The U.S. Department of Education today announced the award of $48 million in grants to 143 colleges and organizations in 42 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico under the Educational Opportunity Centers (EOC) program – all aimed at promoting college readiness for more than 196,000 adults. Unfortunately New Jersey not on the list.
The grants will provide readily accessible college guidance to adults who may not otherwise quickly decipher the steps needed for college admissions and continued success through graduation. EOC grants, five years in duration, will assist adults in gaining the skills necessary for pursuing postsecondary credentials.
Participants will be connected to tutors, mentors and counselors for guidance on admission, financial aid and postsecondary course selection. For those who may not have finished high school, help will be offered on secondary school re-entry or high school equivalency exam programs – or other alternative education programs for secondary school dropouts.
EOC projects also provide services to students traditionally underrepresented in postsecondary education, including students with disabilities, limited English proficiency, and other disadvantaged groups, such as those who may be homeless, exiting foster care or otherwise disconnected.
Educational Opportunity Centers are one of eight federal grant programs collectively known as the Federal TRIO Programs. TRIO Programs identify and provide services for individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds. They help low-income individuals, first-generation college students, and individuals with disabilities progress through the academic pipeline from middle school to post-baccalaureate programs.