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QCC’s Gateway to College Program Receives Gateway’s Top National Honor

One of Only Five Programs Nationally to Win ‘Program Excellence Award’ Twice

Contact: Karen Hutner
Office of Institutional Communications
khutner [at]

Release Date: 

WORCESTER, MA— August 9, 2019— Quinsigamond Community College’s Gateway to College program has received a Program Excellence Award, Gateway to College’s highest national honor. Only 11 colleges nationwide received this award in 2019.  This is the second time QCC’s Gateway program earned this prestigious award and is one of only five programs in the nation to earn the award twice since the program’s inception four years ago.

These awards are given out by Achieving the Dream, which leads a network of 277 community colleges committed to helping their students achieve their goals for academic success, personal growth, and economic opportunity. Four benchmarks are used to measure how well the Gateway programs are supporting students in completing high school and achieving postsecondary success. The benchmarks measure: first term success, one-year persistence, two-year persistence, and graduation (within three years).

“This award recognizes the success of our students and our Gateway to College team for their hard work and performance, by exceeding all four benchmarks. This award is a great reminder to all who help and support our students through their dedication and everyday commitment to ensure student success,” said QCC’s Director of Gateway to College Marci Skillings.

Additionally, for the past four years Achieving the Dream has awarded a Graduation Achievement Award to 27 programs that exceeded the graduation benchmark. QCC Gateway has earned the Gateway Graduation Achievement Award each year since it was introduced.

“QCC’s Gateway to College program demonstrates that Early College programs can be transformative for struggling students. Gateway students arrive at QCC with an average high school GPA of 1.73, but graduates (of Gateway) are completing the program with 20 college credits, setting them up for greater postsecondary success, said Executive Vice President of Achieving the Dream, Emily Froimson.

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. QCC has hosted a Gateway to College program since 2012, and thus far 150 students have graduated from the program.

“Our full-immersion dual enrollment program offers a true second chance for students to achieve academic and personal student success,” Ms. Skillings said, adding that the QCC Gateway to College program is based on strong partnership with Uxbridge School District.

For more information about QCC, contact Josh Martin, Director of Institutional Communications at 508.854.7513 or jmartin [at]

Quinsigamond Community College is the most affordable higher education in Worcester County. As a regional leader in education and workforce development, QCC serves the diverse educational needs of Central Massachusetts by providing affordable, accessible, and high quality programming leading to transfer, career, and lifelong learning.