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.”
What is the Gateway Scholars program?
The Gateway Scholars program is one of the largest student success programs at the University of Texas, designed to facilitate and enhance students’ transition to and through college. We support our students to: 1) be successful at UT, and 2) be top-notch competitors in the global economy after graduation in whatever industry they are passionate about entering. We are one of a few interdisciplinary programs on campus: we engage students from all undergraduate schools and colleges and pride ourselves on learning across disciplines and sectors.
Why was I asked to join the Gateway Scholars program?
Ninety percent of the membership in the Gateway Scholars program is by invitation. We work closely with the Provost Office and Office of Freshman Admissions to identify freshmen across all schools who have demonstrated exceptional motivation and persistence 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 a demonstrated commitment to learning are all key factors in inviting a student to join Gateway Scholars. We also place a strong emphasis on students who both want and can benefit from our services even if they were not originally invited to be a part of the program.
What is required of me as a Gateway Scholar?
To be a Gateway Scholar, you just need to complete the following two-course requirements in your first year:
1) UGS 303: Race in the Age of Trump in the Fall;
2) ALD 118C: Distinguished Speaker Series in the Spring.
There are no requirements beyond your first year; however, students who remained engaged with Gateway throughout their four years at UT have earned several benefits: internship/job leads, scholarship nominations, mentoring opportunities, networking events, graduate school preparation, study abroad opportunities, and access to our resource library (e.g., books, iclickers, laptops).
What is the UGS 303: Race in the Age of Trump course about?
Regardless of what your major is, every student at UT-Austin must take a UGS 302 or UGS 303 class. Our UGS 303 course not only fulfills this core requirement but is one of the most popular and sought after UGS classes at the university. Last year, we had a waitlist of 63 students hoping to gain entry to the class. As a Gateway Scholar, you are automatically guaranteed a seat in this course.
The class is taught by Professor of History and Vice President for the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement, Dr. Leonard Moore. In 2015, Dr. Moore won the Texas Exes Jean Holloway Award for Excellence in Teaching, one of the most prestigious teaching awards at the university. The class covers contemporary social topics that intersect with race, such as education, immigration, athletics, law enforcement, media, real estate, and healthcare. The purpose of the class is to empower you to become a critical thinker, reader, writer, and engage in intelligent conversations regardless of what your beliefs are.
What is the ALD 118C: Distinguished Speaker Series course about?
The ALD 118C course is a rotating speaker series that provides students with an opportunity to hear from and engage with university professors, inspirational leaders, and local and national industry innovators. Below is a sample of speakers from past years:
Thomas Miranda – Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Sparkovation IT
Dr. Harry Gibbs – Chief Diversity Officer and Associate Professor of Cardiology, UT MD Anderson Cancer Center
Dr. Walter Bumphus – Chief Executive Officer, American Association of Community Colleges
Dr. Elizabeth Richmond-Garza – Distinguished Teaching Associate Professor, The University of Texas at Austin
Brett Barnes – Vice President of Development, The Long Center for Performing Arts
Ashland Viscosi – Membership and Promotions Specialist, Austin Film Society
Matt Scoggin – 2012 USA Olympic Diving Coach, UT Athletics
What are the benefits to being a Gateway Scholar?
- Scholarship opportunities: This year, we awarded $75,000+ in scholarships to our students.
- Reserved seats: Cut to the front of the line by taking advantage of our reserved seats in the most popular classes with popular professors.
- Internship and career connections: Companies and organizations love to recruit Gateway Scholars! Participate in our networking events and résumé programs to help you secure your dream job.
- Resource library: Gateway students have free and premier access to check out iclickers, software, cameras, video equipment, and laptops from our resource library.
- Academic support: Our highly regarded tutors and peer coaches are at your service free of cost (compared to $13/hr at Sanger Learning Center). They will work with you to tackle the most difficult courses and show you the tricks behind acing your exams.
- Fall signature course: Engage in critical dialogue over contemporary issues that matter with the award-winning professor, Dr. Leonard Moore.
- Spring lecture series: Take advantage of our rotating speaker series with thought leaders and industry innovators.
- Leadership Institute: Join a small cohort of carefully selected student leaders who are up and coming cross-trained leaders.
- First-year Interest Groups (FIGs): Travel in a small pack of other like-minded Gateway students who share your classes. It’s the easiest way to create a study group and meet friends and future colleagues.
- Peer mentors: In their first year, Gateway Scholars are matched with a talented, hand-picked peer mentor who provides guidance on pretty much anything!
- Graduate school preparation: Presentations are built to prepare upperclassmen to take the GRE, construct their graduate school entrance resumes and cover letters
- Study abroad in China and South Africa: Knock out a core History requirement and three flags (Global Cultures, Ethics and Leadership, and Cultural Diversity) with us around the globe in five weeks!
Who are Gateway Scholars?
Gateway Scholars are talented, results-driven, high impact individuals who change the world. In the past three years, Gateway Scholars have:
- Won prestigious scholarships and awards, such as the Truman Scholarship, Presidential Leadership Award, Rapoport Service Scholarship, Fulbright Fellowship, and the Archer Fellowship.
- Led popular student organizations such as 3-Day Start-Up, Texas Thon, Men of Excellence, Orange Jackets, Texas 4000, and Student Government.
- Studied and are currently studying abroad in Spain, China, Australia, South Africa, and Germany.
- Participated in competitive programs like Management Leadership for Tomorrow, Breakthrough Collaborative, the Summer Medical and Dental Education Program, Teach for America, and UT in LA.
- Gotten admission into competitive graduate programs, law schools, and medical schools such as Emory, Columbia, University of California-Berkeley, Stanford, University of British Columbia, New York University, Northwestern, Harvard, Vanderbilt, Notre Dame, Brown, and the California Institute of Technology.
- Worked with Austin-based organizations and events such as ACL, Alamo Drafthouse, Long Center for Performing Arts, SxSW, and the Zach Theatre.
- Secured internships and jobs with boutique firms like eBay, Facebook, Google, GE, and P&G.
Is it mandatory to accept an invitation from the Gateway Scholars Program?
No, the Gateway Scholars Program enhances a student’s ability to perform well in their college career and to be competitive in the job market, but if you decide to decline the invitation you can email Dr. Tiffany Tillis Lewis at firstname.lastname@example.org to let her know.