Community College of Philadelphia President Appointed to Gateway to College National Network Board of Directors

PHILADELPHIA, May. 13, 2010 — Community College of Philadelphia President Stephen M. Curtis has joined the board of directors of the Gateway to College National Network, a nonprofit organization tackling the dropout crisis by influencing changes to the developmental education of high school dropouts and academically underprepared college students.

The National Network has two programs: Gateway to College and Project DEgree. Community College of Philadelphia is one of 27 colleges in 16 states offering a Gateway to College program, which helps high school dropouts (ages 16-21) and students on the verge of dropping out to earn a high school diploma while also earning college credits. Project DEgree helps underprepared college students (ages 18-26) accelerate their progress through developmental education and on to transfer-level college courses.

President Curtis was nominated for a two-year term by the National Network’s leadership team, which is comprised of program directors from six Gateway programs across the country. He was approved by the board of directors in January. "When an estimated 1.3 million people drop out of high school each year, it is crucial to our national economy to provide a way for them to re-engage with the education system and succeed academically," President Curtis said.

Gateway to College National Network funders include: the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; Carnegie Corporation of New York; the Foundation to Promote Open Society, a sister organization of the Open Society Institute; The Kresge Foundation; and the Walmart Foundation. Portland Community College created the Gateway to College program in 2000. Nationally, students who have graduated from the Gateway to College program have earned both their high school diploma and an average of 41 semester college credits, putting them well on their way to earning an associate’s degree.