Not too late to go back to school

FLINT — It is back-to-school time for everyone—including students who have stopped or dropped out of high school, are at risk of dropping out, or don’t have enough credits to graduate. Mott Community College’s (MCC) Gateway to College program can help these students get back on track and complete their high school diploma, while simultaneously earning college credits toward an associate’s degree or certificate.

Gateway to College is for young adults ages 16-24 who have dropped out of high school or are significantly behind in credits for their age and not on track to graduate. A national initiative, the Flint program is a partnership between Mott Community College and the Flint Community Schools. Gateway to College is a scholarship program that pays for college tuition and books.

“For the right students, this program can be life changing,” said Dr. Sounya Walker, Director of the Gateway to College program at MCC. One of those lives was Katherine Hyatt, a 2017 graduate of the Gateway program, she was awarded the MCC Trustee Scholarship Award and earned an Associate Degree in General Studies in 2018. She is currently working on a second Associate’s degree in Science before transferring to a four-year college to pursue her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology.

After dropping out of high school when her son was born, Hyatt credits the Gateway program with enabling her to get her education back on track and find her career path.

“We are successful because we tailor the educational experience to the student,” said Walker. “During their first semester (foundation term), students take basic classes in reading, writing, mathematics and college skills.” When they complete the “foundation term”, students continue taking regular college-level classes at MCC to complete their high school diploma.

“This enables the student to simultaneously earn credits toward a high school diploma and a college degree or certificate, similar to a dual enrolled student in high school,” she said. “Our goal is to reintroduce young people to education, acclimate them to a college environment, build their basic skills, improve their academic habits, and prepare them for college success,” Walker explained.

During their enrollment in the program, students receive wrap-around support, one-on-one advising, and mentoring from Resource Specialists who keep students on track for high school completion, while at the same time assisting them with transitioning to post-secondary education. Once students have completed their high school diploma requirements they graduate from the Gateway to College program.

Please call the MCC Gateway to College program for more information at 810-232- 2690 or email us at P.S.

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