HCC’s Gateway to College Program Wins National Award

HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) – An alternative high school program for dropouts and students at risk of dropping out has won a national award for its graduation rate.

According to a press release sent to 22News by Holyoke Community College, HCC’s Gateway to College program received the graduation award in June at Achieving the Dream’s K-12 Partnerships Institute in Portland, Oregon. Dream Fulfillment looks after the national Gateway to College network.

The award recognizes participating Achieving the Dream institutions that exceed the 50% achievement threshold established by the national Gateway to College network. HCC’s 3-year graduation rate was 88% (2019-2021). The national average was 68%.

“Despite the obvious challenges of the past two years, you and your Gateway network colleagues have consistently done all you can for your students,” wrote Stephanie Davolos, director of K-12 Partnerships for Achieving the Dream, in a message from Congratulations to Vivian Ostrowski, Director of HCC’s Gateway to College.

“HCC’s graduation rate of 88% is well beyond your long-standing goal of 80%. I’m delighted,” Davalos said. “You and your team pave the way for our network and our domain. The continuous improvement of our network is due to exemplary programs like yours, and your results will have an impact far beyond your community. We know that these student outcomes are the product of a culture of relentless kindness, constant reflection, curriculum improvement, and an enormous amount of hard work and care.

Since 2008, nearly 500 students have graduated from high school through HCC’s Gateway to College program, which has received the National Graduation Award multiple times in recent years, as well as the excellence of the national Gateway program in 2016 and 2017.

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