Gateway To College

Program Benefits

  • This is a scholarship program that pays for your tuition and books
  • Earn your high school diploma
  • Attend class in a supportive and educational environment
  • Earn college credit toward your associate's degree or certificate while taking classes toward your high school diploma

Program Requirements

In order to be accepted into the Camden Gateway to College program, you must:

  • Be 16 to 20 years old
  • Possess reading skills at an eighth grade level or higher
  • Currently live within the Camden City School District
  • Have the desire and determination to learn and to earn a high school diploma and a college degree

How to be Successful in This Program

As a Gateway to College student, you will have the unique opportunity to take Camden County College classes towards completing your high school diploma requirements while earning transferable college credits at the same time. There are certain expectations that Gateway staff and instructors will have of you while you are in the program. They include:

  • Attending all of your classes. A Gateway to College Education at Camden County College has the potential to positively affect the rest of your life. We expect that you take this seriously by attending all of your classes.
  • Coming to class on time, being prepared with class materials, completing all class and homework assignments, and asking for help when you need it. We are always here to help you succeed. Please remember that this program will take hard work and determination, but this opportunity will prepare you for your future
  • Spending three to four hours a day working on homework outside of class time. We set high standards and are confident that you can meet them. Homework will be given on a daily basis.
  • Following the code of conduct for students outlined in the Camden County College handbook. You will receive a program handbook that details guidelines for student behavior.

What You Can Expect

As a Gateway to College student, expect to be challenged, just as any high school or college student would be. Our philosophy as a program and as a staff is that all students have the ability to achieve academic success. Show that you are willing to focus and work hard, and you can expect that we will do everything we can to help you achieve success earning a high school diploma and a college degree or certificate.

We believe that all students have the capacity to achieve in the collegiate environment. However, we do not expect our students to succeed without support.

We offer an array of services to help students achieve academic success, including:

  • A dedicated resource specialist to act as mentor, coach and advisor
  • Individualized attention
  • Personal counseling and guidance
  • Steps and skills for problem solving, time management and stress management
  • Tips for success in school that teach you how to take effective notes, study for tests and balancing schoolwork and family life
  • Information and referrals for many additional resources, including tutoring, student activities and health services

Gateway to College is supported by Portland Community College, a national intermediary of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and its partners, the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Ford Foundation and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. The Gateway to College program in Camden is funded through Camden County College and our partner in student success, the Camden City School District.

Find out more

How to Apply to the Gateway to College Program

Four-Step Application Process
Please review the basic eligibility requirements before applying to the program:

  • You are between the ages of 16-20
  • Not currently attending school and have been out of school for at least 6 months
  • You live within the boundaries of the Camden City School District
  • You are behind in credits for your grade level
  • You are able to read at an 8th grade level or higher, as determined by a reading assessment

Please phone (856) 968-1240 to request an application.

Step 1: Contact the Gateway Office to obtain an application and register for an information session.

  • Complete the application packet in full. Do not forget to sign your name
  • Complete your written answers to the essay questions found in the application packet
  • Complete the consent form and educational records release form included in the application packet, sign each and, if you are under the age of 18, have your parent or guardian sign them as well

You must register in advance to attend an information session and you must bring your completed application (see Step One). An Information Session may take up to 2.5 hours. Parents or guardians are encouraged to attend.

Information Session Agenda

  • Receive detailed information on the Gateway to College program, including program philosophy, expectations, benefits and next steps
  • Complete a reading level assessment
  • Review your application materials to make sure you meet all basic eligibility requirements
  • Allow us to have a chance to meet you and learn more about your academic and life goals

Step 3: Participate in an Interview Session
After steps 1 and 2 have been completed, you will be scheduled for an interview if you have met all of the eligibility requirements.

Your interview will be with a Gateway professional. This will afford us an opportunity to learn more about your strengths and your motivation to take part in the program. This is also an opportunity for you to ask any questions that you may have about the program.

Your interview will normally be a week or so after your information session and will take approximately an hour to complete. All interviews will take place at our Camden County College office, located in College Hall, room 118.


Step 4: Selection Committee Review
The selection committee will review all candidate applications for the Gateway to College program that have completed steps 1-3. It is very important that you submit all required application materials by the deadline. Acceptance is not guaranteed. Space in the program is limited.

The selection committee will be evaluating applicants based on the following factors:

  • 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 letter of the selection committee's decision. If you are accepted, you will receive a letter of acceptance, your class schedule, and contact information for your resource specialist.

If for some reason you do not receive an acceptance letter, please phone us at (856) 968-1240 to check on your status. Do not wait until the first day of classes to check on your acceptance status.

Please notify us immediately of any change in your contact information, including address, home phone and cell phone.


Who are Gateway to College students?

  • Gateway to College is for students who meet the following criteria:
  • 16 to 20 years old
  • Not currently attending high school and have been out of school
  • Reading ability at eighth grade level or higher
  • Able to complete their high school diploma by age 21
  • A diverse group of young people facing many challenges
  • Willing to make a long-term commitment (two or more years) to work hard to complete high school and progress toward a college degree or certificate

Gateway to College does not serve students who are doing well in high school and want to make an early transition to college. Gateway to College works exclusively with students who have not experienced success in a traditional high school and are currently not attending school.

What can I achieve in this program?

Gateway students can earn their high school diploma and earn Camden County College credits toward an associate's degree or certificate.

How long would it take me to earn my high school diploma?

Students are in Gateway to College for one to three years. The exact length of time varies depending on your course load and credit needs. You will remain in Gateway to College until you earn a high school diploma. We encourage and assist Gateway graduates in continuing their education when they have completed the program

What is expected of me?

  • You are expected to attend all of your classes
  • You are expected to come to class on time, be prepared with class materials and to complete all class and homework assignments
  • You are expected to spend three to four hours a day on homework, outside of class time. We strongly encourage students who have a job to consider the time demands of the program
  • You are expected to adhere to all Camden County College policies and procedures

What is the cost of the program?

Gateway to College is a scholarship program. The scholarship pays for college tuition, fees and books.

What kind of support can I expect as a Gateway to College student?

A Resource Specialist is assigned to students who are accepted into the program.  Resource Specialists provide support and access to resources to help you succeed in the program. The specialists also provide the following services:

  • Transcript reviews and academic advising
  • Assistance with completing enrollment and registration
  • Referrals to resources, such as tutoring, student activities and health services
  • Personal counseling and guidance, including assistance with problem solving, time management and stress management

Mailing Address

Gateway to College
Camden County College
200 No. Broadway – Room 118
Camden, NJ  08102

Phone: (856) 227-7200 ext. 1240
Fax: 856-968-1290

Contact Information

Irvin Sweeney, Director
(856) 227-7200 ext. 1247

Scott Oliver, Assistant Director
(856) 227-7200 ext. 1242