STEUBENVILLE - Eastern Gateway Community College is one of the fastest-growing colleges in the nation, according to the American Association of Community Colleges.
With a 20 percent increase in enrollment, Eastern Gateway achieved the highest semester enrollment in college history this spring. The increase ranked the college as 16th on AACC's list of fastest growing colleges in the 2,500-to-4,999 student count category.
The Jefferson County-based Eastern Gateway has several campuses along eastern Ohio, including the Warren Center, 103 W. Market St., Warren, and The Valley Center, 101 E. Federal St., Youngstown.
"I am excited to report that the college's enrollment exceeded 3,000 for the first time in the college's history," Patty Sturch, dean of enrollment management, reported to the college's board of trustees during its monthly meeting.
The student headcount reached 3,087, which compares to 2,573 in the spring of 2013.
The 3,000th student enrolled at Eastern Gateway through the Youngstown Early College program, Sturch said.
The rise was fueled by the enrollment of 44 percent more new students from a year ago and the increase in retention of continuing students from fall 2013 to this spring, which rose to 75 percent.
The college continues to intensify its focus on student success and achievement of student goals, officials said. Programs and services such as a math emporium for individualized competency-based learning, developmental education curriculum refinements, academic advising and personal and online tutoring are refined annually and advanced for the student's benefit.
Trustees agreed to increase tuition rates by $3 per credit hour, effective with the summer term. Jefferson County residents, who continue to receive a tuition discount because of a 1-mill levy, will pay $111 per credit hour.
In-state residents and those residing in the tuition reciprocity counties of Hancock, Brooke, Ohio, Marshall and Wetzel counties in West Virginia will pay $117 per credit. The out-of-state tuition rate is $145 per credit hour.
Project Hope doubled its goal of students to serve, going from 1,000 to 2,000, said Shari Prichard, program administrator.
Through the $14 million, five-year grant from the U.S. Department of Job and Family Services, Eastern Gateway and its partners offer a variety of certificate and associate degree programs in the health care field. Students in these programs receive extra support with academic and life skills coaches and with job placement, officials said.
The retention rate for students in Project Hope is 80 percent.
Based on the bargaining units' contracts, an average 1.97 percent salary increase was granted to the professional and support staffs. The same raise was approved by the board for full-time non-bargaining unit positions.