Gateway Technical College

Gateway Technical College is a public technical college in southeastern Wisconsin. It is one of the largest members of the state-run Wisconsin Technical College System, serving Kenosha, Racine, and Walworth counties.

Gateway Technical College
TypePublic technical college
PresidentBryan D. Albrecht
Administrative staff
Location, ,
United States
MascotRudy the Redhawk

With over 20,000 students, Gateway offers associate degrees in 47 fields, and 179 different diplomas and certifications.[2] The college also offers certification and permit courses, as well as helping students attain GED and HSED diplomas. There are more than 37 standing credit transfer agreements with other colleges and universities, particularly UW–Parkside.[3][4]

Gateway has three main campuses, in Elkhorn, Kenosha, and Racine, and six other educational centers located throughout the region.


The Wisconsin continuation school program was established by Governor Francis McGovern in 1911. Later that year, the Racine Continuation School became the first to open under this program,[5] and the first publicly funded technical school in America.[6] In its earliest years, the school rented space in downtown Racine, as well as using the high school and Bull Elementary buildings for night school classes. The first class consisted of about 150 students. By 1916, the enrollment had expanded to over 1,000, the bulk of which were taking English and/or citizenship classes.[7] Renamed the Racine Vocational School in 1917, expansion continued and over 3,000 students were enrolled in 1920. Racine's program was said to be a model for other technical schools throughout the state and country.[8] The school purchased a site west of downtown at 800 Center Street in 1928, and the completed building, which brought all of the school's programs under one roof, opened in 1931. The school, later known as the Racine Technical Institute, opened satellite campuses in Burlington, Union Grove, and Waterford in 1967.[5] The Racine Technical Institute building, at 800 Center Street, is now used as an annex to Racine's city hall.

The Kenosha Vocational School was founded in 1912, at the request of Kenosha superintendent Mary Bradford. A building was constructed for the school in 1914, and by 1920, with 914 students enrolled, that building had already been outgrown, requiring the school to share space with local factories.[8] A larger building was constructed later that decade, which is now part of the Kenosha Medical Center. The Vocational Act of 1963 authorized the school to construct a new building near Bradford High School, the cornerstone of which was laid in 1965 by Governor Warren Knowles. In 1968, Walworth County was added to the Kenosha vocational district, and a satellite campus began construction in Elkhorn, although it was not complete until after the 1971 merger.[9]

The Racine and Kenosha vocational schools were partners for much of their histories – both provided the same service to heavily industrial cities in southeastern Wisconsin, both were operated by the state of Wisconsin. Together, they became the first vocational schools to offer nursing courses in 1949, and both began offering two-year associate degrees in 1959. In 1971, the Wisconsin Technical College System merged these school systems together to form what was designated District 6. The newly formed system was named the Tri-County Technical Institute. It became Gateway Technical Institute the following year. The current name, Gateway Technical College, was given in 1987, as part of a statewide change. Since the 1990s, Gateway has continually expanded both its enrollment and facilities, and has placed a focus on smaller educational centers that are separate from the major campuses.[9] Today, Gateway has over 25,000 students, 6,000 of whom attend school full-time.


Elkhorn campus

The Elkhorn Campus, which opened in 1971, is the primary Gateway facility in Walworth County. The campus consists of four buildings located southeast of Elkhorn, located near the interchange of I-43 and US 12. The North and South buildings make up most of the facility, containing classrooms, a library and bookstore, administration, and the student commons. The West Building houses the Walworth County Educational Consortium Alternative High School, a school created in 1990 by a partnership between Gateway and the five school districts in Walworth County, which serves high school students that are considered to be "at risk of not graduating". The school's veterinary science department is located in its own building.[10]

Kenosha campus

The Kenosha Campus was constructed before the Kenosha Technical Institute was part of Gateway. The Vocational Act of 1963 authorized the school to construct the current campus near Bradford High School, the cornerstone of which was laid in 1965 by Governor Warren Knowles. The core of the campus is a cluster of five buildings – the Academic Building, library, Service Building, Science Building, and Technical Building – all of which are connected by an enclosed walkway. The other buildings included in the Kenosha campus are the Pike Creek Horticultural Center and the Kenosha Conference Center, which houses the Madrigrano Auditorium. Two of Gateway's satellite educational centers are located near the Kenosha campus: the Center for Sustainable Living and the Inspire Center.[11][12][13]

Racine campus

Located along the lakefront south of downtown, Gateway's Racine Campus opened in 1972, on the former site of the University of Wisconsin–Racine. The Lincoln Building, named for the statue of Abraham Lincoln and Mary Todd Lincoln in neighboring East Park,[14] is a three-story building with a cantilevered design that removes most of the indoor space on the first floor. The upper two floors feature classrooms and offices. The Lake Building is the campus' "key building for student access", featuring the S.C. Johnson Student Life Center, a common area named for the SC Johnson company, and the library, on the ground floor, with classrooms on the two upper floors. The five-story Technical Building is home to most of the school's labs, with mechanical engineering on the first floor, the IT Center of Excellence taking up all of the third floor, and the Barber/Cosmetologist program taking up most of the fifth. The Racine Building contains the school's administrative offices and conference rooms on its first floor, the Student Services Center on the third, with classrooms on the floor in between. All four of the Racine campus buildings are linked by a connecting hallway, most of which is underground.[15][16][17]

Educational centers


  1. About GTC. Retrieved March 19, 2017.
  2. Programs of Study, Gateway Technical College
  3. Transfer, Gateway Technical College
  4. UW - Parkside Transfer Agreements, Gateway Technical College
  5. Continuation School timeline, Racine Journal Times, 6 Oct. 1998.
  6. Gateway's History, Gateway Technical College
  7. Stone, Fanny S. Racine, Belle City of the Lakes, and Racine County, Wisconsin, S.J. Clarke, 1916.
  8. State Board of Education, Wisconsin's Educational Horizon, Volume 4, Issue 3, 1922
  9. Future first: celebrating 100 years of making futures, Gateway Technical College
  10. Elkhorn Campus, Gateway Technical College
  11. Kenosha Campus, Gateway Technical College
  12. Kenosha Campus Map, Gateway Technical College
  13. Kenosha Campus Floor Plan, Gateway Technical College
  14. The first statue of Abraham Lincoln and his wife Mary
  15. Racine Campus, Gateway Technical College
  16. Racine Campus Map, Gateway Technical College
  17. Racine Campus Floor Plan, Gateway Technical College
  18. Burlington Center, Gateway Technical College
  19. Inspire Center, Gateway Technical College
  20. HERO Center, Gateway Technical College
  21. Horizon Center, Gateway Technical College
  22. LakeView Center, Gateway Technical College
  23. iMET Center, Gateway Technical College
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