The Gateway Scholars Program
Gateway is a student success program designed to facilitate and enhance students’ transition to and through college. We support our students to complete college successfully and become top-notch competitors in the global job market upon graduation.
We work closely with the Office of Freshman Admissions to identify freshmen across all colleges who have demonstrated exceptional motivation and potential in high school, with a focus on the following fields: fine arts, nursing, and social work. Academic goals, performance in academic courses, extracurricular involvement, leadership experiences, and demonstrated commitment to learning are all key factors in inviting a student to join Gateway Scholars.
For the past five years, the Gateway Scholars program has helped to ensure that our students have competitive GPAs and positive experiences that facilitate on-time graduation in four years. The 2017-2018 class had a retention rate of 98% with an average GPA of 3.1 at the end of the fall semester; 70 percent of the students completed their first semester with a GPA above 3.0.
- Merit-based scholarships
- Fall Signature Course (UGS 303)
- Spring Lecture Series (ALD 118C)
- Reserved seats in common courses
- First-year interest groups (FIGs)
- Academic and professional workshops
- Peer mentoring and coaching
- Free tutoring
- Internships and career connections
- Study abroad in China, South Africa, Costa Rica, and Mexico
Kristina Doan (Alumni) – Project Manager, Concept Services
“Gateway has helped me in my first-year college experience by providing me with useful resources, gave me the opportunity to be around people similar to me, and taught me how to be a better student. Gateway really helped me make an easier transition from high school to college, and the material we discuss and read in class is very interesting. Being with Gateway also gave me tons of benefits that can be very useful for freshmen, such as priority registration and free tutoring. In addition, I made a lot of friends through Gateway and I gained an incredible experience being part of this amazing program!”
Ja’Michael Darnell (Alumni) – Fulbright Fellow in Italy
“Coming from a school district in a very small town to being at this huge and diverse university, the Gateway Scholars program helped make my first year at UT be a success. Gateway helped make my transition into being a successful college student at a Tier One university easier, by offering free tutoring sessions, small discussion classes, beneficial social/professional development events and so much more. In addition, Gateway encouraged me to not be afraid to follow my passion, which is one of the most inspiring pieces of advice I heard during my freshman year. Without that advice, I honestly don’t know where I would be as a student today. Furthermore, even as an upperclassman, Gateway gave me the opportunity to grow and become a student leader on campus through the Gateway Scholars Mentoring program.”
Masi Deidehban (Alumni) – Middle School Teacher, Teach for America
“I honestly owe all my success to the Gateway Scholars program. It has truly been a gateway for me that opened many doors, almost all of the organizations I am a part of or am on the executive board of are because of people I met through Gateway. They set me up for a great transition and first-year experience that I will always be grateful for, it was that success early on that I have been able to continue throughout my whole college career. Every great race begins at the starting line.”
Chance Vaughan (Alumni) – Account Executive, SAP
“Gateway became my home during college. From eating lunch in the office to spending my weekends at Gateway functions, my college career has been centered around Gateway. I wouldn’t have made been as successful in college without my cohort leader/mentor/role model Dr. Charles Lu. He saw potential in me my freshmen year and has helped me in so many ways, some I probably do not realize yet. I can’t wait to see how I can give back to Gateway as an alumnus.”
Q: What is the 360 Connections Initiative?
A: 360 Connections are UT’s campus-wide effort to promote and support on-time graduation for all students. Every student is connected to a program when they first enter college. Each program’s goal is to set students on a path to graduate in four years. Each program offers assistance and resources to help students achieve that goal. Participation in 360 Connections is mandatory.
Q: What is the Longhorn Center for Academic Excellence (LCAE)?
A: The Longhorn Center for Academic Excellence is one of the 360 Connections. LCAE provides academic, personal, and professional supports to students from colleges and majors across campus. Each year, LCAE supports over two thousand students with over a dozen programs, including Gateway Scholars and Longhorn Link. LCAE is part of UT’s Division of Diversity and Community Engagement (DDCE), and is part of the DDCE’s PreK-to-PhD Pathways. For more, please visit diversity.utexas.edu/academiccenter.
Q: What are Gateway Scholars (GWS) and Longhorn Link (LLP)?
