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Gateway to College

What is Gateway to College?

Gateway to College is a free full-immersion dual enrollment program for Massachusetts high school students desiring to earn college credits while earning a high school diploma. The program provides motivated students a fresh chance to achieve academic success while getting a jumpstart on college.

How does it work?

Students are simultaneously enrolled to earn a high school diploma through Ralph C. Mahar High School while earning free college credits toward an Associate degree or certificate at Mount Wachusett Community College.

All classes take place on the Mount Wachusett Community College campuses. During the first semester, students complete coursework in core academic subjects at the Gardner Campus. In subsequent semesters, students are guided toward a pathway or college major based on courses needed for both the high school diploma and MWCC Associate degree. Each 3-credit college course is the equivalent of a one-year core subject requirement or elective. Students have the opportunity to enroll in courses at other MWCC campuses, including the Leominster and Devens campuses, and they have full access to MWCC support services, student activities and free tutoring including MCAS support.

Who is eligible?

The type of students who should consider this program:

  • Have not earned a high school diploma, to include currently enrolled students, GED/HiSET recipients, home schooled students and students who left high school prior to graduating
  • Are at least 16, no older than 21
  • Live in Massachusetts
  • Are motivated and willing to work hard

How does one apply for the program?

Steps for Applying to Gateway
Gateway Application Fall 2017/Spring 2018
Dear Prospective Gateway Student
High School/Home School Student Application Form
Gateway Frequently Asked Questions
Gateway Fall 2017 Info Sessions


Check out the Spring 2016 cohort in this news story:


Students who have a disability and who may require accommodations in order to participate fully in program activities at MWCC should contact Gateway to College to discuss their specific needs at 978-630-9248.

Gateway to College is administered through the Access and Transition Division at MWCC and is funded by School Choice funds from the Ralph C. Mahar Regional School District. The program is a member of Gateway to College National Network and is a training and partner support site for three community colleges selected to host a Gateway program through the Massachusetts High School Graduation Initiative.