gateway courses

Helping Students Succeed Through Gateway Courses

By Brian Wallace

Did you know that even the lowest performing high school students can succeed when placed directly in college-level courses. Early completion of gateway courses – the first college-level courses students take in a subject– has been shown to significantly increase the chances of students completing their degree on time. 

It may seem counterintuitive that low performing high schoolers excel in college level courses, but it’s true. Students with a GPA under 2.0 were shown to have a 3x success rate if placed in college-level English. This is because gateway courses are student centered, and when students are given access to the tools they need to learn, their success rates increase significantly.

Many gateway courses are also taught from a culturally responsive view. Teachers provide a curriculum that features historical materials and culturally relevant examples with a social justice focus, making the content more approachable for students and makes them feel more engaged with their lessons. By putting the needs of all students first, we can expect to see a major increase in the amount of students that succeed in completing their degree programs.

To learn more about the importance of gateway courses and prioritizing student success, take a look at the infographic below:

Gateway Course for Student Success
Source: Kentucky Student Success Collaborative