How does the Gateway to College program work?

Once you have been admitted, you will be enrolled in a Gateway to College cohort at one of the North Shore Community College campuses.

  • A cohort is a group of 20-25 students who take all of their first semester courses together in preparation for becoming college students on the college campus. This is referred to as the Gateway Foundation Semester.
  • Foundation Semester courses include Reading/Writing, Math, First Year Experience Seminar, and Gateway Lab, which run Mon-Fri from 11:00am - 4:00pm.
  • Students will earn both high school and college credits starting in their first semester.
  • Students can expect to spend 2-3 hours outside of class time working on homework.

After successfully completing the learning community first term, students transition onto the NSCC campus at-large.

  • Students enroll in North Shore Community College 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 Semester are selected with the assistance of a Success Coach based upon each student's high school completion plan and educational goals.
  • There is not set start and end time. Students select a schedule that best meets their needs.

What can I achieve in this program?

Students can earn their high school diploma and earn NSCC 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 1-3 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 or turn 21. We encourage graduates of the program to continue their college studies to meet their academic goals. 

Do I need to pass MCAS?

Yes. You need to meet all of your district's graduation requirements, including courses and MCAS. 

Who are Gateway to College students?

Gateway to College is for students who:

  • Are 16-20 years old
  • Are willing to work hard to complete high school and progress toward a college degree.
  • Are able to complete their high school diploma by age 21.
  • Be enrolled or re-enrolled in a partnering school district
  • Believe that a traditional high school setting is not the right fit OR
  • Have left high school or are on the verge of leaving before graduation OR
  • Are behind in high school credits to graduate with your designated class


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 North Shore Community College policies and procedures.

What is the cost of the program?

Gateway to College is a scholarship program. The scholarship pays for college tuition, fees and books for approved courses that are included in a student’s academic plan. Gateway students are financially responsible for all other fees associated with their coursework and college participation; including, transportation, school supplies and meals. 

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

Students who are accepted into the program are assigned a Success Coach. Success Coaches provide support and access to resources to help all students in the program to be successful. Success Coaches provide the following services:

  • Transcript reviews, career development and academic planning.
  • Assistance with completing enrollment and registration.
  • Referrals to resources, such as tutoring, counseling, student activities, health services, and more.
  • Personalized and solution-based counseling and guidance including assistance with problem solving, time management and stress management.

Can a student with an IEP attend Gateway?

Yes, if the student's IEP team determines that the college-based accommodations available through NSCC are adequate to meet the student's needs. 

Check North Shore Community College Accessibility Services for more information about requesting and receiving accommodations. 




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