The statewide network of ten Educational Opportunity Centers (EOCs) and two Outreach and Counseling Centers essentially functions as the 65th campus of the State University of New York. With more than a thirty year history, EOCs have pioneered the way in providing urban communities with innovative academic programs leading to higher education, and vocational training programs leading to gainful employment and economic self-sufficiency.
Educational Opportunity Centers are the State's adult education model for the 21st Century. Its 600 faculty and staff promote human resource as well as community and economic development.
Specifically, the Educational Opportunity Centers:
Provide an integrated system of education, training and student support services to disadvantaged and adult residents;
Offer targeted services to business and industry to upgrade the skill levels of incumbent workers;
Collaborate with secondary schools to assist in the academic preparation of youth-at-risk;
Provide intergenerational learning programs to strengthen families; and narrow the digital divide in economically challenged communities by placing technology where it is accessible.
Educational Opportunity Centers also assist the State in meeting its Workforce Investment Act mandates. Given their current complement of core and intensive services, they are a significant partner in the required One Stops.
Annually, EOCs enroll about 16,000 students. Approximately 60% receive public assistance and the other 40% are disadvantaged workers. Sixty percent of these students are enrolled in academic programs such as Adult Basic Education, English as Second Language, GED and College Preparation. The remaining 40% are enrolled in demand driven vocational training pro- grams that result in job placement in entry level, career track employment in information technology, customer service and allied health.
Expanding this model to other impoverished regions, so they can also contribute to the economic and social fiber of the State, is a primary goal of the EOCs for the 21st Century.