Frequently Asked Questions
1. Who may participate in the pro bono GATE College System Pilot Program?
Students in grades 10 and 11 who are ready to begin SAT and/or ACT prep by January of 2018.
We particularly seek students who are first generation in their family to aspire to graduate a 4-year college or university, but all students may apply. Recommended GPA: 2.0 or higher.
Note: 4,500 students from 150 high schools are already participating. We will cap total at 10,000 students. Limited space remains for pro bono access, so it is recommended to connect quickly in order not to miss out.
2. When is the best time to have students get started with GATE?
GATE was researched and developed to offer support for all grade levels from 9-12. In broad strokes, this encompasses:
G: 9th grade
A: 10th grade
T: 11th grade
E: 12th grade
Because GATE is modular, it can be adapted at any grade level, based on facilitator recommendation. In our pilot program, we will particularly work with 10th-11th graders, and they will experience each section of the curriculum.
3. Who can see student information and academic progress in GATE?
a. Administrators will have digital “super admin” access, and be able to oversee all student progress in a gradebook style spreadsheet of all facilitators and participants they oversee.
b. Beneath that “super admin” level, one or many facilitators will have “facilitator access,” wherein they have access to their own student or group of students only on GATE’s Facilitator Dashboard. This presents student progress gradebook-style.
c. The data research team working with GATE College System, Inc. will have access to assessment results within the platform. The list will be generated in FERPA compliance under the conditions outlined in 34 CFR § 99.31. All students must be over 13 years of age, per COPPA law.
4. When does pilot program start and end?
Actual platform access for students is slated to begin Monday, January 15, 2018. Data will be tabulated after April 23, 2018. Pilot program applications have begun. All selected participants will be notified and onboarded pro bono by December 1, 2017.
5. Who created GATE?
26 professional educators collaborated for 3+ years to innovate this digital college admissions solution, under the supervision of founder and CEO Pamela Donnelly. Learn more about Pamela here.
6. Why haven’t I heard of GATE before?
GATE as a platform is new, and few outside the Los Angeles area know of it yet. The fact that it’s been created by the team at Valley Prep Tutoring, a well-reputed educational services agency, means that locals in California will be more familiar with this, as well as those who have seen media coverage nationwide. Founder P. Donnelly has been endorsed by Time Magazine and PR outlets across the country. See media reel excerpts here, and view her personal website here www.pameladonnelly.com and LinkedIn account.
7. Who can use GATE, and who shouldn’t?
GATE offers an appropriate college admissions tool for students who typically perform across the middle 90% of the bell curve of academic ability. Students with strong GPAs and ambitious course loads will benefit, and so will average students as well as those in the middle. Facilitators should exercise judgmentt on an individual basis in determining if students with particular learning differences will benefit from this curriculum. Anyone with lower than a 2.0 GPA is recommended to receive remediation in foundational skills before undertaking the GATE program.
8. Can students who plan to attend community college benefit from GATE?
Yes. Because GATE increases comprehension and strategies related to many types of courses students will face at that level, it is an appropriate curriculum for students aiming for community college rather than 4-year schools. Note: the test prep portion will not be necessary per se, as the SAT and ACT will not be requisite. The skills taught in that section will, however, provide benefits on placement exams.
9. How do students obtain a financial aid benefit as a direct result of GATE?
For every incremental increase in SAT and ACT scores, and for every maximized GPA, students are assessed by colleges for merit-based aid. GATE not only buttresses these key metrics, but also teaches students how to target the right scholarships, fill out the FAFSA correctly, and navigate recommended financial aid tips. The intention of the curriculum is to not only help teens gain acceptance but also facilitate the means for affording tuition.
10. Does each student need a separate account?
Yes. Once a student has an account, it is non-transferable.
11. How many students can a single facilitator oversee?
There is no limit to how many students and facilitators a “super admin” can oversee. A single facilitator can oversee up to 30 students at a time per Facilitator Dashboard (gradebook). It is acceptable for one facilitator to oversee multiple groups of up to 30 each.
12. When students add their schools to their Lists 1, 2 and 3 are those colleges notified?
No. GATE has no commercial relationship with colleges. The purpose of the lists is for students to organize their thinking, and to be able to share on social media which schools they think they may wish to attend. This is not a requirement, but an option.
13. If we are selected for the pilot program, for how long will GATE be without charge?
All students who participate in the pilot will have ongoing pro bono access through high school graduation. This is a gift. Future students may be added at an affordable rate. Those fees are slated to be announced in early 2018.
14. Is there a way to give credit for full completion of GATE as an academic course?
This will be at the discretion of the school or program utilizing the program. It certainly can count as an elective program for schools and organizations seeking to optimize student outcomes related to college acceptance and readiness.
15. What does GATE seek from this pilot program?
GATE seeks third-party verification of measurable student outcomes, with data related to student gains and a short survey filled out by students and facilitators.
Results will be shared with several nationally recognized organizations committed to addressing America’s educational inequities.