Gateway Courses: Building Momentum For College Student Success

gateway courses

A gateway course, or the first college level course a student takes in a subject area, is one of the best predictors on how well a student will do in their college career. Completing a gateway course in math or English can increase student retention by as much as 34% and more than double the graduate rate within 3 years. More than 2 out of 3 students are labeled as academically underprepared for math and/or English nationally, but regardless of GPA, students are much more likely to succeed when placed directly into college level courses. Students placed in college level English and college level math were more than 3 times more likely to succeed than those who were placed in lower level classes. 

With how vital the beginning momentum in gateway courses is, we see too few students complete these courses. In Kentucky, 29,303 first time students enrolled in KY public institutions in fall 2020. Of these first time students, over 19,000 of them did not achieve this key academic milestone, which is a major factor for success.

Learn more about the challenges students face in the way of college success and how Kentucky is helping students succeed in their college careers here.

Gateway Course for Student Success
Source: Kentucky Student Success Collaborative