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Published: Wednesday, 6/18/2014

'Gateway' program to help gain high school diploma, college credits


Owens Community College is accepting applications from Toledo Public School students who have dropped out or are falling behind in school to get their high school diploma through Owens.

It is the third year of the program called Gateway to College. Funding for it comes in part from the Bill Gates Foundation grant, and this is the final year of the grant. So far, three have graduated in the first two years out of about 50 students enrolling each fall and another 25 in the spring.

“Unfortunately, we lose students through poverty, work, or social issues,” said James Jackson, director of Gateway to College for Owens. 

Still, he said, the program changes lives for the graduates.

“You see students graduate and know the kids would be in negative situations without it,” he said. “They could be homeless, in jail, or pregnant and know they have their high school diploma and college credit.”

Next semester, Mr. Jackson expects seven graduates. Owens plans to continue the program past next year and possibly opening it up to other area districts.

The program is free for students, paid for mostly by Toledo Public Schools and the grant. 

Gateway to College is designed for young adults ages 16 to 21 who have dropped out of high school or behind in credits and unlikely to graduate. The program enables them to complete their high school diploma requirements while simultaneously earning college credit toward an associate degree or certificate.

Applications must be returned to the Owens‘‍ Gateway to College Office at its downtown campus at 1301 Monroe Street by Aug. 1. Fall classes at the downtown campus begin Aug. 25. Owens main campus is in Perrysburg Township.

Contact Matt Thompson at:, 419-356-8786, or on Twitter at @mthompson25.

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