By Paola Nunez
CCC Journalism Program
How often are students given a second chance? The Gateway to College program offered by Camden County College does just that. The Gateway to College program gives students who have dropped out of high school an opportunity to take Camden County College classes toward completing their high school diploma requirements, and at the same time earn college credits.
This is a scholarship program that pays for tuition and books of students who have dropped out of high school. So how do we know that these students who have a history of dropping out will not drop out again?
Dennis Ferry, program director, states, “This is a very rigid program and attendance in required. Seventy five percent of the students do remain and follow through with the program.”
The program has been in place since September 2011, and 37 students were enrolled in the fall semester. Gateway staff and instructors have certain expectations of their students while they are in the program. They are expected to take the program seriously by attending all of their classes, being on time, being prepared, completing all assignments, and asking for help when needed. This program takes hard work and determination, but this opportunity will certainly prepare students for their future.
Communications major and student government secretary Margarete Roberts says, “Things happen. Sometimes things come up that prevent us from accomplishing what we want. It seems like these students are just trying to better themselves and this program provides them with that opportunity.”
According to the CCC website, “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 and are currently not attending school.”
Sometimes all a student needs is someone to give them another chance. The Gateway to College program states, “Our philosophy as a program and as a staff is that all students have the ability to achieve academic success. Show that they are willing to focus and work hard, and they can expect that we will do everything we can to help them achieve success earning a high school diploma and a college degree or certificate.”