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Gateway to College

Two Gateway to College Students in the Library
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Gateway to College, a national dropout recovery and scholarship program, allows students between the ages of 16 and 20 who may not have been successful in high school the opportunity to get back on track and earn a high school diploma.

Through the program and under the guidance of a caring team of instructors and student support specialists with experience and interest in at-risk youth, students complete their high school diploma requirements at community colleges while simultaneously earning college credits toward an associate’s degree, transfer credits, or a certificate. Young people who had little chance of graduating from high school are achieving post-secondary success and pursuing college degrees that will lead to fulfilling and challenging careers.

Since 2003, Gateway to College has evolved from a single-site program into a national network of 35 colleges in 20 states partnering with more than 125 school districts. SFCC is proud to join Gateway to College National Network in this initiative and is the third college in Washington State to implement the program.

We are in the News!

Gateway to College is for students who:

  • Are 16 to 20 years old.
  • Are behind in high school credits (for age and grade), with a history of absenteeism and low GPA, or already dropped out of school.
  • Have fewer than 17 credits when they begin the program
  • Live in one of the following school districts: Spokane Public Schools; West Valley School District; Central Valley School District; Cheney School District; Mead School District; Nine Mile Falls School District; East Valley School District; Freeman School District
  • Read at an eighth grade level or higher (English proficiency).
  • Are able to complete their high school diploma by age 21.
  • Are willing to make a long term commitment (two or more years) to work hard to complete high school and progress toward a college degree.

5-Step Application Process

Please review the basic eligibility requirements before applying to the program:
  1. Complete an Application packet
  2. Attend an evaluation session
  3. Participate in an interview with program staff
  4. Selection Committee Review
You can also call (509) 533-3474 to request an application.

Please note: Leaving a voice mail message 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. Due to space limitations, applicants must be registered and receive a confirmation letter in order to attend an upcoming Information Session.

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Contact Gateway to College

Gateway to College
Spokane Falls Community College
Building 17-141
3410 W. Fort George Wright Dr.
MS 3174
Spokane, WA 99224-5288

Tel: (509) 533-3474
Email: GatewayToCollege@sfcc.spokane.edu

Become a Partner...Learn More

If you work at a school district in the Spokane area and are interested in becoming one of our partner districts, please contact Jennifer Alt at Jennifer.Alt@sfcc.spokane.edu or (509) 533-3723 for further information.

Alt, Jennifer; Associate Dean for Student Transitions

Alt, Jennifer; Associate Dean for Student Transitions Office: 17-140B

Phone: (509) 533-3723

Email: Jennifer.Alt@sfcc.spokane.edu

Hello! My name is Jennifer Alt and I recently relocated to Spokane to work with Gateway to College at Spokane Falls Community College. I grew up in Stockton, California and received my Bachelor's degree in Psychology and Sociology and my Master's degree in Education with a concentration in School Counseling from California State University, Stanislaus in Turlock, California. While I was in college, I became a student worker for a program called EOP (Educational Opportunity Program) and realized that my passion was working with educationally disadvantaged, lower-income, and first-generation youth to help them achieve their dream of a college education.

After graduating with my Master's degree, I accepted a position with Woodland Community College in Woodland, California with EOP&S and CARE, in which I continued working to help college students achieve their goals. In 2006, I accepted a position as a Counselor/Coordinator for Upward Bound at the University of Nevada, Reno and it was during this time that I served as the President for the Nevada Chapter of WESTOP, a professional organization dedicated to those who work in educational equity. Additionally, I enrolled as a full-time doctoral student in the Educational Leadership program at UNR and have recently completed my Ph.D. In March, 2012, I accepted the position as Director for Gateway to College at SFCC and made the move to Spokane.

As I continue to settle in to this wonderful new community, I look forward to exploring, traveling, and learning more about the Inland Northwest. In my free time, I enjoy traveling, dining, reading, great movies, and spending time with my loved ones. I look forward to meeting the new students in our program and continuing to work to expand opportunity and access to education for those who most need and desire it.

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DeFour, Julius; Instructor/Gateway to College Academic Success Coach

DeFour, Julius; Instructor/Gateway to College Academic Success Coach Office: 17-140F

Phone: (509) 533-3494

Email: Julius.DeFour@sfcc.spokane.edu

Hello, my name is Julius DeFour (pronounced DeFoo), and I am proudly from Spokane. After graduating from Lewis and Clark High School I attended Western Washington University for two years. I transferred after my sophomore year to Middle Tennessee State University where I earned a Bachelors Degree in Liberal Arts. As well during my time in University I was in athletics, competing for the track team as a high jumper. I began my experience in education while doing an Americorp Teaching Fellowship in the San Francisco-Bay Area. I earned a Master's Degree in Education through this fellowship and honed my skills as an educator. After 9 years of hopping around, exploring the world, and myself in it I landed back in Spokane where I've been working at Rogers High School for the past three years as an academic mentor, and coach. I'm very excited to be working with the students and staff at Gateway and the larger Spokane Falls Community.

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Estrada, Hadda; Instructor/ Gateway to College Academic Success Coach

Estrada, Hadda; Instructor/ Gateway to College Academic Success Coach Office: 17-140C

Phone: (509) 533-3646

Email: Hadda.Estrada@sfcc.spokane.edu

My name is Hadda Estrada, and I was born and grew up in Paris, France. I spent most of my life in France where I got the opportunity to travel throughout Europe. After I graduated from the University of Marne-la-Valle in Business Administration, I decided to pursue my interest in communication and languages.

I moved to Monroe, Louisiana and went to the University of Louisiana at Monroe (ULM) where I furthered my education in Business Administration. In 2001, I graduated with my BA in Economics. Soon after, I enrolled in the Master of Arts in Communication with a concentration in Mass Communication. I received my MA from ULM and began teaching Communication courses for over 7 years. As a Speech Instructor, I taught students from diverse academic, socioeconomic, and cultural backgrounds to combat fears associated with public speaking and to help them realize speaking attributes.

In 2006, I began working as a Retention Advisor and Communication Studies Instructor and was strongly committed to academic advising, retention and graduation efforts. I was involved in all aspects of the Student Success Center's functions, to include advising, teaching, program development and management. I also taught multiple sections of University Seminar each semester. This class was part of ULM's First Year Experience and the Learning Communities program, a very critical component that impacted every incoming freshman at the institution. I worked very closely with students each semester to help them transition both socially and academically to the university.

In 2010, my family and I moved to Spokane. We enjoy being outdoors, going on hikes, and riding our bikes. Our love and passion for traveling and discovering other cultures is never-ending. All my family lives in Europe, so we try to visit them as much as possible.

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