Program allows those who dropped out of school get their diploma - WNEM TV 5

Program allows those who dropped out of school get their diploma, college credits

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(Source: WNEM) (Source: WNEM)
FLINT, MI (WNEM) -

A special community college program in Mid-Michigan is giving those who dropped out of high school a chance to get their degree and more.

For the past year, Katie Hyett packed her books alongside her son as he got ready for school.

Six years ago she had to put her high school education on hold to focus on raising her son.

Now, after years of work she is finally graduated and she received more than just a diploma.

"Plus it's a good impression for him like I don't want him to think that he doesn't need an education because it is very important," Hyett said.

Gateway to College is a partnership program between Flint Community Schools and Mott Community College. It helps students every step of the way on the road to becoming a high school graduate.

Students in the program get the best of both worlds with a diploma and college credits.

Not only did she get her diploma, Hyett finished the program with 37 credits towards multiple associate degrees.

Sounya Walker said the program offers both mentoring and counseling to help support those returning to the education system.

"So being able to have them see that vision I think is a motivation for them to be able to say 'OK, I'm leaning toward a goal of also doing both. I came for one, but I can get you know, two for one,'" Walker said.

Gateway to College is the first and only initiative of its kind in Michigan. After kicking off three years ago, it has helped 35 students like Hyett receive their diploma.

"They're always there for you if you need them. They offer resources for you, like I know for me I'm in the older class so I was on financial aid and some of my books were three or $400 for one book. So they helped me out with books a lot," Hyett said.

She is currently finishing up her undergraduate studies at Mott and plans on going to the University of Michigan to pursue a PhD in psychology. It is something she said would not be possible without the gateway program.

"It's a one of a kind experience," Hyett said.

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