Determine your path, follow your dreams” is the slogan emphasized by EOC staff to encourage participants to consider high school completion or postsecondary options.
The California State University, Long Beach Educational Opportunity Center is a federally funded program designed to assist adults who want to enter or continue an adult school/GED program, community college, vocational school or any other postsecondary institution.
Many participants stopped out of college or high school or postponed college for a variety of reasons. “Timing was never right to go to college,” “the need to work to support family,” “becoming a parent,” “family emergency or care for a relative,” “I’m too old to consider college,” “lost interest in school” or “financial reasons” are the most commonly cited barriers that prevent the completion of educational goals. EOC staff provide participants with quality information and services to demystify the stress related to achieving their educational dreams.
All EOC services are free to qualified participants. Eligibility criteria include being a U.S. citizen or permanent resident; residing, attending school or receiving services in one of the target communities and being at least 19 years of age. Two-thirds of program participants must be low income/first generation. The center serves the communities of Artesia, Compton, Hawaiian Gardens, Long Beach, Lynwood, Norwalk, Paramount, Willowbrook and Wilmington. Services range from academic advising, assisting with completing college and financial aid applications, career advising, postsecondary advising, finding available scholarships and assisting with identifying services with community agencies, GED/high school diploma programs and job training programs.
Partnerships with the Achieving College Partnership, Career Transition Center, Compton Community College, Job Corps, Long Beach Community Action Network, Long Beach Community Improvement League, Lynwood Adult School, Paramount Adult School and the Youth Opportunity Center enable the EOC to identify eligible participants. Recruitment efforts are enhanced by local radio public service announcements, cable television interviews and newspaper announcements that publicize available postsecondary and financial aid options to the target communities.
Pictured (from left) are Curglin Roberts, Claudia Gomez, Francis Brocato and Michele Scott.
The EOC recently moved to the Career Transition Center in Long Beach (see map). The CTC is a one-stop career center for adults seeking employment, job training career and educational services. The EOC’s central office is equipped with an eight-station computer lab and a resource/conference room that are available for participant use. EOC staff provide recruitment information regarding available services at the CTC’s weekly informational sessions. Financial aid application and/or college options workshops also are offered at the CTC weekly.
Interested individuals are encouraged to schedule an appointment with an EOC advisor. Information sessions and workshops with adult schools, community agencies and organizations in the targeted communities can be arranged through the EOC office. —Scott is director of the Educational Opportunity Center.
For further information, call (562) 570-3710, or visit www.csulb.edu/eoc.