By Jonathan Hurtado
On the southern end of College of the Canyons’ Valencia Campus is a building with simplistic architectural characteristics surrounded by bright green grass and a handful of trees. The sun shines brightly on this hidden gem as rabbits and blue jays casually surround the area. Engulfed with environmental beauty, this treasure trove remains lost in the vast school grounds.
The Extended Opportunity Programs and Service building is a facility that qualifying students can take advantage of, but few do. The state funded program does not have a limit on the number of students it can have.
In fact, the program receives their funding based on the number of students who enroll in it. So, if you’re a student that needs a helping hand reaching your educational goals than, EOPS is the way to go.
Special perks are given to students who enroll in EOPS. Some of the benefits that EOPS scholars receive are priority registration, book vouchers, school supplies and personal counseling.
While the benefits act as the main attraction for potential participants, it’s really the friendly faces, pearly white smiles and hospitable staff that have given this program its special charm and positive reputation.
“It’s a really awesome place to be,” says Marcela Moreno, 21. “We’re not just an I.D number here, we’re treated like people. Everyone here actually knows your name.”
As the saying goes it’s the simple acts of kindness that can have a huge impact on a person.
“They’re all rooting for you,” says Angel Avena, 20. “Their kindness and constant persistency to help us succeed academically is awesome”.
It’s all hard work and no play at EOPS because coddling students can create lazy students. Once a student joins the program, he or she must complete certain tasks in order to fully benefit and continue to be a part of the program.
Forming an educational plan with one of the friendly EOPS counselors is a requirement that participants must complete. The purpose of an educational plan is so that students can have a reference guide on the courses they need to take in order to achieve their educational goals.
EOPS also requires their students to submit mid-semester progress reports. By receiving this information, students can learn how well they are doing in their classes.
After all, tracking your progress is important because it helps a person understand if they need to change any of their study habits. For that reason, EOPS makes sure that their student become aware of the grades.
“I believe my students can achieve anything they set their mind to. All they have to do is listen to what the Nike sign says and that is to just do it,” says Dr. Pamela Brodgon-Wynne, the director of EOPS/CARE and CalWORKs.
Currently, EOPS has a total of 576 unduplicated students and are hoping for more participants in the near future. If you’re wondering what makes a person eligible, here’s what you need to know.
Prospective EOPS members must meet all five requirements to join the program.
A potential EOPS member must be a California resident, have completed fewer than 50-degree applicable units and must be enrolled in 12 or more units.
Secondly, interested students must be from the working class. Therefore, have low-income and they must qualify for a Board of Governors Enrollment Fee Waiver Method “A” or “B”.
Lastly, the college student must be educationally disadvantaged and provide proof.
Graduating high school with a grade point average of less than 2.5, not being a high school graduate and not having a GED is enough evidence to support the claim that a college student is educationally disadvantaged.
Taking previous remedial classes, being currently enrolled or have previous enrollment in basic english and math courses can explain an individual’s educational disadvantage.
Another reason that may explain a person’s educational disadvantage can be assessment scores. The test results are only relevant if the individual in basic english or math.
Regardless of the qualifications students should still be aware of their school resources and facilities.
Ultimately, programs like EOPS are here to give students a helping hand when no one else can.