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Eastern Gateway Community College placed on probation

Still will be accredited for two years as it tries to meet criteria

YOUNGSTOWN — Eastern Gateway Community College has been placed on probation for up to two years by the Higher Learning Commission, a private Chicago-based organization that accredits about 1,000 colleges and universities across the U.S.

The commission changed EGCC’s status from “Accredited” to “Accredited – On Probation” because the Steubenville-based school does not meet the commission’s criteria for accreditation related to teaching and learning for quality, resources, support, evaluation and improvement, according to a letter released Tuesday.

While on probation, EGCC, which has a downtown Youngstown campus, remains accredited and is given the chance to correct the issues that led to the sanction, according to the commission. In most cases, other colleges and universities will continue to accept the institution’s credits in transfer or for admission to a higher degree program.

The commission, according to the letter, concluded EGCC does not meet the following criteria for accreditation:

• Has the faculty and staff needed for effective, high-quality programs and student services;

• Provides support for student learning and resources for effective teaching;

• Ensures the quality of its educational offerings;

• Engages in ongoing assessment of student learning as part of its commitment to the educational outcomes of its students; and

• Pursues educational improvement through goals and strategies that improve retention, persistence and completion rates in its degree and certificate programs.

The commission’s letter also noted areas of concern regarding accreditation in that:

• It provides opportunities for civic engagement in a diverse, multicultural society and globally connected world, as appropriate within its mission and for the constituencies it serves;

• It establishes and follows policies and processes to ensure fair and ethical behavior on the part of its governing board, administration, faculty and staff;

• It presents itself clearly and completely to its students and to the public;

• Through administrative structures and collaborative processes, the EGCC’s leadership demonstrates it is effective and enables the institution to fulfill its mission.

• Its resource base supports its educational offerings and its plans for maintaining and strengthening their quality in the future; and

• It engages in systematic and integrated planning and improvement.

EGCC is required to show it has addressed the issues no later than Feb. 1, 2023, in preparation for the commission’s on-site visit no later than April 2023. The commission’s board will determine in November 2023 if EGCC has come into compliance and the probation can be removed, the letter states.

According to a statement from the school, the commission’s findings “were operational, not financial, and core concerns centered on assessment, data collection and analysis, HR record keeping, and ensuring that we can document the great work we already do.”

“The temporary probation status does not compromise student financial aid or the ability for students to transfer to other institutions, or the recognition and awarding of degrees. Eastern Gateway remains accredited, and we will emerge from this situation with improvements that strengthen our college,” according to the statement.

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