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Media Advisory

Date: June 11, 2008
Media Contacts: Elizabeth Homan, 240-567-7970; Steve Simon, 240-567-

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Montgomery College, MCPS to Honor Students for Overcoming Odds, Earning High School Diplomas through Unique Program for At-Risk Youth

5–7 P.M.

Montgomery College, Rockville Campus
Music Building, Music Recital Hall

 Montgomery College and Montgomery County Public Schools will honor the achievements of 16 students who recently earned their Montgomery County High School diplomas through the Gateway to College Program this academic year. The Gateway to College program at Montgomery College serves at-risk youth, 16 to 20 years old, who stopped attending Montgomery County Public High Schools and for whom high school completion was at risk. The program gives students the opportunity to earn a high school diploma, while transitioning to a college campus and simultaneously accumulating high school and college credits.

The ceremony will feature congratulatory remarks from Montgomery College and MCPS administrators. One of the Gateway to College graduates, Emily Buell, who now attends Hofstra University, will serve as the student speaker.

The Gateway to College program gives its students a second chance to reach their dream of earning a high school diploma and ultimately earning a college degree or securing full-time employment. Two of the recent graduates who will be honored are now attending American University and Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC). Another graduate will attend East Carolina University in the fall and still another is following his dream of becoming a United States Army Ranger. Several more of the graduates will continue their education at Montgomery College, before transferring to a four-year college or university.

Montgomery College was selected in 2003 as one of the first two institutions in the nation to replicate the success of a groundbreaking Early College High School program pioneered by Portland Community College in Oregon. The Montgomery College “Gateway to College” program began in fall 2004 with approximately 60 students—20 at each of the College's three campuses in Germantown, Rockville and Takoma Park/Silver Spring. Today, more than 200 students are enrolled. The program is one of several joint initiatives between Montgomery College and Montgomery County Public Schools to ensure that students of all academic levels and backgrounds are better prepared for college and the workplace.

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Montgomery College is a public, open admissions community college with campuses in Germantown, Rockville, and Takoma Park/Silver Spring, plus workforce development/continuing education centers and off-site programs throughout Montgomery County, Md. The College serves nearly 60,000 students a year, through both credit and noncredit programs, in more than 100 areas of study.

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