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  • PCC’s Gateway to College program earns national honor

    Jeanelle Soto-Quintana

    PUEBLO – The Gateway to College program at Pueblo Community College recently received the highest honor awarded by the national GTC network.

    PCC’s is one of only 11 programs nationwide to receive the Program Excellence Award. PCC achieved the honor by exceeding all four of the network’s performance benchmarks – first-term grades, one-year persistence, two-year persistence and graduation rate.

    Jeanelle Soto-Quintana, director of PCC’s pre-college programs, accepted the award at the recent Gateway to College Directors Convening in New Haven, Conn.

    "Our students continue to exceed people's expectations all the time,” said Soto-Quintana. “They are amazing. They are smart and stronger than they look. To be honest, our team considers it a blessing and honor to work with them while they find their light."

    Gateway to College is for students ages 17 to 20 who, for a variety of reasons, have dropped out of high school or may not have had success in other learning environments. Through GTC, students earn their high school diploma from their original high school – not a GED – and simultaneously can earn college credit.

    “Our Gateway to College program continues to provide a wonderful opportunity for students to realize their potential. I find these students to be curious and highly motivated to find their personal niche and the educational opportunities needed to achieve their goals,” said PCC President Patty Erjavec. “As with all members of the PCC team, our Gateway to College colleagues do so much to promote and help our students achieve great success.”

    GTC is a program of Achieving the Dream, a national nonprofit that leads a network of more than 200 community colleges. Achieving the Dream supports its network colleges with intensive training and resources to help students, particularly low-income students and students of color, achieve their goals for academic success, personal growth and economic opportunity.

    PCC’s GTC program started in 2009. The college partners with eight school districts to offer the program at its Pueblo, Fremont and Southwest campuses.

    “Gateway to College programs provide a critical second chance for vulnerable high school students and a powerful testament to the importance of wraparound supports and creating a sense of belonging in college, said Emily Froimson, executive vice president of Achieving the Dream. “Nearly 75 percent of program graduates nationwide continue their postsecondary education.”

    PCC also received the Program Excellence Award in 2016 and 2017.

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    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.