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Gateway Named Among Best Online Colleges, Will Not Raise Tuition

Gateway Community and Technical College has just been named one of the 25 best online colleges of 2015 by BestColleges.com according to the college's President and CEO G. Edward Hughes, who announced the news at the Board of Directors meeting Thursday night.

"We just received the news," Hughes said. "This national recognition reflects the outstanding work done by faculty and staff to provide quality online course offerings. We strive to be a premier community and technical college and are thrilled that an independent organization like BestColleges.com has identified Gateway as one of the nation's best. We continually work to meet students needs through e­learning and campus based classroom education and training."

The schools gained their ranking by qualifying in four distinct areas: admissions, enrollment, retention, and graduation data. Plus, all ranked schools offer at least three fully online degree programs, and all are not-­for-­profit organizations.The cost of tuition was not a factor because BestColleges.com found out that the cost of a degree does not have a direct correlation with the quality of the education.

Gateway has developed over 70 online courses taught by at least 90 certified online facilitators. Last fall there were over 2700 online course enrollments.

In other business, the board was in agreement on their recommendation for the 2015­-16 budget in a resolution passed unanimously at the regular meeting.

"The unrestricted funds total $22,973,800, and the restricted funds, such as grants, total $15,524,400, so the real total of the budget is over $38 million," said board member Ken Paul. "And it includes no tuition increase."

Board Parliamentarian Paul Whalen said that legislators need to find more sources of revenue for colleges, since it is not fair to pick on students by raising tuition or fees. Hughes agreed, saying that the state funding has gone down close to $1 million since 2008. He also said that they were put here to educate the students that need a second, third and fourth chance, and if funding does not improve, they might have to close the width of the door that is open now.

Board member Dr. Julie Smith Morrow suggested a procedure for the evaluation of the board president, and after much discussion, it was decided to have the evaluation form online so that the board members can complete the form anonymously and they will meet on June 22 at 8 a.m. to collect the printed forms. The board agreed to comply. Also on that date the board will discuss bylaws and procedures.

At the beginning of the meeting, Hughes took the board on a tour of the Edgewood campus to show them the cutting edge technology present in the classrooms.

When the tour was completed, new board member Daniel Ridley was sworn in by Ken Paul as the new staff representative. Ridley was elected by the staff Thursday morning.

Written by Patricia A. Scheyer, RCN contributor

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