By HAROLD GWIN
Youngstown Early College will remain in Fedor Hall on the Youngstown State University campus for the next three years.
That’s a key point in a transition plan unanimously adopted by the YSU Board of Trustees, voting as the board’s Academic and Student Affairs Committee, on Wednesday.
YEC is a joint program launched by the university and the Youngstown city schools in 2004 to allow selected high school students to earn college credit while completing their high school education in a college-campus setting. It has about 250 students right now.
Wednesday’s vote substantially alters a February vote by the same committee to terminate the YEC partnership effective June 30 of this year, primarily because of finances.
It allows time for the program to transition from a school partnership with YSU to a partnership with the newly formed Eastern Gateway Community College.
The three-year plan is the work of a committee made up of representatives of YSU, EGCC and the city schools appointed to come up with a transition plan.
The plan has yet to be approved by the city school board or the EGCC Board of Trustees.
Anthony Catale, school board president, said it will be presented at the school board’s April 13 meeting, and Laura Meeks, EGCC president, said it will be presented soon to her board as well.
The Rev. Lewis Macklin II, president of ACTION, a faith-based community-action group that was pushing the YSU trustees to support some form of transition plan, thanked the trustees for their decision. It shows forward thinking and that YSU holds the early-college students in high regard. It will allow them to continue to get a quality education in their own community, he said.
Catale said many details remain to be worked out, but getting approval for the transition plan allows the city school district to tell students and parents how the program will be structured next year. With its future uncertain, some students might have considered transferring to other schools under open enrollment or the state voucher program, he said.
Trustee Harry Meshel, who had led the move to end the program in February, said the transition plan makes more sense than cutting the program off cold.