The Educational Opportunity Center (EOC) at CSULB was recently awarded a five-year, $1.33 million from the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) to continue its efforts in identifying and assisting adult participants who want to enter, re-enter, continue or enroll in a program of post-secondary education.
"I feel this grant is an asset for people who want to return to school," said EOC director Michele Scott. "Some participants have thought for a long time about returning to school but due to personal and financial obligations they have delayed enrollment. We want to make sure we are there to provide assistance and support them in reaching their educational goals."
Sponsored by CSULB Foundation and funded by the DOE, the EOC's mission is to help program participants reach their educational and career goals by providing quality information, guidance and services.The EOC provides free information and assistance to individuals who meet the program criteria and targets the communities of Artesia, Compton, Hawaiian Gardens, Long Beach, Lynwood, Norwalk, Paramount, Willowbrook and Wilmington.
Program services include academic advisement, assistance in completing college admission and testing applications, career advisement, college admission application workshops, computer lab — online admission and financial aid information assistance, financial aid applications workshops, post-secondary advisement, referral services — community agencies/schools, GED/high school diploma programs and job-training programs and a scholarship search.
"The center is committed to making a difference," said Scott."I'm especially happy to work with a staff that shares the same philosophy.Our staff works above and beyond the call of duty to ensure program participants receive quality services."
Scott underlines the importance of the EOC mission to assist its participants, which number 1,000 a year, to achieve their dream of higher education. "Many employers will not hire without a high school diploma or additional training and education. EOC encourages its participants to enroll in adult schools, vocational training and/or post-secondary education programs.Continuing education can have a positive effect on the entire family. If children see their parent doing his or her homework at the kitchen table, they'll figure they can do the same and make plans to attend college.
"Remember our slogan; 'Determine your path; Follow your dreams,'" Scott pointed out."Thanks to grants like this, we can continue to sponsor workshops, information tables at community fairs and work in collaboration with local adult schools, community agencies, and community colleges in making a difference among area residents."
To be eligible for services program participants must be a U.S. citizen, national or permanent resident of the United States; reside, attend school or receive services from a satellite site in the target area; be at least 19 years of age; be enrolled or interested in enrolling in a high school diploma or GED program or post-secondary education program;request information or assistance in applying for post-secondary admission or financial aid; have a need for one or more of the offered program services.Two-thirds of program participants must be low-income or potential first generation in accordance with the federal regulations.