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GATE Program to provide adults without diploma a free path to GED, professional certifications

The program is part of a bill (SB7032) that's just waiting on approval by Gov. DeSantis
GATE Program to provide high school drop-outs a free path to GED, professional certifications
Posted at 6:26 PM, Mar 12, 2024
and last updated 2024-03-12 18:26:38-04
  • Video shows the qualifications for the GATE program, which would provide adults without a diploma a free path to GED and professional certifications.
  • The program would waive tuition fees for any GED or certification courses for students who qualify.
  • Watch now to see how the GATE program could bring more adult students to College Town in the near future.


Making it easier to finish high school and jump-start a career.

I'm Alberto Camargo, your College Town neighborhood reporter.

One of the many bills on the desk of Gov. Ron DeSantis could bring students who didn't finish high school into College Town for free.

I'm digging into what the program is and how it could get more people back in school.

The National Dropout Prevention Center says four of the top 10 reasons students leave high school are family or work-related.

The Graduation Alternative to Traditional Education, or GATE program, could get those students back in the classroom.

It would help drop-outs earn their GED or equivalent, and then work towards a professional certification.

"They're not intending to pay for a degree for someone. What the bill is intending to do is give the students who are struggling a jump-start, if you will."

Dave Barnes is a project coordinator at ACE of Florida, which represents the teachers of adult students.

Barnes says the GATE program would work less like a scholarship and more like a fund for students who qualify for GATE.

"These are students who haven't been successful in a traditional education setting. So they're a little gun shy in terms of their confidence.

To qualify, a student must:

  • Have not earned a high school diploma or equivalent
  • Be 16 to 21 years old at time of enrollment
  • Maintain a 2.0 GPA
  • And complete all coursework within three years

"Once a student gets their high school equivalency diploma and achieves a certification, it kind of turns a light on for them, and it's like OK I can do this."
I asked Barnes what a success story from the GATE program looks like.

He says it's all about getting them back into the swing of school and helping them find their path forward.

"The end goal is to kind of give them a taste of that success because there are certifications beyond the initial one that they might achieve."

The gate program bill is only waiting on the governor to sign it into law.

The program would go into effect on July 1.

In College Town, Alberto Camargo, ABC27.