50 years of access

California, Delta celebrate five decades of Extended Opportunities Program and Services

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"They kept trying to cut our funding, but we took EOPS, to community schools and universities of California," said Anthony Cedillo, one of the first EOPS directors speaks.

On Nov. 4, the Extended Opportunities Program and Services (EOPS) celebrated 50 years of service to its students throughout the state of California.

The celebration was held in DeRicco 275 and featured a variety of food, drinks and socialization among students and faculty.

In addition to the abundance of food, cupcakes and music, EOPS members took pictures with one another against a provided backdrop that displayed black and gold balloons and other decor.

EOPS is a program designed to help students with challenging educational backgrounds such as low-income households, ESL students, first generation students, students who did not finish high school, etc.

“This program provides access to education in a way that no other program in the nation does,” said director of student support services, Danita Scott.

Scott oversees EOPS, CARE and DSPS on Delta College campus.

Many people attended the event showing support for the EOPS program and for student success at Delta College.

 “Ultimately what we’re celebrating here is the success of a program that has withstood some serious challenges,” said Scott. 

In 2009 the program suffered a 40 percent budget cut, but continues to provide students with financial and academic support regardless.

In addition to services EOPS also helps students meet their educational goals through workshops.

“Our goal is to find marginalized populations, recruit them, bring them on campus and provide comprehensive support services so that they can meet their educational goals of earning a certificate, a degree or transferring,” said Scott.

A few of the many services provided to EOPS students include first day priority registration, tutoring, financial support/grants, helping students purchase required textbooks and parking permits, transportation services and much more.

One support EPOS stresses the importance of counselling to students.

“The heart of the program is really the counselling services,” said Scott. “EOPS students are required to have three counsilling contacts each semester — the beginning, middle and the end — because our whole goal is to build that relationship to keep that student engaged in their educational pursuits.”

Over the last 50 years EOPS has provided service to over a million students across California Community College campuses and will continue to do so as long as long as possible.

“Hope, equity and success — that’s what we’re celebrating.” said Scott.