Announcement for the 2018 Gateway Academy:
It is with much reluctance that I make this announcement. The delay in making it was due in large part to our resistance in admitting defeat.
Since 1991, Shepherd University has offered the Washington Gateway Academy, a one-week residential, pre-college program intended to encourage eighth graders who are going into the ninth grade to think about, plan, and prepare for college. Over 2,190 middle/junior high school students throughout the state and the region have successfully completed this program. A survey of past participants of the Academy revealed that 81% attended college after high school, many crediting their Gateway experience as a significant boost in realizing their educational goals.
The Washington Gateway Academy was historically funded through the state of West Virginia; however, in recent years the state funding for this program has been drastically cut by over 80%. Shepherd University believes in the Academy’s mission and the positive impact this experience has had on the lives of its participants. Through hard work, grants, fundraising, and a request of a $100 commitment from each participant, Shepherd University was able to continue the program two years after the funding cut.
Unfortunately, this year we have not been successful in securing the necessary funds to host the Gateway Academy. It has always been our goal to keep the Academy affordable and available to all students. Rather than increasing the cost to the students, the decision was made to cancel the Academy for 2018.
It is our hope that Shepherd University will be able to offer the Washington Gateway Academy again in summer 2019. We are open to suggestions, ideas, or strategies of ways to fund the Academy. We are committed to finding any opportunity to bring this extraordinary opportunity to the students once again.
Thank you for your continued interest in the Washington Gateway Program. We hope to have better news in a few months. We are not giving up; we hope you won’t either.
What is the Gateway Academy?
Now in its 27th year, the Gateway Academy is a one-week residential, pre-college program intended to encourage eighth graders who are going into the ninth grade to think about, plan, and prepare for college. The program is held in the summer on the campus of Shepherd University.
Since 1991, over 2150 middle/junior high school students have attended this program. Formerly, the Gateway Academy was offered exclusively to West Virginia students. New last year, the geographic location for participants also includes counties in Virginia and Maryland. A survey of past participants of the Academy revealed that 81 percent were attending college after high school graduation. Many of these graduates credited their Gateway experience as a significant boost in realizing their higher education goals.
What does the Academy do?
Participants will get a feel for college by living on campus and attending classes that are led by teachers and college professors. Classes include hands-on activities that improve learning skills in science, math, writing, and social sciences. The academy will also provide instruction on how-to-study and career planning. Recreational activities such as bowling, billiards, and games are also scheduled throughout the week.
Participants will enjoy two field trips during the Academy, a day long trip to Washington, DC and an afternoon visit to nearby Harpers Ferry National Park. All trips are related to class activities.