(NEW HAVEN)–Achieving the Dream’s Gateway to College program at Mount Wachusett Community College (MWCC) has received a Program Excellence Award in recognition of exceeding all four benchmarks used to assess the performance of Gateway to College programs nationwide. The four benchmarks used to establish the Program Excellence Award are: first term success, one-year persistence, two year persistence and graduation (within three years). Through Gateway to College, students who have dropped out of high school or who are significantly off track, complete their high school diplomas in college-based programs while simultaneously earning credits toward a postsecondary credential.
This marks the 4th consecutive Program Excellence Award for the Mount Wachusett Gateway program, making it one of only two programs nationally to receive the honor over that duration of time. Mount Wachusett’s Gateway Program Director, Sara Vettese, was presented the award by Achieving the Dream President Dr. Karen A. Stout and Executive Vice President Emily Froimson at the Gateway to College Directors Convening in New Haven, Connecticut at the end of July. Vettese remarked on the program’s success, “these students are very fortunate to have the intrusive advising from our resource specialists Sharmese Gunn and David Thibault-Munoz. Their student-centered support is critical to the program’s success,” she said.
“This award recognizes the excellence of the program and the talent and persistence of these students,” said MWCC President Jim Vander Hooven. “Having celebrated with these graduates as they earn both high school diplomas and college degrees, I have seen first-hand the power of Gateway.”