student Code of Conduct. Once enrolled, all students receive a student handbook with more information about policies and expectations.
  • Students are expected to maintain residency in Montgomery County.

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How are students supported in being successful?
Students who are accepted into the Gateway to College program are immediately assigned a resource specialist. Resource specialists provide support and access to resources to help all students in the program to be successful. Resource specialists provide the following:

  • Transcript reviews and academic advising.
  • Assistance with completing enrollment and registration paperwork and for Montgomery College Student ID card.
  • Information and referral for resources through Gateway to College, Montgomery College, Montgomery County Public Schools, and the community (i.e., tutoring, counseling, student activities, health services, etc.)
  • Personal counseling and guidance, assistance with problem solving, time management, and stress management so students can stay in school and be successful.

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What is the cost of the program?

  • Gateway to College is a scholarship program. College tuition and books are provided free of charge.
  • A one-time Montgomery College Admission Application fee of $25 is required for all students who are accepted into the program.

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How is the program funded?

The Gateway to College program was developed at Portland Community college, who selected Montgomery College as one of the first two community colleges nationwide to replicate the Gateway to College program. The program is funded by the Montgomery College/Montgomery County Public Schools partnership, by the College, and by the Montgomery County Council.

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How do students apply?

Montgomery College is phasing out its Gateway to College program by December 2015. During this time of transition, Montgomery College will continue to honor its commitment to Gateway students already accepted into the program. The Fall 2012 class was the last new cohort of students; we are no longer accepting new applications for the program.

Please contact the Gateway to College program at Montgomery College at 240-567-4052 for additional information.



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Montgomery College

Montgomery County, MD


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