A: Gateway Scholars is a student-success program that facilitates the transition to and through college, and into a career. GWS focuses on supporting first-year students, but offers four years of guidance and mentorship.
Longhorn Link is also a student-success program that provides opportunities for academic development, assists with college requirements, and serves to motivate students toward the completion of their postsecondary education. LLP is part of the U.S. Department of Education’s TRIO Student Support Services, funded under Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965.
Both GWS and LLP are effective programs. Over the last five years, the retention for students in these programs is 95% or higher. The average GPA of participants—3.0 or higher—matches or exceeds the University as a whole.
Q: How are students picked for Gateway and Longhorn Link?
A: LLP follows federal regulations to select students who meet one or more criteria relating to low income, first-generation college status, and individual disability. Most LLP students are referred via their high school pre-college programs, including other TRIO programs like Upward Bound and Talent Search. GWS selects the majority of its students from Fine Arts, Nursing, and Social Work. Also, GWS often supports students who are part of the DDCE’s educational pathways, especially those who have been served by pre-college programs in the Longhorn Center for School Partnerships, including Advise Texas, Dual Enrollment Initiatives, Neighborhood Longhorns, and UT Outreach. Additionally, both GWS and LLP recruit students based on exceptional motivation and persistence in high school. Participating students have demonstrated strong academics, extracurricular accomplishment, career preparation, community leadership, etc.
Q: Is there a cost to participate in Gateway and Longhorn Link?
A: No. Participating in GWS and LLP is entirely free for students the entire time they are enrolled.
Q: What is an academic advisor?
A: Your academic advisor helps you stay on track toward graduation. Advisors are experts housed within the academic departments who guide you through your major’s expectations and degree plan. So, English majors are served by advisors who specialize in the requirements and courses found in the College of Liberal Arts, etc. Since LCAE is housed in the DDCE and not an academic department, it does not offer academic advising.
GWS and LLP staff do advise students—think of it as success coaching—in all sorts of ways: building resumes and networking skills, developing professionally, finding mentorship and internship opportunities, studying abroad, gaining soft skills, etc. Additionally, GWS and LLP staff do help review guidance from academic advisors in ways that are complimentary. An academic advisor helps students select which classes are needed in a semester, for instance, and GWS/LLP help students design a calendar with those classes that work for them. LCAE stays in persistent contact with students in ways that are interactive, personalized, and hands-on.
Q: How do the UGS 303 and ALD 118C fit into my degree plan?
Students participating in GWS and LLP are expected to take two courses: the three-hour UGS 303 in the fall, and the one-hour ALD 118C in the spring. Every student on campus is required to take a “signature course” during their first year, usually their first semester. UGS 303 is the signature course designated for GWS and LLP students. Because of their participation in GWS and LLP, students are guaranteed a spot in this popular course that builds students’ critical thinking skills and cultural intelligence. The course introduces students to the habits central to success in college and careers. Plus, UGS 303 counts toward the core class requirements that all students need to take to graduate.
ALD 118C is an elective speaker series that does not interfere with students’ degree plans. It showcases how students can use their time in college to explore and prepare for their eventual careers. Each week students get the chance to learn from experts in their field, with expertise ranging from nonprofits to business, healthcare to law. Students discuss how to think entrepreneurially about their academic and professional development. Occasionally, unavoidable scheduling conflicts occur. When there is a conflict between UGS 303, ALD 118C, and a course required for their major, LCAE advises students to take the course within their academic department. We will work with them to find a suitable signature course replacement.
Q: Are students part of Gateway and Longhorn Link all four years?
A: They don’t have to be, but it is highly encouraged. Again, students who remain engaged in learning communities and with student support services stay in college at a higher rate, typically earn a higher GPA, and are more likely to graduate on-time. Plus, they are connected to a wider, deeper set of resources and opportunities.
Q: Besides GWS and LLP, what resources and opportunities does LCAE provide?
A: A partial list of resources and opportunities provided by LCAE include: STEM tutoring, writing consultations, research guidance, success coaching, interview practice, resume building, networking events, financial literacy lessons, paid internships, longterm mentorships, work-study positions, service leadership experiences, community service experiences, study abroad experiences and support, college-to-career experiences and support (law, healthcare, business), the Fearless Leaders Institute, the Heman Sweatt Center, Monarch Scholars, McNair Scholars (for students seeking Ph.D.’s), dedicated study space, scholarships, and much more. LCAE can also work with students to develop individualized supports as needed. Students just need to ask for help, and we will provide it. For more, visit diversity.utexas.edu/academiccenter.
