GARDNER -- The Gateway to College program at Mount Wachusett Community College is accepting applications for the spring semester, which begins Jan. 22. The program is for Massachusetts residents ages 16 to 21 who have left high school or are at risk of leaving high school without a diploma.

Home-schooled students are also eligible to apply.

The entire program takes place on the college campus and provides a second chance for students who struggled within the traditional high school environment.Gateway to College is funded through school choice funds from the Ralph C. Mahar Regional School District and is administered by Mount Wachusett Community College.

The program covers the cost of college courses and textbooks, and the courses count toward high school and college credits. Graduates typically complete a significant amount of their freshman year of college while enrolled in the program.

Gateway students have full access to campus resources and a dedicated resource specialist for academic advising, counseling, tutoring, and instructional support.

Applicants must attend a three-day information session to be considered for the program.

The information sessions will take place on the following days at MWCC's Gardner campus: Dec. 18, 19 and 20; and Jan. 8, 9 and 10. The first day of each session will take place 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. in Room W12; the second day will take place 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. and the final day of each session will take place 12:30 to 2:30 p.m.

To register for an upcoming information session, call 978-630-9248.