EOPS to commemorate 50th anniversary

Hillary Hetrick, @hillarymhetrick

Extended Opportunity Programs and Services (EOPS) is a statewide program that helps college students who come from low-income and underrepresented backgrounds. The program’s 50th anniversary was September 4 of this year. EOPS is currently the longest standing program of its kind in the state.

EOPS Program Coordinator Marquis McCoy described their role in a unique way.  

“We serve almost like a GPS, helping students stay on the straight and narrow path,” said McCoy. “We provide … equality to the disadvantaged,” said McCoy, “We are changing the lives of LMC students.”

EOPS was established on Sept. 4, 1969 when Senate Bill 164 was passed into law. Contra Costa College EOPS Association President Omar Orihuela described the program as, “[T]he original student success program.”         

The program also guided the way for students to achieve their goals academically.

“Early in the process [of establishing EOPS], it became apparent that this group of students had much potential, but had been overlooked historically and had much need for additional supportive services to facilitate success and make an effective transition to higher education.” said Orihuela.

The program’s intent was to urge community colleges to establish a program that helps identify “students affected by language, social and economic handicaps [and] to increase the number of EOPS students served,” Orihuela said. 

The program has many services and resources available to students in their community.

 “[EOPS has] lots of grants and scholarship opportunities and resources for students,” said EOPS Program Assistant Robert Delgado.

Delgado has been impressed with the overall success EOPS has had at LMC. 

“Our numbers have increased over the years,” said Delgado, “We’re serving more students, which is a good thing since more students allow more exposure, a change of culture.” 

When it comes to how students feel about EOPS, the community has the same opinion.

“Students like to be a part of the program now,” Delgado said. “It’s like a family.”

To commemorate EOPS’ 50th anniversary, EOPS wants to invite LMC students to their celebration on Tuesday, Oct. 4 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Outdoor Quad.