By Alyssa Pawluk
Jimmie Bruce, vice president of academics at Northwest Vista College in Texas, will be the new president of Eastern Gateway Community College in Youngstown beginning July 13.
Bruce said he wants to familiarize himself with the area of Youngstown as well as the faculty, staff and students at EGCC so that he might unearth common goals within the community.
“My first priority is to get to know the faculty, staff and students at Eastern Gateway as well as the many community partners. Mutual goals will develop from those many conversations,” Bruce said. “As you may know, Eastern Gateway was recently named the tenth fastest growing college by Community College Week. One of my goals would be to continue this growth and strengthen our role in the Ohio Valley and serve more students.”
Bruce said he would forge a strong relationship between Eastern Gateway and Youngstown State University.
“I envision a strong and collaborative partnership between our institutions. Youngstown’s Valley Center location is uniquely positioned to create opportunities for students at Eastern Gateway to transition to Youngstown State. My vision would be the transition would be seamless with strong articulation agreements in place to ensure a smooth transition,” Bruce said.
He said that in order to forge this relationship, he would have to collaborate with the administration at YSU.
“One of my first priorities would be to meet with representatives of Youngstown State and find out more about the partnership in place and what agreements already exist. I would like to work together to meet the needs of the Youngstown community and work with Youngstown to increase opportunities for more students to attend college,” Bruce said. “I believe the partnership between Youngstown State University and Eastern Gateway Community College to be one of the most important priorities as I begin my presidency. The Ohio Board of Regents stated that Ohio needs to produce and retain more college graduates — this will take both institutions working together to identify strategies to meet this challenge.”
Bruce, originally from Kentucky, has had 18 years of experience working in higher education. He has a doctorate in Educational Leadership from the A&M University of Texas, and for three and a half years, Bruce was the dean of student success at Northwest Vista College, where he worked closely with students.
“I helped to implement group advising to reduce wait time in our advising center, increased dual enrollment in our high schools and was involved with a collaborative grant with University of Incarnate Word to improve our first year experience orientation course,” Bruce said.
Bruce has worked with the University of Texas at San Antonio and the University of the Incarnate Word — among others in Texas — to expand articulation agreements, provide remedial education for these campuses and develop grant opportunities.
“We have continued to remain a best practice college for active and collaborative learning and student engagement, achieve national recognition for developmental English and math with our advocacy mode for tutoring. Also, we have increased distance-learning success by over 25 percent,” he said.
Bruce added that he would like to develop more collaborative grants between YSU and Eastern Gateway to promote science, technology, engineering and math.
Bruce said that he is looking forward to the opportunity of his new position as president of EGCC.
“I am humbled and very excited,” he said. “I believe it is an exciting time for Eastern Gateway Community College and the communities we serve.”