Eastern Gateway sees growing numbers of online students

Local News

As medical assisting students look toward a spring graduation, they say that Eastern Gateway Community College offered them flexibility that other schools could not.

Megan Berlin has been taking classes at the community college as her schedule allows. For the past five years, she has been looking forward to her eventual career in nursing.

“I have a daughter. I have a son. I have a job, but Eastern Gateway allows you to have that life and be able to go to school,” Berlin says.

The room that the girls are using is part of Eastern Gateway’s latest expansion, taking over the old Harshman Law Office building on East Boardman Street. It will be ready for classes next week.

While enrollment in Youngstown is now close to 1,000 students, there are more than 20,000 enrolled in the college as a whole, thanks to efforts to target those who would rather take courses outside of a classroom. 

“We started to focus on that and from that we started to grow, and now we’ve reached about 17,000 online students,” said Dr. Jimmie Bruce.

There are also 800 Steubenville students and 1,200 high school students online. 

Those numbers have some calling Eastern Gateway one of the country’s fastest-growing community colleges, but students like Dawn Spencer came from YSU. 

“Some of my classes had 60, maybe 70 kids and here it’s smaller. You’re able to interact with the class, the teacher, get more one-on-one time,” Spencer says. 

Tuition at Eastern Gateway costs about $120 per credit hour. Full-time students pay about $3,000 per year in tuition and fees. 

Online costs are roughly the same, with less in fees than the on-campus students. 

The president of the college says he expects the school to begin offering more evening and weekend courses to provide flexibility for students. 

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Mel Robbins Main Area Middle

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