A University of Northern Iowa program looking to increase the number of adult participants in postsecondary education recently received a $520,523 grant to help them serve almost 2,000 students each year.

The five-year renewal grant will support the Educational Opportunity Center (EOC), which provides counseling and information on college admissions to qualified adults who want to enter or continue a program of postsecondary education. The EOC has received the funding since it was established in 1988.

“I am happy and excited about the fact that this program has been re-funded,” said Robert Smith, executive director of UNI’s Center for Urban Education, which administers EOC. “It's been part of our community and our university for a long time and, as a result, has assisted a great number of our citizens to create better lives for themselves.” 

The program also provides services to improve the financial and economic literacy of participants. It also counsels participants on financial aid options, including basic financial planning skills, and assists in the application process.

The EOC recruits and serves eligible clients from seven counties in northeast Iowa - Black Hawk, Bremer, Butler, Buchanan, Chickasaw, Floyd and Tama - that are characterized by large concentrations of extremely low-income families, adult populations with an educational attainment level below a bachelor’s degree and individuals with less than a high school diploma who require education and training due to changing employment needs.

The EOC is one of three TRIO programs funded by the U.S. Department of Education and offered by UNI through UNI-CUE.

 

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