GateWay History

About GateWay

It all began in the shoe department of the former Korrick's Department Store. Passersby gawked through the large display windows where mannequins had been replaced by live keypunch operators. Coat racks and cash registers made way for school desks and lecture podiums as Maricopa Technical College began to build a name for itself in 1968. Student orientation was held in a nearby movie theater. In 1987, the name changed to GateWay Community College to better convey the comprehensive curricular offerings of the College and to reflect the physical location change to 40th and Washington streets in the GateWay corridor. 

Around the same time the Maricopa Skill Center became a division of the newly named GateWay Community College after being a division of Rio Salado College for nearly 20 years. The Maricopa Skill Center offered several clock hour programs that provided students with training for quick entry into the workforce. 

By 2016, GateWay Community College and Maricopa Skill Center fully aligned operations, Maricopa Skill Center adopted the GateWay Community College name and created a unit called Workforce Innovation and Strategic Partnerships, with the instructional pieces of the former Maricopa Skill Center renamed to Trade and Technical Training Division. In 2018, the operational leadership of SouthWest Skill Center (SWSC) came under GateWay. Formerly, SWSC was aligned with Estrella Mountain Community College. GateWay now has five campuses or sites it manages: 

  • 18th Street at 555 N. 18th Street
  • Central City Campus at 1245 E. Buckeye Road (formerly Maricopa Skill Center)
  • Deer Valley Campus at 2931 W. Bell Road (formerly Maricopa Skill Center-Northwest)
  • SouthWest Skill Center at 3000 N. Dysart Road
  • Washington Campus at 108 N. 40th Street 


Program offerings have grown to include more than 150 degree, certificate and work force training options in a wide variety of industries, allowing us to emerge as a leading institution in meeting the needs of business and industry throughout our community.

We now enroll more than 11,000 students annually. We strive to continuously provide a high quality of education with support from student service areas and career training through innovation and state-of-the-art technology.

Programs designed to reach out to the community include GateWay Community High School, the Johnson Controls Institute, the HUG Clinic, workforce development partnerships, healthcare and nursing continuing education and proactive ties with neighborhood schools, utilizing service-learning and other volunteer activities.

As we continue to address the needs of the healthcare and technology industries, our general education (transfer) programs are growing tremendously as well.

Celebrating 50 Years of Educating, Engaging and Connecting 

2018-2019 marked our 50th Anniversary. Learn more about our history by clicking on the link to a short video or browsing through the timeline below. If you would like to share historical images, please send to Thank you for sharing.