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Free College for OCSEA Members

OCSEA members and their families can get their associate degrees online through Eastern Gateway Community College — for FREE.

Fill out interest form


For more information, call OCSEA at 614-865-4700 or email freecollege@ocsea.org.


NEW! Just added: 7 Business Management degree focus areas

Get your associate degree for FREE

Tuition, fees and textbooks are covered for OCSEA members and their families at Eastern Gateway. Just fill out the FAFSA to apply for a federal grant, or use your UET benefits, and the OCSEA scholarship will cover the rest.

Take classes online and on your own time

Classes are online, which is ideal for busy adults. If you have to interrupt your studies because of a busy week at work, you can pick up where you left off with no penalties.

Get credit for your work experience

Your previous college, work and military experience can count towards your degree. This includes Corrections Training Academy credit for our members in Corrections. And if you want to continue on to a four-year degree, Eastern Gateway advisors will help you choose courses that will transfer to any public college in Ohio.

See NEW course offerings

OCSEA and Eastern Gateway Community College are working hard to introduce as many new and exciting degrees in a variety of fields as much as possible. This includes 7 Business Management degree focus areas, just added!


OCSEA has partnered with Eastern Gateway Community College to offer an educational program that works for busy professionals.

Eastern Gateway is a member of the University System of Ohio and is one of the fastest growing public colleges in the country. 

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Associate of Arts Degree

The Associate of Arts (AA) degree is a two-year program which parallels the first two years of a Bachelor of Arts degree at most four-year institutions. As a student in the program, you’ll be able to choose electives that align with your interests and career goals. Depending upon your selection, you can progress into baccalaureate programs such as psychology, sociology, English, history, arts, communications or other fields in the arts disciplines.

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Criminal Justice Degree

Eastern Gateway’s Associate of Criminal Justice program is designed to give you with the knowledge and skills necessary for employment in local, state and federal agencies. It’s also structured to support your transfer to a four-year, degree-granting institution. Course topics include Criminal Investigation, Crisis Intervention and Homeland Security. Students with a background in law enforcement or corrections are often able to receive credit through EGCC’s Prior Learning Assessments.

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Business Management Degree

The Business Management degree offers a well-rounded program to students looking to begin a career in business or for promotion opportunities that can advance their careers. An associate degree can also be a major step towards completing a bachelor’s degree. Students gain a comprehensive understanding of management principles, business-oriented technology and interpersonal skills, with course work that covers the fundamentals of business, management, critical thinking, project planning and implementation, business software, and communication. And to help students go deeper in a particular area of interest, there are many focus areas that are part of the Business Management degree that offer career-oriented courses to build skills and industry background information in specialty fields.

