(CAMARILLO, Calif.) November 6, 2019 -
The Ventura County Community College District and its campuses are joining community colleges throughout the state in celebrating the 50th anniversary of Senate Bill 164 (Alquist-September 4, 1969). The Bill legislated the creation of Extended Opportunity Program and Services (EOPS). Since 1969, EOPS has guided, advised and assisted millions of low-income, first-generation, historically underrepresented college students in order to help them reach their educational goals.
The VCCCD Board of Trustees will take action to approve a resolution recognizing the 50th anniversary of EOPS during its Nov. 12 board meeting. On Nov. 13, Moorpark, Oxnard and Ventura colleges will hold events to celebrate 50 years of changing students’ lives and reshaping our community for the better. The Moorpark College event will be 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.; Oxnard College, noon to 1 p.m.; and Ventura College, noon to 3 p.m. The events are free and open to the community.
“It is only appropriate to take this opportunity to acknowledge, thank and honor all those who have been and continue to be supporters and advocates for EOPS,” said Board Chair Dianne McKay. “Without their vision and advocacy for some of our most vulnerable student populations, 50 years of student success and program sustainability would not have been possible.”
EOPS has a 50-year, data-driven, verifiable track-record of serving students with educational and economic disadvantages. The program has a statewide retention rate of 88 percent and statewide completion rate of 81 percent, consistently the highest of any large-scale student support program.
“All students should have access to superior education. Programs like EOPS have long been an important part of student success on our campuses, giving added resources to students who need them most,” said President Luis Sanchez, Oxnard College.
Born out of the Civil Rights Movement, EOPS is considered by many to be the original equity program in California community colleges. With equity as the cornerstone, EOPS’ origins focused on providing academic, financial and personal support for low-income students whose educational and socio-economic backgrounds might otherwise have prevented them from successfully attaining their educational goals.
- The first transfer center originated from EOPS, with the overriding efforts to provide students with exposure to various transfer institutions. Most colleges in the state now include a transfer center as part of their core of student services.
- Tutorial assistance programs began in EOPS, with the recognition that underprepared and disadvantaged EOPS students could benefit dramatically from tutoring and learning assistance programs. Today, virtually all community colleges in California have tutoring programs.
- EOPS is the model for matriculation, with component activities in assessment, orientation, admissions, outreach, counseling and program evaluation.
- Blanch G. Goldstein founded Cooperative Agencies Resources for Education (CARE) as an EOPS “special project” at Imperial Valley College in San Diego in 1977. Several years later, it spread to 13 campuses. In 1982, Senator Theresa Hughes authored AB 3103, championed by Capitol staffer William ‘Bill’ Chavez, establishing CARE in California community colleges. Today, CARE exists in all 114 physical campuses.
- EOPS’ strong outcomes and commitment to serve vulnerable populations was further acknowledged when the governor signed legislation to include CAFYES/NextUp into EOPS, establishing it as a new categorical component program of EOPS to provide additional support to eligible former and current foster youth.
About Ventura County Community College District
The Ventura County Community College District is a member of the 115-campus California Community College system, and serves more than 32,000 students annually. The District’s three colleges- Moorpark, Oxnard, and Ventura- offer programs in general education for degrees and certificates, transfer to four-year colleges and universities, career technical education, and provide opportunities to engage in co-curricular campus activities.