EGCC launches Summer Guarantee

The Vindicator | May 3, 2020

Ensures no out-of-pocket costs for students with CARES Act support

YOUNGSTOWN — Eastern Gateway Community College has launched the EGCC Summer Guarantee, a program that allows students to take summer semester classes with no out-of-pocket costs, including tuition, fees and books.

For new, continuing and returning students who reside in the college’s service district — Trumbull, Mahoning, Columbiana and Jefferson counties — the program will be a “last dollar” scholarship that will cover students’ costs after Pell Grants and other financial aid eligibility is determined.

It is also available to students enrolled at another college or university, but are back home in the service district for the summer.

“The federal stimulus bill, the CARES Act, provided funding to colleges to help cover the costs of transitioning to online learning during the novel coronavirus pandemic and to ensure students continue to receive their education, especially those students facing economic hardship,” said Interim President Michael Geoghegan.

The college will receive just under $1 million in funding through the CARES Act to support students after academic disruption as a result of COVID-19.

To be eligible for the program, students must have completed a 2019-20 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and submitted an EGCC online application. Summer courses begin June 1.

In addition to tuition assistance, the legislation provided funding for direct assistance to students to remove barriers to continuing their education. The college is reviewing guidlines and will provide additional information as it becomes available.

EGCC tuition plan good for region

Herald Star | April 30, 2020

Eastern Gateway Community College is putting its expertise in online and distance learning to use to offer local students the chance to take summer classes with no out-of-pocket costs.

The school announced Monday a program called the EGCC Summer Guarantee, which will allow students to earn college credit during the summer semester at no cost to them — not for tuition, not for fees and not for books.

Described as a “last dollar” scholarship, it will cover out-of pocket costs after Pell Grants and other financial aid legibility has been determined.

The program is open to new, continuing and returning students who live in the college’s service district, which includes Jefferson, Columbiana, Mahoning and Trumbull counties.

Students who are enrolled at other colleges and universities and are back at home in the service area also are eligible to participate.

It’s a move that comes at the right time for area residents who have experienced disruption in their education as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and falls right in line with the school’s mission of providing quality and affordable education.

Technology, and EGCC’s expanding online presence, plays a big part in that equation. Officials explained that before the school was forced into a full-scale conversion to distance learning as a response to the social distancing and other restrictions that have been put into place as a response to the rapid spread of the coronavirus, 88 percent of EGCC’s students were taking at least one online course.

All students have to do to become eligible for the program and summer classes, which begin June 1, is to have completed a 2019-2020 Free Application for Federal Student Aid form and an online application. Much of the money to cover the cost of the program will come from the nearly $1 million the school will receive from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act.

Monday’s announcement from EGCC is more good news for higher education in our region. Last week, the Franciscan University of Steubenville announced its Step in Faith program, which will cover the remainder of tuition costs, after scholarships and grants have been applied, for the fall semester for all incoming full-time undergraduate students enrolled in its on-campus programs.

Eastern Gateway’s summer semester offers students and displaced workers a chance to get caught up and move forward, according to Michael Geoghegan, the school’s interim president, who added the programs are affordable and accessible without “sacrificing any of the rigor students, staff, faculty and employers expect.”

That it comes as no cost to students is important, and the EGCC administration and board deserve to be commended for working to make the summer guarantee program possible.


Business Journal Daily

YOUNGSTOWN, OH — After Eastern Gateway Community College completes the purchase of the three buildings it uses in downtown Youngstown, the institution will be able to take on a larger role in the revitalization of the district.

Many universities today are changing their landscape to appeal to students and populations, said Art Daly, vice president of EGCC’s Youngstown campus at the Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber’s Good Morning, Mahoning County! breakfast. EGCC looks to follow suit, with planned upgrades including new greenspace, improved lighting, more outdoor seating and new walkways, he said.

A $13 million state bond issuance would fund the project, which Daly expects would take two to three years to complete after the buildings are purchased, he said during the chamber breakfast. EGCC currently leases Thomas Humphries Hall at 101 E. Federal Street, the Health and Workforce Development Center at 101 E. Boardman Street and its student services center at 139 E. Boardman Street.

“We’re getting close,” he said. “We’re finalizing a lot of things to get the purchase of the three buildings completed. Once that’s done, we can start looking at how we’re going to upgrade the downtown area. We are going to recharge the East Side Federal.”

More than 20,000 students are enrolled at Eastern Gateway, Daly said, either at its campuses in Youngstown and Steubenville or through online courses. In 2019, EGCC’s enrollment increased by 47%.

EGCC’s nursing program continues to flourish, he said, and EGCC is partnering with Mercy Health, Salem Regional Medical Center and Southwoods to “stay on the cutting edge.

“We’re here to keep students here and engaged with the community,” he said.

Rendering shows some of the upgrades planned for EGCC.

Erin O’Donnell, director of partnerships and community relations at America Makes, started her speech at the breakfast program by explaining what America Makes is – an additive manufacturing and 3D printing hub.

“We’ve created an additive manufacturing ecosystem and in this ecosystem is Youngstown State University, Eastgate, MCCTC, YBI, the chamber and Brite,” O’Donnell said. “What we’re all doing is driving Youngstown’s additive manufacturing roots.”

Also at the Regional Chamber’s breakfast, Mahoning County Commissioner Dave Ditzler touched on the Campus of Care project at the former Youngstown Developmental Center in Austintown. The site has been purchased and the campus will be able to provide 150 new jobs, he said. Its staff will also be able to serve nearly 500 people daily, he said.

A $300,000 grant through the Mahoning County Mental Health and Recovery Board was one of the initial investments in the campus, as well as funding through the state of Ohio, Ditzler said. To get the former center up to date, $1.5 million will have to be invested, he said.

