The U.S. Department of Education announced that Piedmont Community College (PCC) will receive a federal Educational Opportunities Center (EOC) grant of more than $3 million to help unemployed workers, low-wage workers, and returning high school and college students enter or continue a program of postsecondary education.
EOC provides counseling and information on college admissions and services to improve participants’ financial and economic literacy. These comprehensive services include academic and personal counseling, tutoring and mentoring, career workshops, information on postsecondary education opportunities, student financial assistance, and help in completing applications for college admissions.
“We are so excited for the continuation of this grant funding over the next five years to assist and uplift the citizens of Alamance, Caswell, Chatham, Durham, Franklin, Granville, Person, Rockingham, Vance and Warren counties, by providing additional support and access to postsecondary education,” said Rosalind M. Cross, Director of Federal Programs at PCC.
Offering a broad range of services, the EOC at Piedmont Community College supports learners that are traditionally underrepresented in postsecondary education, including those who do not speak English fluently, veterans, individuals with disabilities, homeless individuals, youth aging out of the foster care system, and other disconnected students.
Maureen Hoyler, President of the nonprofit Council for Opportunity in Education (COE) in Washington, D.C. said “As systemic inequality and financial hardship discourage students from succeeding in college, TRIO programs like EOC take on new importance because they continue to help guide un- and underemployed workers and returning high school and college students toward earning a degree.”
“This funding couldn’t have come at a better time, and it’s so very crucial to help complete the goals and objectives of our TRIO programs, Cross said. “We are thrilled for the positive impact it will have in the communities we serve.”
EOC began in 1972 and is part of a set of federal educational opportunity outreach programs known as “TRIO,” which is authorized by the Higher Education Act to help low-income, first-generation students and students with disabilities succeed in higher education. In the 2020-2021 fiscal year, there were 139 Educational Opportunity Centers in America serving more than 192,000 adult learners nationwide.
About COE: COE is dedicated to furthering the expansion of college opportunities for low-income, first-generation students, and students with disabilities nationwide.