Guest Commentary: YSU Bridges the Gaps in EGCC Transition Efforts

By Jeanne Herman
Associate VP Institutional Effectiveness, Youngstown State University

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Amid the spotlight shining on Eastern Gateway Community College as it ends academic programs and Youngstown State University’s efforts to create a seamless transition for students, what is not easily seen is the monumental work happening behind the scenes. Work that is aimed at ensuring a seamless transition and an enriched educational landscape for every student in the region.

While headlines capture the grand gestures, it’s the tireless work of YSU’s faculty, staff and administration, in collaboration with EGCC faculty, staff and administration, that truly defines the shared commitment to student success. Despite the unprecedented circumstances leaving EGCC faculty, staff and administrators in an uncertain situation jobwise, they are coming to the table with the best of intentions for their students. This selfless dedication underlines a shared philosophy between the institutions, emphasizing a commitment to fostering student growth and success.

YSU has embarked on a massive enterprise, one that exemplifies its commitment to student success and accessibility to higher education. The steps taken over the past month by YSU’s faculty, staff and administration underscore a significant milestone in higher education in the region.

A resolution recently passed by the YSU Board of Trustees, aimed at expanding academic opportunities across the Mahoning Valley and the broader region, including the Upper Ohio Valley, emphasizes the university’s pledge to facilitate a smooth continuation of academic program progress for current EGCC students.

YSU’s faculty and academic leadership have been working diligently to establish programs to meet the needs of EGCC students. Individuals across campus are engaged in ongoing discussions to enhance YSU’s academic programs aligned with YSU’s mission to add to the academic portfolio. 

This effort recently saw a significant milestone with the academic senate’s endorsement of a number of associate degrees and certificates. Additional certificates are slated for review at the April meeting of the senate. This meticulous review process underscores YSU’s dedication to tailoring academic offerings to meet the specific needs and aspirations of EGCC transfer students.

Maximizing convenience for new students is also a top priority. YSU is exploring several initiatives, including establishing a physical location in Steubenville. YSU’s request to the Higher Learning Commission has been approved and we are investigating options in the area to ensure continuity for students in the Upper Ohio Valley.

Furthermore, YSU is dedicated to extending our College Credit Plus program to school districts currently served by EGCC. Extending educational opportunities to high school students across the region highlights YSU’s mission to provide accessible and high-quality education opportunities to students of all ages in eastern Ohio.

Through intentional collaboration, YSU is creating pathways to higher education that are accessible and nurturing for every student in the region. While we recognize there are uncertainties and obstacles ahead, our resolve remains strong as we continue to navigate these complexities together, fostering a brighter future for all.

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