How to Apply to Gateway to College
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Please review the basic eligibility requirements before applying to the program.

Gateway to College is for students who

  • are 16-21 years old,
  • live within the Durham Public Schools district,
  • have dropped out of high school before earning a diploma,
  • are behind in high school credits for age and grade,
  • read at an eighth grade level or higher,
  • can complete requirements for a high school diploma by age 22, and
  • have an expressed desire to earn a high school diploma and college degree.
Step 1: Complete an application packet.
Step 2: Attend an Information Session.  

aca 111 classMake sure to reserve a place at an Information Session by calling the Gateway to College information line at 919-536-7248 or emailing gateway@durhamtech.eduYou cannot just show up at an information session -- you must reserve a place.

Bring all of your application packet to the Information Session. At the Information Session, you will do the following:

  • Receive detailed information on the Gateway to College program, including program philosophy, expectations, benefits, and next steps;
  • Take a reading level assessment;
  • Have a chance to ask questions about the program;
  • Have your application materials reviewed to make sure you meet all basic eligibility requirements; and
  • Provide us with an opportunity to meet you and learn more about your academic and life goals.

Please note: Leaving a voicemail message or sending an email does not mean you are registered for an information session. A Gateway to College staff member must contact you to confirm eligibility and complete your registration. Once your registration is complete, you will receive a confirmation letter to bring with you to the Information Session. Due to space limitations, applicants must be registered and receive a confirmation letter in order to attend an Information Session.

Step 3: Complete Three COMPASS Evaluations  

Applicants who attended an Information Session and passed the initial TABE test will next be asked to take the college placement test (COMPASS). Applicants are asked to test into at least Math 060, Reading 080 and English 080 (all three are developmental courses offered at Durham Tech).

Applicants who test below these particular developmental courses are given an opportunity to re-test on their own. If a second test results in a non-passing score, the applicant is asked to study and take practice tests with a COMPASS testing preparation book (Chart Your Success on the COMPASS, available for check-out at the Gateway to College office) before they request permission from the Dean of Student Engagement and Transitions to take the test a third time.

You must be referred to an Evaluation Session from an Information Session.  You cannot attend an Evaluation Session without attending an Information Session first.

Step 4: Participate in an individual interview.  

After the Evaluation Session, you may be scheduled for an interview if you meet the eligibility requirements.

Your interview will be with one or more Gateway to College staff members and will allow you to discuss any questions you have about the program.  This is our chance to get to know you in a more personal setting and learn more about your strengths and your motivation to take part in the program.

Your interview will normally be within two weeks of the Information Session you attended.  It will take about 30 minutes to complete.

Please note: All interviews will take place at Durham Tech’s Main Campus at 1637 Lawson St., Durham, NC 27703.  Please make any necessary arrangements for transportation.

Step 5: Await Selection Committee review.  

group student photoThe Selection Committee will review all applications of candidates for the Gateway to College program who have completed steps 1 through 4.  It is very important that you turn in all required application materials by the deadline.  Acceptance is not guaranteed.  Space in the program is limited.

The Selection Committee will evaluate applicants based on the following requirements:

  • Candidate meets all the eligibility requirements.
  • Application is complete, and all application materials were turned in by the deadline.
  • Candidate achieves at least the minimum standard scores on all evaluations.
  • Candidate displays positive behavior, attitude, and participation at the Evaluation Sessions.
  • Candidate completes the individual interview and shows us that he/she is ready and motivated.
  • Candidate displays a commitment to completing the Gateway to College program.

You will be notified by mail of the Selection Committee’s decision.  If you are accepted, you will receive a letter of acceptance, your class schedule, contact information for your resource specialist, information about books and fees, and a campus map.

If you do not receive a notification letter, please call us at 919-536-7248 to check on your status.  If you haven’t heard from us, do not wait until the first day of classes to check on your acceptance status.  We are not responsible for mail not getting to you if you did not give us an accurate address or if you have moved since you applied and did not provide us with your new address.

We look forward to meeting you!


Durham Technical Community College
1637 East Lawson Street
Durham, NC 27703
919-536-7200

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