Gateway courses are the first college-level courses a student takes in a subject area. They are the academic milestones that serve as the foundation for student success in college. The success of gateway courses in math and English in the first year predicts student retention and completion rates. In Kentucky, only 5% of first-time students completed gateway courses in math and English by May 2021, and 19046 first-time students failed to reach this key academic milestone. Early momentum matters, and students who complete gateway courses in math and English are more likely to graduate within three years. Corequisite models increase gateway course success, and institutions focused on being "student-ready" are best prepared to provide the necessary support for all students admitted to their programs. It is critical to improving gateway course success and closing equity gaps to achieve Kentucky's educational attainment goal of 60% of the population with a postsecondary credential or degree by 2030. Improving pedagogy through effective learning experiences, such as culturally responsive and just-in-time teaching, is key to student success. Other institutional priorities, such as pathways connecting gateway course success to overall student success strategies, can further enhance success rates. In conclusion, gateway courses are a vital component of college success, and it is necessary to provide adequate support and resources to ensure all students can succeed.
Infographic by: cpe.ky.gov