History of the College
On October 29, 1965, the Battelle Memorial Institute of Columbus, Ohio, completed a survey financed jointly by the Jefferson County commissioners and the Steubenville Area Development Council to determine area needs for training and education. The Battelle findings indicated a definite need for post- high school technical education, prompting the creation of the Jefferson County Technical Institute District. The institute was chartered for operation on September 16, 1966, as a public two-year institute by the Ohio Board of Regents, and a Board of Trustees was appointed in compliance with Chapter 3357 of the Ohio Revised Code. Area acceptance and support for the technical institute was confirmed in fall 1966, when Jefferson County voters approved a one mill, 10-year levy to assist in the support of the facility.
Since welcoming its first 320 students in the fall of 1968, as Jefferson County Technical Institute, Eastern Gateway Community College remains steadfast in its principle that a community college must always respond to the educational, economic and social needs of those it serves. For more than 50 years, the institution has evolved from a technical college focused on workforce training, to a community college serving two campuses in four counties in the Ohio River Valley, adding a growing national online program of students in all 50 states.
In 1992, the Board of Trustees empowered a citizens’ committee to study the idea of converting the college to a community college. The committee proposed the change in June 1993. In October 1993, the Ohio Attorney General determined that the college could transfer the local levy to a community college operation. In September 1994, the Ohio Board of Regents approved a request from Jefferson Technical College to expand its charter from technical to community college. In February 1995, the Ohio Board of Regents approved a five-year operation plan and The Higher Learning Commission approved the change in the College’s Statement of Affiliation Status to include the Associate of Arts and Associate of Science degrees. On July 1, 1995, Jefferson Community College began officially serving the public.
Following the University System of Ohio’s Strategic Plan and recommendations from an implementation committee, the Ohio General Assembly passed legislation in 2009 to expand the college’s service district and to change its name to Eastern Gateway Community College. The college now serves Columbiana, Jefferson, Mahoning and Trumbull Counties with several locations. In addition to the main campus in Jefferson County, the college offers classes at its Youngstown Campus in Youngstown as well as Choffin Career and Technical Center, and Trumbull Career and Technical Center. In July 2016, EGCC applied to the Higher Learning Commission for branch campus status for the Youngstown location. The site was approved as a branch campus by the ODHE in that year and underwent an HLC site visit in June 2018. Final branch campus status approval was awarded with the Higher Learning Commission in July 2018.
Today, the original Steubenville campus includes three buildings offering associate degrees, workforce credentials, ASPIRE programs, a library and computer lab, and modern student service facilities in The Gator Center. Additionally, partnering with local high schools in Jefferson County, the College offers College Credit Plus, allowing students in grades 7-12 to earn college credits and degrees prior to graduating from high school.
Similarly, the Youngstown campus has grown to include two main buildings on campus which were purchased by the college in 2020. Its location in the heart of downtown Youngstown allows it to be a significant part of the city’s revitalization efforts.
Recognizing the changing economics of its service area, and the significant number of its students who were displaced workers or their children, Eastern Gateway Community College established partnerships with every major labor union in Ohio to leverage “last-dollar” scholarships to its members. With the college’s low cost-per-credit hour and the high number of Pell Eligible students in this demographic, Eastern Gateway Community College offers free college to union members and their families. This program has grown to include non-profit organizations and partnerships with Ohio-based employers This is in addition to scholarships that provide free access to Eastern Gateway Community College to any high school graduate in Jefferson County, as part of its successful levy passages.
As this program gathered momentum beyond labor unions in Ohio, Eastern Gateway Community College realized the opportunity to, once again, fill a void in higher education. By implementing and scaling a robust online catalogue of degrees, the college quickly became one of the most tech-enabled online colleges in Ohio. This early innovation proved tremendously beneficial during the 2020 global COVID-19 pandemic, as the college seamlessly transitioned to 100% online course delivery.
Responding to pandemic-related job losses and academic disruption, Eastern Gateway Community College launched The Gateway Guarantee, which allowed any resident of Jefferson, Columbiana, Mahoning and Trumbull counties to attend the college for free during Summer and Fall Semesters.
Eastern Gateway Community College is proud to educate Ohio’s 21st Century workforce and its commitment to ensure a quality higher education is within the reach of anyone willing to invest the time and effort in their future. Its track record of student-centered innovation will continue to break down barriers for working families to earn the degrees they need to be competitive in a fast-changing economy.
In carrying out its mission, Eastern Gateway Community College will manifest the following core values:
Learning: We embrace lifelong learning as the key to future prosperity.
Excellence: We commit to quality and excellence in all that we do.
Affordability: We strive for the most affordable ways to earn a college education.
Diversity: We promote diversity through educational opportunities.
Opportunity: We believe educational access fosters economic opportunity.