EOPS makes efficient changes

Alvin Jackson, @ALTheJournalist

The Extended Opportunities Programs and Services, or EOPS at LMC received a record number of applicants this semester. The program currently serves over 600 students and nearly 800 applied to be in the program this fall online and in-person.

On the spot approval is a new outreach approach that has proven to be a success.”This process has never been done in the past,” said Roberto Delgado the student retention and student services assistant for the EOPS program.

The FT3 program, was implemented this semester and numbers have shown an increase in enrollment and EOPS support based programs are wanted.

The amount of applications received this semester prove a growing interest in the EOP program and student needs overall. Since the applicant numbers came in, program officials have been considering a number of changes. The most important goal is getting the application process to go fully online. “Being efficient is our main concern right now,” Delgado said. “Creating smarter procedures helps the application process go much faster.”

Taylor Sims, sociology major and FT3 participant, was accepted on the spot when she applied. “The application process was very easy,” said Sims. The EOP program is transitioning to online only applications but Sims prefers to do them by paper in person for a faster response. “I would suggest doing it by paper in person for a faster response…they can approve your application on the spot,” said Sims.

What she is most grateful for is the much needed textbook help. “I was relieved to find out the program offers financial help for textbooks,” she said.

Word of mouth and promotion from faculty and staff ultimately led to her decision to apply to EOP.

“My teacher told me they help cover college applications and give you textbook vouchers…that’s all I needed to hear,” Sims added.

Steven Freeman, Academic and Student Services Manager of EOP, has seen a few changes within the program created by the influx of applications. “More staff work for greater reward,” Freeman said. The EOP program is funded by the government and seeing so many applicants excited Freeman.

“The facts show that statewide EOP students graduate more frequently than non-EOP students,” Freeman added. The challenges are getting students to check their emails for updates.

“Many students get approved but don’t check their emails for confirmation,” he explained. However, a lack of students checking emails did not stop EOP from putting in the work to get students involved in the program.

“Face to face interaction, target marketing, and word of mouth helped a lot,” Freeman expressed.

“We are no longer a textbook program, but a student support service,” he added.

EOP applications are not year round, however, if you are looking for a program to help you reach your educational goals, EOP is the program you’re looking for. Applications for the spring 2019 semester are available in November.