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Gateway Program Welcomes and Prepares Incoming Students

Posted by Pengxeu Thao '15, Roseville on Friday, Aug. 2, 2013

The University of Minnesota, Morris’s 19th annual Gateway Program welcomed 28 incoming students on Sunday, July 21. The program encourages talented students to expand their educational and career aspirations.

Gateway was created in 1995 by the late Joseph Latterell, professor emeritus of chemistry, the late Thomas McRoberts, director of continuing education, and William Stewart, former Multi-Ethnic Student Program director. The four-week program helps new students build skills for college success by providing English and statistics courses. It also features a new Navigating Campus and Community (NCC) course in which students from both Gateway and STELLAR, a summer program for international students, learn about college resources and opportunities alongside one another.

New students Brenda Muthoni ’17, North Saint Paul, and Yessica Zuniga ’17, Minneapolis, embrace the opportunity to immerse themselves with the campus. “Gateway gives us a chance to experience campus without the worries of the school year,” they say. “To us, it means we get the opportunity to get ahead and know what to do.”

In addition to learning the necessary skills for college readiness, students are traveling to the Stevens County Fair, Pomme de Terre, and a ropes course in Spicer. These trips and activities not only introduce students to the town and surrounding areas, but also serve as bonding and networking experiences to build a support group for their upcoming years.

According to Sue Lor, academic excellence coordinator in the Office of Equity, Diversity, and Intercultural Programs, the experiences offered by the Gateway program help retain students at Morris. He adds that Gateway participants are more likely to become student leaders as a result of the program, as is shown by the returning mentors. For these reasons and others, he believes the program not only provides long-term benefits to its new students, but also gives mentors meaningful experiences.

“The mentors like to give back to the program,” says Lor when asked about seeing returning Gateway students as mentors. “It shows the retention and that the program made a positive impact.”

“After being in Gateway ourselves, you get to know what the new students are going through and a better understanding of the program,” say former Gateway participants Olivia Klemek ’15, Cold Spring, and Travis Crego ’16, Maple Grove. The two now make use of past experiences in their positions as Gateway mentors and role models.

The Gateway program ends on August 15. For more information, visit or call the Multi-Ethnic Resource Center at 320-589-6095.