YSU to aid Eastern Gateway students, open new campus

Eastern Gateway’s downtown Youngstown location. Photo by Molly Burke / The Jambar

By Nicholas Bianco / The Jambar

Youngstown State University’s board of trustees unanimously approved a resolution March 7 to expand YSU’s academic opportunities to Eastern Gateway Community College students.

The resolution comes after Eastern Gateway announced Feb. 22 it will pause enrollment and not offer classes and academic programs after spring 2024.

Michael Peterson, chair of the board of trustees, said the resolution will allow YSU to help Eastern Gateway students complete their higher education journeys.

“We’re working closely with EGCC’s leadership, with the Ohio Department of Higher Education to optimize a seamless continuation pathway to degree completion for the EGCC students,” Peterson said. “We’re also working to assure that we have the appropriate associate’s degrees available at YSU.”

Youngstown State is working with the Ohio Department of Higher Education and the Higher Learning Commission to expand the university’s degree offerings to Eastern Gateway students.

YSU President Bill Johnson said the university is uniquely positioned to help Eastern Gateway students in these unfortunate circumstances.

“It’s in the best interest of the students to be able to continue their education, to graduate this spring,” Johnson said. “Those that were scheduled to graduate, and then for those that want to continue their path for higher education, [YSU will] offer programs that can do that.”

Johnson announced a plan to establish a YSU campus in Steubenville at the Jefferson County & Educational Service Center’s meeting of Superintendents, according to a March 1 press release.

Eastern Gateway’s main campus is located in Steubenville.

According to the release, the YSU Steubenville campus will extend the university’s educational offerings to students beyond the Mahoning Valley.

“Everything from certificates and associate’s degrees to bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees will be available both in-person and online, catering to the diverse needs of students throughout the region,” the release stated.

The release also stated YSU will facilitate student enrollment and assure the transition of “College Credit Plus (CCP) programs from Eastern Gateway to YSU.”

Johnson said the Steubenville branch will be a great opportunity for both YSU and Eastern Gateway.

“We’re also going to be able to fill the void and employ some of the faculty and staff that otherwise would be let go down in Steubenville,” Johnson said.

By extending resources to Eastern Gateway students, Johnson said the campus will strengthen its brand beyond Youngstown.

“When you talk about student experience, when you’re talking about taking care of the education needs of the students of our region — this is a golden opportunity for Youngstown State to show the world this is why we are who we are,” Johnson said.