New Achieving the Dream Gateway to College Program to Open at Mount Hood Community College

Portland, OR (August 22, 2019) – Through philanthropic support and partnerships with three East Multnomah County School Districts, Mount Hood Community College (MHCC) will launch an Achieving the Dream (ATD) Gateway to College program on its campus in Gresham, OR. The Gateway to College program provides an opportunity for students who did not finish high school to complete a diploma while also beginning their college studies. MHCC joins Portland Community College (PCC) as the only other college in Oregon offering this innovative program. PCC developed the first Gateway to College program in 2000.

The ATD Gateway to College program at Mount Hood Community College will initially partner with the Gresham-Barlow, Centennial, and Reynolds school districts. Students enrolled in the program will have opportunities to explore careers in programs offered at the college, including applied technology and health professions. 

“The Gateway to College program will come with a high-level of support for each student, including an adviser who will work one-on-one with the student for the duration of the program, to ensure their success and completion,” shared Dr. Lisa Skari, president of MHCC. The initial class of Gateway to College students will start September 24, at the beginning of the college’s Fall Quarter.

The program launch was made possible through the philanthropic support from Umpqua Bank, which has committed $1 million to four Portland Metro-based nonprofits to expand economic education and empowerment opportunities for low- to moderate-income populations. The Umpqua Bank Charitable Foundation works to strengthen the communities Umpqua Bank serves by investing in organizations and initiatives that expand access to education and create economic opportunity for children and families.
 
“We’re pleased to expand our partnership with Mount Hood Community College and East Multnomah County school districts,” said Achieving the Dream Executive Vice President Emily Froimson. “ATD’s Gateway to College and PDX Bridge programs at Mount Hood and Portland Community College create critical opportunities for vulnerable young people to finish high school on a pathway to postsecondary success.”

The new program brings the total number of Gateway to College programs to 36 nationally and represents the first new program launched by ATD since the Gateway to College National Network became part of Achieving the Dream in April 2019. 

Achieving the Dream partners with colleges and school districts to establish dual-enrollment Gateway to College programs, reconnecting out-of-school or significantly off-track youth to their education. Students complete their high school diploma on a college campus while earning significant credit toward a postsecondary credential. Once operating at full capacity, Gateway to College programs are financially sustainable through partnerships that leverage college resources and K-12 per-pupil funds. Achieving the Dream continues to support programs through data collection and research, program improvement, and national convenings.

Achieving the Dream (ATD) leads a growing network of more than 277 community colleges committed to helping their students, particularly low-income students and students of color, achieve their goals for academic success, personal growth, and economic opportunity. ATD is making progress in closing academic achievement gaps and accelerating student success through a unique change process that builds each college’s institutional capacities in seven essential areas. ATD, along with nearly 75 experienced coaches and advisors, works closely with Network colleges in 44 states and the District of Columbia to reach more than 4 million community college students. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Wakelet.

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