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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Gateway preps students for fall

Photo by Meredith Collier  Gateway mentor Darrian Decuir greets students as they move in to Aston Hall.

In the spring, about 400 prospective college students received a letter from A&M that would allow them to experience a five-week program preparing them for full admittance to the University.
Coinciding with the start of Summer II classes, incoming students unloaded boxes of bedsheets and toiletries Monday preparing to spend the rest of their summer at A&M as part of the Gateway Program.
The program is A&M’s provisional admissions program for incoming freshmen chosen by the Office of Admissions, according to Sherrice King, associate director for the Gateway program.
“The Gateway program came out of something the University does — provisional admission,” King said. “A provisional admit is a student who may not have met every single qualification for admission but has pote
ntial so they are admitted provisionally through the Office of Admissions.”
Gateway students spend the second summer session taking classes, while having the opportunity to adapt to campus life.
“They learn about the requirements that different professors have, they take regular courses, though they are faster because they’re summer, they have an opportunity to learn about the campus, learn about the resources, to make friends, to understand what level of academic prowess they are going to need to have at Texas A&M,” King said.
King said although A&M has had provisional admission dates back to the 1970s and 1980s, the Gateway program began in the mid 1990s.
“Most students see it as an opportunity, especially when they look back on it, to get a chance to come to Texas A&M,” King said.
According to King, the Gateway program includes students from any of the colleges within A&M, unlike many other universities.
“Some athletic programs bring in their students early in a bridge program,” King said. “The format of this particular program is a requirement for all provisionally admitted students. So that’s a bit different in that it’s not an optional program for provisional students. It’s the only program that they can choose to do.”
Although many prospective students were “bummed” about starting classes earlier than their friends, said Carley Mallett, a senior communications major, a “detour” consisting of summer school wasn’t as important as getting into A&M.
“For me, getting into A&M was absolutely perfect — even if it meant that I had to take a few classes ahead of time. I remember the day I found out — I was ecstatic,” Mallett said.
Mallett said going into the Program with a positive mentality helped her shape the way she saw her Gateway experience.
“We were going to be the first Aggies of the class of 2015 to walk on campus, get to know professors, learn to study and feel that Aggie pride,” Mallett said. “It was more than I could have asked for. I would not have wanted to get accepted any other way.”
Gateway students have a unique opportunity to get to know each other in a smaller setting before the fall semester starts, King said.
“Some of my favorite memories were the close friends I made and the bond that ‘Gatewayers’ still have to this day,” Mallett said. “If you see someone from your Gateway class, it just brings a huge smile to your face.”
Nicholas Prijic, a junior nutrition science major, said one of the aspects he appreciated most about Gateway was experiencing “dorm life.”
“Just the concentration of all the Gateway kids in one area made it easy to host movie nights and just build lasting relationships for college,” Prijic said.
In addition to a social kick-start, Gateway also helped Martha Mikhail, senior allied health major, transition into collegiate academics.
“I got a head start on not only making friends, but getting to know A&M’s campus and what the classes were going to be like,” Mikhail said. “I don’t think the transition would have gone as smoothly without Gateway.”
Mikhail said her advice to Gateway students was to work hard, “be yourself” and enjoy every second of the rest of the summer.
“It’s a new chapter in your life and it is what you make of it,” Mikhail said. “Gateway will be one of your best experiences and the foundation of your college years.”

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  • Photo by Meredith Collier  Gateway mentor Darrian Decuir greets students as they move in to Aston Hall.

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