YEC classes to stay at YSU for now


By Denise Dick

denise_dick@vindy.com

YOUNGSTOWN

Youngstown Early College classes will remain at Youngstown State University through the next academic year.

“Through further collaboration with YSU, we were able to negotiate leaving all YEC classes at the current location for the next academic year,” said Ann Koon, an Eastern Gateway Community College spokeswoman.

The transition of Youngstown Early College from Youngstown State University to EGCC was outlined in a memorandum of understanding approved last fall by the city school board and trustees of both EGCC and YSU.

The plan called for this year’s freshman class to take classes through EGCC with the others taking classes at YSU. That continues with next year’s freshmen and sophomores at EGCC and the juniors and seniors at YSU and in 2013, only the seniors remain at YSU with all younger students at EGCC.

After that, YSU’s involvement with the program ends.

“If Eastern Gateway wants space on the YSU campus [after 2013], they will have to negotiate that with the YSU administration,” said Charles Singler, YSU interim associate provost.

At the conclusion of the three-year agreement, new terms will be negotiated between EGCC and YEC to continue the arrangement.

Youngstown Early College was a joint program launched by YSU and the 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. YSU trustees last year decided to sever involvement with YEC, citing costs.

YEC classes are in Fedor Hall at YSU.

Michele Dotson, YEC principal, said the arrangement works.

While the city school district earned a rating of academic emergency on its most recent state report card, YEC rated excellent.

“We’d like to maintain this situation,” Dotson said. “Being on a college campus, their [students’] self-esteem is through the roof. It changes the way they view themselves.”

Because freshman and sophomores have block scheduling for their courses, they’re able to finish courses for graduation early. For their junior and senior years of high school, they’re taking college courses.

They take the courses at no cost to them. The school district foots the bill for both classes and books.

About 214 students are enrolled this year — between 50 and 55 students per grade.

Academic coaches are assigned to the students to help them adjust to differences between college and high-school classes. They help the students learn to manage their time and to master note-taking, Dotson said.

Eastern Gateway has a goal to increase the number of first-time enrollees with one semester or more of college credit earned in high school by 34 percent, including increasing programs for dual and concurrent enrollment by two high schools per county per year, according to a resolution passed by EGCC trustees last fall.

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