YSU Allows ‘Seamless Degree Continuation’ for EGCC Students

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Youngstown State University trustees unanimously approved a resolution Thursday to allow “seamless degree continuation for current” Eastern Gateway Community College students.

“We’re also working to ensure we have the appropriate associate’s degrees available at YSU,” said Michael Peterson, YSU trustees chairman. “Further, it is our intention to have a location in Steubenville, preferably at the current location.”

YSU also anticipates the need for additional personnel in the future, Peterson said. YSU submitted paperwork last week to the Higher Learning Commission to have a presence in Steubenville.

Trustees at Eastern Gateway, based in Steubenville with a campus in downtown Youngstown, voted last month to pause enrollment and registration after the spring semester, which ends in May.

“It’s an unfortunate set of circumstances and events that led Eastern Gateway Community College to be in the position that they’re in,” YSU President Bill Johnson said. “But Youngstown State University is uniquely positioned to be able to help provide that seamless path for continuum of education for students of this region.”

Last week, Johnson met with school superintendents in Jefferson County to assure them that YSU would continue the College Credit Plus offerings provided by YSU “at a cost per credit hour initially equivalent to EGCC,” the resolution said.

College Credit Plus allows middle and high school students to earn college credit through a college or university.

After the meeting, Johnson deferred questions about the future of Eastern Gateway to that institution. YSU is just responding to the announcement by Eastern Gateway that it was pausing enrollment, he said.

“We’re filling that void,” he said. “Where it goes from here is still a work in progress with the [Ohio Department of Higher Education], with state officials. I mean, read the tea leaves.”

The YSU Academic Senate has approved addendums to the residency and admission policies to serve existing Eastern Gateway students.

Among those changes, YSU will accept transfer students from Eastern Gateway with a 1.75 minimum grade-point average. The policy had required a minimum 2.0 GPA, with students with GPAs below that considered on a case-by-case basis.

“We want the acceptance process to be simple and fast,” the Academic Senate addendum reads. “Having a specific rule, such as a GPA of 1.75, allows for this. It will eliminate the case-by-case basis decision and allow us to process the EGCC students efficiently.”

Johnson said moving into the existing Eastern Gateway campus in Steubenville is one alternative being considered. Other alternatives haven’t been determined, he said.

Johnson said the number of employees necessary to operate in Steubenville hasn’t been determined.

“But we’re going to have to staff up,” he said. “Clearly, we’re taking on some programs that we don’t currently offer. We’re going to be offering those programs. We’re going to have to have faculty and staff for those programs. Those employees at Eastern Gateway are going to compete favorably for those.”

Pictured at top: From left are YSU Trustees Laura Lyden, Richard Fryda and Joseph Kerola; YSU President Bill Johnson; Trustees Michael Peterson, Chuck George, Anita Hackstedde, Sergul Erzurum and Molly Seals; and student Trustee Natalie Dando.

Copyright 2024 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.