high school dropouts a second chance is what the Gateway to College program is
all about. On Tuesday, the Pueblo Community College Foundation was a recipient
of an AT&T Aspire grant that will support PCC’s ability to make that
program more available to students.
Robinette, a Pueblo native who has served as AT&T's Colorado president since
March, presented the college with a $20,000 Aspire grant in an announcement
held in PCC’s Center for New Media studio. Accepting the grant was Martha
Simmons, the PCC Foundation’s Executive Director.
grant will enable PCC to:
Gateway to College program provides an opportunity for youths between the ages
of 17 and 21 to get back on track after leaving the traditional high school
educational path. It is anticipated that the Aspire grant will enable 150
students the chance to simultaneously earn a high school diploma and college
credits toward an associate’s degree or certificate.
established in January 2009, PCC’s program is among the top three ranked
Gateway programs nationally. It has a persistence rate of 71% compared 53%
nationally, and its cohort graduate rate is 62% compared to the average of 27%.
its inception at PCC, the program has served more than 437 students, with many
of them going on to earn college certificates and degrees. Initially, students
enter into a learning community of 20-25 students who take their first-term
courses (reading, writing, math and an academic lab) together on campus. The
students then transition to taking regular college courses, learning
presentation skills along the way.
must adhere to requirements but also have the freedom to learn at their own
level. Most of them thrive by being in the college environment and with
encouraging mentors who treat them as adults.
support from AT&T is greatly appreciated,” said PCC President Patty
Erjavec. “Our Gateway students have so much potential, and this investment in
our program will go a long way in providing additional learning opportunities
to these young men and women as they pursue their high school diploma and the
path toward a postsecondary degree.”
grant was written through a PCC collaboration of Linda Tremblay, Grant
Writer/Manager; Juanita Fuentes, Director of Community Education & Training
& Pre-College Programs; and Jeanelle Soto-Quintana, who oversees the
Gateway to College and other pre-college programs.
The AT&T Aspire program invests millions in
education, with the focus on helping more students graduate from high school
and to be ready for college and careers. Since 2008, it has provided support to
more than 1,000 national and community organizations. Robinette handles
legislative work for AT&T as well as its community affairs activities among
Founded in 1933, Pueblo Community College is a premier teaching institution focused on providing academic and service excellence to help its students acquire the 21st Century skills needed to better their lives. An educational and technological leader, PCC fosters economic development and utilizes strong partnerships in the communities it serves through its Pueblo, Fremont and Southwest campuses.