Business Management focus areas

The advertising industry is a global, multibillion-dollar business that, at its most basic level, serves as a conduit between makers and consumers. There is both a creative side to the business and a financial and sales side, and this focus area introduces you to both. The courses for this focus are Advertising and Promotion; Salesmanship; Interactive Advertisement; and Digital Photography.
Expertise in computer security is in high demand. This focus area prepares students to defend and protect information, technology and computer systems. Students will prepare for careers dealing with networking and system administration fundamentals, with the primary focus being defensive strategies to securing networks and systems. The courses for this focus area are Security Foundations; Networking Foundations; System Administration; and Network Defense.
As big data drives business, data scientists are vital to a variety of organizations as they are part computer scientist, mathematician, and trend spotter. These professionals help increase revenue and discover business insights to boost production. Data is the foundation from which business and organizations can tell a compelling story to drive action. Practical foundation level training enables immediate and effective participation in big data and other analytics projects. The courses for this focus area are Basic Statistics; Programming Foundations; Statistical Programming; and Data Wrangling and Visualization.
Digital marketing is one of the fastest-growing careers and is quickly becoming an essential part of marketing in virtually every business. Today, billions of people all over the world are getting their information via social media platforms. Marketing professionals, small business owners, and corporate leaders all need the digital tools and skills to be successful in today’s economy. The courses for this focus are Electronic Commerce: The Strategic Perspective; Social Media Marketing; Consumer Behavior; and Writing for Interactive Media.
Many people dream of owning their own business, which is why over 10 percent of people in this country are self-employed––and that number is expected to grow. More and more workers are looking for the flexibility and freedom that comes with being your own boss. This focus area will help students hone the necessary fundamental skills and tactics needed to be successful in getting a business started and real-world entrepreneurial pursuits. The courses for this focus are Entrepreneurship; Quantitative Reasoning; Customer Service; and Business Ethics.
The fast-paced global economy has changed the way finance works on a fundamental level. As day-to-day financial tasks become more complex and interconnected—from transactions to investing—it pays to have a comprehensive finance skill set. In fact, it has become a requirement for success in just about any organization, and even in day-to-day life! The courses for this focus are Financial Management; Managerial Accounting; Securities and Investment; and Financial Accounting 2.
The healthcare industry continues to be one of the fastest-growing parts our economy. Almost everyone needs care at some point in their life. This Healthcare Management focus can prepare you to play an important role in areas such as healthcare policy, managed care, insurance, information systems or finance in settings such as hospitals, clinics, private practices, and more. This focus will help you advance your commitment to serving others with the knowledge and ability to be effective in a variety of positions. The courses for this focus are Introduction to Health Care Systems; Law and Ethics; Healthcare Management; and Healthcare Finance.
Be prepared for the many possibilities beyond the kitchen with this focus, which will give you an understanding of the operation of both the front and the back of the house. The focus prepares for positions including management trainee, kitchen manager, catering manager, or assistant pastry, banquet, or sous-chef with restaurants, hotels, resorts, and caterers. The courses for this focus are Fundamentals of Food Service Industry; Fundamentals of Food Safety; Food Service Management; and Food and Beverage Operations.
Hospitality is a multi-billion-dollar industry, and refers to a wide array of businesses, including hotels and event planning, cruises and even some professional athletics. Planning events requires many different skills from managing catering staff to marketing and sales. This focus area will give a broad introduction to the various roles involved in hotel and event management. The courses for this focus area are Introduction to Quality Improvement; Food and Beverage Operations; Hotel and Convention Management; and Event Management.
The success of any business or organization is dependent on the employees who work there. Every human resources department plays an essential role in developing organizational strategy as well as handling the employee-centered activities––including the role of unions in the workplace! This focus can help strengthen your skills in HR or prepare you to interact with employees directly to help them resolve problems, understand their benefits, or adjudicate disputes between employees. The courses for this focus are Business Law; Training Concepts; Compensation Management; and Employee Benefits.
The Information Systems focus was developed with the support of Google. This focus will prepare students for high-demand, entry-level jobs in Information Technology and Systems. Nearly every employer that uses computers has a need for IT Support professionals. The demand for the jobs exceeds the number of qualified candidates who can fill them. The growth in the area is faster than the average of all other occupations. Those who successfully complete this focus will earn the Google IT Support Certificate, which prepares students for entry-level IT jobs and is recognized by large employers nationwide. The courses for this focus are Introduction to Information Technology; Introduction to System Administration; Introduction to IT Security; and Leadership and Development Team Building.
Designed in collaboration with highly-respected and seasoned leaders from the labor movement, the Labor Studies focus prepares students to assume leadership roles in the workplace and in their communities. Whether you are already working as a union organizer or professional, a dedicated advocate or an interested observer, this focus will help gain the necessary skills and understanding of the workplace to meet the challenges of the new millennium. The courses for this focus are Introduction to Labor / the American Labor Movement; Collective Bargaining; Law of Labor / Industrial Relations; and Labor and Management Relationship.
Looking for ways to persuade and influence people? The Marketing focus can help you learn ways to promote brands—from writing and creating content and ads, to planning and managing large-scale events. Students will learn about the many media by which to promote products and services, as well as the ways advertising interrelates to marketing. Courses for this focus are Salesmanship; Advertising; Social Media Marketing; and Customer Service.
Programmers, developers, and software engineers design and develop many types of software, including computer games and entertainment applications, mobile applications, business applications, database systems, computer systems, and interactive websites. Students get an introduction to these important areas and begin to develop competencies in designing, implementing, integrating, testing and maintaining software systems. The courses for this focus area are Coding from Scratch; Front End Foundations; Front End Frameworks, and Programming Foundations.
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Early Childhood Education Degree

The Associate of Arts in Early Childhood Education degree is your first step in building a foundation for success in the world of childcare. You will focus on important topics in early childhood, such as: development, learning assessment, special learners and instructional strategy.

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Healthcare Degree

These programs will get you started in the dynamic, growing field!

  • Healthcare Management (Business Management Degree Concentration)
  • Patient Navigator Certificate — An excellent program designed to train students for patient-centered work in healthcare.
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Paralegal Degree

The Paralegal Program is designed to prepare students for employment in a law environment in both public and private sectors.

Spring Session 1 begins Jan. 14, 2019

Spring Session 2 begins Mar. 19, 2019

Learn how to apply below

Step ONE

Confirm Eligibility

Get in touch with OCSEA before you apply to Eastern Gateway so that we can confirm you are an OCSEA member or an eligible relative.

The applicant must be a dues-paying OCSEA union member or related to an OCSEA member in order to apply for the Eastern Gateway scholarship program.

Confirm eligibility

Step TWO

Complete the FAFSA or apply for UET

Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. If you are an active OCSEA member and a state employee, call 800-969-4702, ext. 2645 or email blowe@ocsea.org to confirm eligibility for Union Education Trust. 

Any grants you receive will be applied to your tuition, fees and textbooks first; the scholarship will cover the rest.

Fill out the FAFSA

Step THREE

Apply to Eastern Gateway

Apply for admission to Eastern Gateway Community College with your official high school transcript or GED scores and an official college transcript, if available.

Once your application has been accepted, an advisor from Eastern Gateway will help you enroll in classes.

Apply to EGCC

Have questions?


We are here to help. We have compiled a list of our most asked questions by union members and relatives alike.


Click here for FAQ

Fill out interest form

To take part in this program, you must be a dues-paying OCSEA union member or related to an OCSEA member in one of the following ways; child (or step-child), grandchild (or step-grandchild), spouse or financial dependent. Please fill out this form to confirm your eligibility and a staff member from Eastern Gateway will contact you about your application.

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