Eastern Gateway Campus Adds Programs

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Eastern Gateway Community College last year experienced the largest growth in its 50-year history. Enrollment eclipsed 17,000, accompanied by increased programming.

Through the years, more than 75,000 students from Columbiana, Jefferson, Mahoning and Trumbull counties have enrolled in the 40 degree and certificate programs at EGCC campuses in Steubenville and Youngstown. The 50 By 50 Scholarship Committee, formed four years ago, awarded 56 $5,000 scholarships, exceeding its 50-scholarship goal.

“EGCC is the fastest growing community college in the country and there is more growth planned in the coming years,” says its president, Jimmie Bruce.

Academic programs at EGCC Youngstown enjoy higher enrollment and the expansion into the former Harshman Building will expand health and workforce programming. The new commercial driver’s license, or CDL, program started in January, and the revised phlebotomy and in-seat real estate courses had a 100% passing rate in 2018.

Collaboration with labor unions drove online course enrollment from every state, and more high school students are enrolling in the College Credit Plus program, where they can earn an associate’s degree before graduating high school.

This year, a partnership with Kent State University will allow EGCC students to progress from an associate degree to baccalaureate studies at Kent State Salem and East Liverpool.

“We are excited about the partnership with Kent State University that will enhance opportunities for all students at our Steubenville campus and will increase articulated pathways from EGCC to Kent State,” Bruce says.

The first two pathways link EGCC’s associate of arts degree to Kent State’s B.S. in information technology and degres in technical and applied studies degrees, the latter of which can include a concentration on insurance studies. A Kent State advising center at EGCC Steubenville helps students transfer after completing an associate degree.

In the wake of layoffs at General Motors Lordstown, EGCC offered free training and education for impacted GM workers and residents, including CDL, machining and welding, and other career-enhancing certificate and degree programs.

“We know our community has a strong and capable workforce who are the best at what they do,” Bruce says. “We’re proud to partner with workers and their families to offer education and training opportunities that help ensure everyone has opportunity to thrive here in the Mahoning Valley.”

The program earned praise from Lordstown Mayor Arno Hill and U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan who complimented the efforts of EGCC.

“I applaud the leadership of President Jimmie Bruce and the Eastern Gateway Community College for their initiative to assist workers, their families and suppliers adversely impacted by the GM Lordstown layoffs,” Ryan says. “This access to tuition-free training and development resources will be critical to helping people and families land on their feet.”

“This offer from Eastern Gateway underscores the resilience of our community and how we all stick together in uncertain times,” Hill says.

Grants funded developments at both campuses in 2018, including a $250,000 grant from the Eastgate Regional Council of Governments to purchase a robotic welding arm, birthing mannequins and other academic improvements in Steubenville. An Aspire Grant through the Ohio Department of Higher Education will serve more than 1,000 students this year. EGCC’s Aspire program, which oversees Belmont, Carol, Jefferson, Harrison and Mahoning counties, was ranked seventh in the state out of 56.

Other additions include the Gator Center, which opened in August at EGCC Steubenville to house the registrar, admissions, advising, financial aid, tutoring, disability services, career services and a bookstore. A lease agreement with the Mocha House that begins this year will provide food service for the students, faculty, staff and visitors at the Youngstown campus.

The Gators men’s baseball team finished its first season with a 12-19 record. Women’s softball will begin by 2020 and more sports teams will follow.

Copyright 2024 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.