May 30, 2013

First ‘Gateway’ class graduates June 6

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BY: Cathy Hayden

Gateway to College LogoA graduation ceremony for high school students in Hinds Community College’s Gateway to College program is 9 a.m., Thursday, June 6 in the Lecture Hall of George Wynne Hall on the Rankin Campus in Pearl.Gateway to College, which began in fall 2012, is a Mississippi Works Partnership between Hinds Community College and Rankin County schools. The program enrolls high school students in danger of not graduating and allows them to finish high school at the college’s campus while also earning college credits.”We are thrilled to have five graduates of the Gateway to College program in its first year. Every student who graduates from this program receiving their high school diploma is a success story,” said Valerie Barton, Gateway to College director. “Not only do these students have their high school diploma, each of them also has college credit hours they have earned in the process.

“This joint effort between Hinds Community College and Rankin County School District is helping students who were once considered as ‘at risk’ to become productive citizens of our community,” she said.

Two of the students who are graduating are from Brandon High School and three are from Northwest Rankin High School.

“Our District is pleased with the results of our first-year partnership with Hinds’ Gateway to College program. The opportunity for students to complete high school and begin their college education at the same time is a great encouragement for these students,” said Rankin County school district Superintendent Dr. Lynn Weathersby, a member of Hinds Community College’s Board of Trustees.

The program has 85 enrolled for fall but is still taking applications throughout the summer, Barton said.

For more information, contact Barton at 601.936.5580 or at or see the Hinds website at