Gateway courses are the first college-level course a student takes in a subject and passing these in math and English are the first academic milestones to getting a degree. Nationally, in the USA, more than 67% of community college students are labeled academically underprepared in math/English but Gateway Courses have shown a positive impact. 

In a community college, 45% of those with gateway courses graduate in three years whereas that number drops to just 20% for those not enrolled into gateway courses. There is also an important “Equity” perspective to this. In Kentucky, institutional performance gaps exist by race, income and age. Closing equity gaps by improving gateway course success will be critical to reaching Kentucky’s educational goal of having 60% of its population with a postsecondary credential or degree by 2030. 

The Kentucky standard mandates corequisite education, which has a positive impact on the success of gateway courses and reduces performance disparities among different student groups within institutions. This approach enables students to seamlessly transition into college-level coursework while benefiting from structured academic support.

The impact is significantly amplified when the efforts to enhance the success of gateway courses are integrated with other key institutional priorities.

Gateway Course for Student Success
Source: Kentucky Student Success Collaborative