“There is such a need for assistance with the disabled,” Ditzler said. “When the facility shut down, it displaced so many people and we got so many calls from family members. We looked at this as an opportunity to keep it on a campus-like setting and provide wraparound services from different organizations that all work together.”

The Campus of Care will be completed by the end of the year, Ditzler said.

With an aging community in Mahoning County, commissioners partnered with the Area on Aging 11 Inc. to try to bring in new funding to help keep the elderly in their homes longer, Ditzler said. In addition, a regional 911 system was created and the county has merged with the Mental Health and Recovery Board to fight addiction, he said.

“There’s a lot of good things we work hand in hand with local communities and political subdivisions in the county to make things happen for all of us,” Ditzler said.

Pictured above: Art Daly, vice president of Eastern Gateway Community College’s Youngstown campus, discusses proposed upgrades to the campus at the Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber’s Good Morning, Mahoning County! breakfast.

Copyright 2020 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.

Business Journal Daily

STEUBENVILLE, OH — Eastern Gateway Community College will use an $836,332 grant from the Appalachian Regional Commission to establish a new training center.

The Tri-State Gateway to Growth Training Center will serve a 12-county region in Ohio, West Virginia and Pennsylvania, Eastern Gateway President Jimmie Bruce said Tuesday after the funding was announced.

Funding is from ARC’s Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization – or Power – grant program. Power grants target federal resources to help communities and regions that have been affected by job losses in coal mining, coal power plant operations, and coal-related supply chain industries due to the changing economics of America’s energy production.

The center will provide workforce training in advanced manufacturing (including welding, machining, electronics, pneumatics, hydraulics and industrial maintenance), logistics and energy industries, Bruce said.

“The area served by the new center has experienced declines in coal mining employment as well as the closure of a coal-fired power plant,” he continued. “Over the three-year grant period at least 650 workers/trainees and 120 students will obtain new positions or enhance their current ones, and six businesses will be improved by the training model.”

U.S. Sen. Rob Portman and U.S. Rep. Bill Johnson hailed the grant award in separate news releases.

“When I visited Eastern Gateway Community College this summer, I heard from students and faculty about the need to provide more people with access to the technical training and certification needed to fill the jobs that are available in today’s economy,” Portman said.

“The Tri-State Gateway Growth Training Center will do just that, and thanks to this ARC Power grant this important facility can be constructed more quickly,” he continued. “These funds will help ensure southeastern Ohioans have the opportunity to pursue the skills necessary for the jobs available today.”

The grant to Eastern Gateway was among several awarded in Johnson’s congressional district.

“This funding will support projects designed to create jobs and spur economic opportunity by investing in broadband expansion, substance abuse recovery, manufacturing, tourism, and other industry sectors,” Johnson, R-6 Ohio, said. He called ARC “a vital source of critical funding for important projects in our region” and he thanked the commission for its support.

Copyright 2019 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.

The Tribune Chronicle

YOUNGSTOWN — For several years, Jonathan Thomas has worked in the retail industry, but thanks to a decision to further his education, his career path forward has been brought into sharper focus.

“Once I graduate, I hope to find a job in the paralegal field, then get a bachelor’s degree and go to law school,” Thomas explained.

Those goals seem much more tenable for the 2011 Chaney High School graduate, thanks largely to his decision two years ago to enroll at Eastern Gateway Community College, he said.

Thomas also was among the students, faculty and staff who took part in “Celebrate Students Day,” a four-hour gathering Thursday on and outside of EGCC’s campus to celebrate the two-year college’s 10-year anniversary in downtown Youngstown.

The event was one of several celebrations that began Monday to mark the occasion.

Thomas, a nontraditional student who plans to graduate next May and likely pursue a bachelor’s degree from Youngstown State University, said EGCC has provided him with greater clarity and a roadmap for his career.

“(EGCC) gave me the opportunity to see that it’s possible,” said Thomas, who also has a job in the college’s maintenance department and is taking a class in criminal law. “It gives me a skill set now.”

This week’s events for the occasion also reflect on and celebrate EGCC’s achievements during the past decade. In addition, a 10-year banquet is planned for next spring, with the primary goal of unveiling a strategic initiative for the next 10 years, President Jimmie Bruce noted.

“It’s designed to be a fun day to recognize the fact that we’ve been here 10 years,” he said about Thursday’s celebration.

This year, EGCC has between 22,000 and 23,000 students, of which an estimated 20,000 take courses online. The Youngstown and Steubenville campuses have about 1,100 and 1,000 students, respectively, and an additional 1,300 are in area high schools, Bruce added.

Another overall goal is to look at new programming and initiatives to expand local enrollment.

Arthur Daly, EGCC’s vice president, noted that the college also has formed numerous partnerships with area entities that include the Mahoning Valley Manufacturing Coalition for apprenticeship training, as well as Nordson Xaloy Inc., Goodwill Industries, the Mahoning-Youngstown Community Action Partnership, Thom-as P. Miller & Associates and the Community Literacy Workforce and Cultural Center in Campbell.

Among the offerings regarding the partnerships is a work-advance program in which students who are unemployed or underemployed can get paid while being trained for a career.

“We know this area is underserved. This gets them back in the workforce,” said Daly, who added EGCC also has partnered with Angels for Animals Inc..

In addition, EGCC has formed a relationship with Buster’s Brigade, a new nonprofit organization that helps mainly homeless dogs and cats, noted Abbie Twyford-Wilson, the college’s director of student activities.

The effort is largely to assist students with low income with buying pet food as well as paying for spaying-and-neutering services, she said.

Twyford-Wilson added that she hopes EGCC students also will enjoy a greater connectivity to downtown Youngstown, and that gaining a quality education will be easier for them.