In mid-August, Piedmont Community College (PCC) learned that a grant for its Educational Opportunity Center (EOC) would be renewed for another five years, allowing the staff to continue offering free services to 2,500 individuals per year.
Educational Opportunity Centers are one of eight federal grant programs collectively known as the Federal TRIO Programs. TRIO Programs identify and provide services for individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds. They help low-income individuals, first-generation college students, and individuals with disabilities progress through the academic pipeline from middle school to post-baccalaureate programs.
PCC’s EOC offers free programs to individuals in 10 counties, including Alamance, Caswell, Chatham, Durham, Franklin, Granville, Person, Rockingham, Vance, and Warren. There are branch sites in each area.
The goal of PCC’s EOC program is to increase the number of adult participants who enroll in postsecondary education. EOC staff provide academic advice, career workshops, information on postsecondary educational opportunities, and free assistance with completing applications for college admission, testing, and financial aid.
The program also provides counseling and information on college admission to qualified persons who want to enter or continue a program of postsecondary education. The program makes available resources to improve the financial and economic literacy of participants.
The five year grant totals over $2.5 million from the Department of Education, allowing the EOC to use just under $520,000 to serve 2,500 participants per year. In total, the Education Department awarded $48 million in grants to TRIO Educational Opportunity Centers to improve adult college readiness.
Other North Carolina schools to receive the grant are Craven Community College and Halifax Community College, both serving 1,000 participants per year and Fayetteville State University, serving 1,800 participants per year.
PCC was the only previously funded North Carolina school to earn another five-year grant.
“I am very grateful to the college for supporting the TRIO programs and I am very thankful for the hardworking and committed EOC staff members. This award has made it possible for the EOC to continue to plant seeds that help many obtain their academic dreams,” comments Carolyn Funderburk, EOC Director.
The EOC is located at 204 W. Barden Street, Roxboro, in the former Person Counseling Center building. The building is owned by Person County and has been made available for the EOC through a partnership between the Person County Commissioners and PCC. All services are offered at no charge to EOC clients.
For more information on available services, call (336) 599-0257 or (800) 682-1159.
Photo: Dr. Alfred Faulkner and Mrs. Angela Bullock, Outreach Consultants with the Piedmont Community College’s Educational Opportunity Center, assisting participants with college financial aid applications at Kittrell Job Corps in Vance County.