Eastern Gateway Community College is the fastest-growing community college in America,and we had experienced significant leadership turmoil in early 2020. Naturally, we would be under increased scrutiny.

Eastern Gateway went through the complete HLC mid-cycle review process, which included the Assurance Argument, a virtual onsite visit, and the Peer Review Team; the Institutional Actions Council report and meeting in August; and, finally, the HLC Board of Trustees meeting last Thursday and Friday. Yesterday afternoon, we were informed that our status had been changed from accredited to accredited – on probation.

HLC acknowledged that the leadership team has stabilized and that we have already started working on most, if not all, their core concerns. HLC’s core concerns are centered on assessment, data collection and analysis, HR record-keeping, and ensuring that we can document the great work we already do. The findings were operational, not financial, and the College has been actively addressing HLC’s concerns.

The probation status does not compromise student financial aid. Eastern Gateway remains accredited, and we will emerge from this situation stronger than ever. In terms of transferring credits, as always, we encourage students to double check with the institution they are moving on to ensure the institution will accept their credits. However, probation does not automatically impact the transfer of credits. As always, accepting credits is up to the receiving institution

With the free College higher education model, Eastern Gateway is doing something incredibly innovative. When we can document and demonstrate evidence of all we are accomplishing, we will serve as a model for the nation to remove barriers to higher education and continue to create opportunities and change lives.

FAQ

Is Eastern Gateway Community College still accredited?
Yes, Eastern Gateway Community College remains an accredited institution throughout the probationary period. The college is actively working on compliance issues and working to resolve them.

Does this affect my degree if I have graduated or graduate while EGCC is on probation?
This does not affect the awarding or recognition of degrees, or transferability for past, present or future students.

What does this probation mean?
Probation is a temporary public sanction that attaches to an institution’s accreditation status. This status indicates that an accredited institution is no longer in compliance with one or more of HLC’s Criteria for Accreditation or Federal Compliance Requirements or is out of line with the Assumed Practices.

How long does this probation last?
The probation can last up to two years. Then, there is a follow up site visit in April 2023.

How does this affect free college?
Eastern Gateway will still offer free college through the Union Free College Benefit. This will not change our admission and enrollment policies. The College will also continue to offer the Gateway Guarantee through Spring 2022 as previously announced for Jefferson, Mahoning, Columbiana, and Trumbull County students.

Will my Financial Aid be affected?
The Financial Aid process will not change at Eastern Gateway. Students can still apply and receive Financial Aid.

Is the school closing?
No, Eastern Gateway is not closing our online or campus locations. The college is actively working on compliance issues and working to resolve them.

Will EGCC be laying off employees or will we see pay cuts?
Eastern Gateway is currently not laying off any employees, staff, or faculty. There are no pay cut plans at this time.

What is the plan to get off probation?
Eastern Gateway is actively resolving ongoing issues and committed to improving the institution’s planning and policies related  to accreditation status.

How long has the administration been aware of this?
The administration was notified of its changed status on November 8, 2021. It was effective from the HLC’s Board of Trustees meeting on November 4, 2021.

Why did this happen?
The Institution is on probation for being out of compliance with HLC’s Criteria for Accreditation. The College will provide an updated Assurance Argument by February 2023 to show improvements on all compliance issues which are presently being addressed collaboratively with faculty and staff.

Will any of the student support services be impacted?
Students will still have ongoing access to all our student support services, such as tutoring, career development, accessibility, library services, and more.

How does this affect our current partnerships?
Currently, all partnerships are still in place with no immediate changes.

Will this affect transferring credit to other institutions?
We always encourage students to double check with the institution the are moving on to ensure the institution will accept their credits. However, probation does not automatically impact the transfer of credits. As always, accepting credits is up to the receiving institution.

How did the union’s offering free college respond to this?
The unions we partner with to offer free college continue to support our work. Free College will still be offered to their Union Members and their families.

Will this impact students’ success at the college?
The college administration, faculty, and staff are committed to achieving student success for all Eastern Gateway learners. Our students are the most important stakeholders, and we are focused on our vision: Creating Opportunities, Changing Lives.

Public Disclosures

Questions

If you have questions, please email: [email protected]

Contact HLC

For further information, please contact the Higher Learning Commission.

Accreditation

Eastern Gateway Community College is accredited – on probation by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). The probation status began on November 4, 2021 and will be revisited by the HLC in 2023.

This time gives Eastern Gateway time to work in coordination with HLC to comply with Assumed Practices, Criteria for Accreditation, Core Components, federal compliance and other regulations.