Q: Where is LCAE, including Gateway and Longhorn Link located on campus?
A: You can find us in the Student Services Building (SSB). SSB is at 100 W. Dean Keeton Street 78712. For a map, visit utdirect.utexas.edu/apps/campus/buildings/nlogon/maps/UTM/SSB. LCAE is in suite 4.400. Take the elevator to the fourth floor, and turn right once you step off. You can call LCAE’s main line—512 471 1205—weekdays from 8A to 5P for assistance.
Q: What is the Texas One Stop?
A: The Texas One Stop is the single resource students need to handle everything related to registering for classes, financial aid, paying your bill, ordering transcripts, and more. For more, visit onestop.utexas.edu, where you can get many questions easily answered by chatting with the 24/7 Bevo Bot. You can also email the One Stop at email@example.com, call at 512 232 6988, and follow them online at twitter.com/onestoptexas.
Q: What is the School of Undergraduate Studies (UGS)?
A: The School of Undergraduate Studies oversees the components of the college education shared by all undergraduates at the University. UGS maintains the core curriculum and other first-year academic experiences. UGS offers advising, career counseling, academic assistance, and research opportunities. LCAE is not part of UGS, but it is important for incoming students to know what resources UGS offers to all students. For more, visit ugs.utexas.edu.
Q: When is orientation? How do I sign up?
A: Freshman Orientation is required for students admitted to the fall semester. For Freshman Orientation, different sessions are offered depending on your college or school. Space is limited, so register early as sessions are filled on a first-come, first-served basis. Registration for each orientation session closes at 11:59P ten days before the start of each session. For more, and to register, visit orientation.utexas.edu/freshman/orientation-dates.
Q: What should I take care of before school starts in the fall?
A: Make sure you complete all required tasks before the end of summer and the start of the semester, including:
- Submit Dual Enrollment/ECHS (Associates) /AP/IB Transcripts
- Take Assessment and Placement Tests
- Submit Immunization Records
- Arrange Disability Accommodations
For guidance on how to complete the admissions process, especially submitting transcripts for credit transfer, visit: admissions.utexas.edu/apply/freshman-admission, and search for “transcripts.” For additional guidance on placement and assessment testing, visit: testingservices.utexas.edu/credit.
For guidance on preparing for your online summer orientation, including downloading the orientation app, accessing Canvas, Duo, and Zoom, submitting proof of immunization, and taking placement tests, visit the extensive pre-orientation checklist: orientation.utexas.edu/freshman/pre-orientation-checklist.
After your orientation, for guidance on all the final tasks needed to prepare for the start of the semester, visit the extensive post-orientation checklist: orientation.utexas.edu/freshman/post-orientation-checklist.
If you need to arrange accommodations for disabilities, please visit: orientation.utexas.edu/students-with-disabilities and diversity.utexas.edu/disability.
Q: When is tuition due?
A: For students who register either on or before the last day of orientation—Wednesday, 22 July—the Fall 2020 tuition payment is due no later than 14 August, 5:00P. For more about tuition bills and payment deadlines, visit.
Q: How is the current public health crisis impacting campus?
A: For the most up-to-date information about the University’s response to COVID-19, please visit coronavirus.utexas.edu.
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) is a federal law that pertains to the release of and access to educational records. The law applies to all schools that receive funds under an applicable program of the U.S. Department of Education. FERPA applies to personally identifiable information in educational records. This includes items such as the student’s name, names of family members, addresses, personal identifiers such as social security numbers, and personal characteristics or other information that make the student’s identity easily traceable. At UT Austin, FERPA rights apply to students. A student is a person who is or has been in attendance at the institution, regardless of the person’s age. According to FERPA, nondirectory information may not be released without prior written consent from the student. For students, direct general questions to the Office of the Registrar at registrar.utexas.edu/about/contact. For more, visit registrar.utexas.edu/staff/ferpa and ed.gov/policy/gen/guid/fpco.