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CSU-Pueblo receives five-year grant that includes Virtual EOC

Release Date: September 26, 2016

Cora Zaletel

Executive Director, External Affairs

Colorado State University-Pueblo

719.549.2810

Press Release

PUEBLO - Colorado State University-Pueblo will receive more than $435,000 annually over the next five years to improve college access for adult learners. The award from the U.S. Department of Education was among $48 million in grants distributed to 143 colleges and organizations in 42 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico under the Educational Opportunity Centers (EOC) program - all aimed at providing accessible college guidance to adults who have difficulty deciphering the steps needed for college admissions and continued success through graduation.

CSU-Pueblo has sponsored this program since 1985, earning perfect scores in the last two grant competitions and accomplishing all objectives from 2011-2016. The program has earned all 15 possible prior experience points. The EOC program will continue to be the largest of the TRIO grants at the University with annual funding of $435,670 per year for a total of $2,178,350 over the five years of the grant, which runs through August 2021.

The program will serve 1,505 residents each year in 12 Southeastern Colorado counties and one Northern New Mexico county. CSU-Pueblo will be host to the central office with satellite offices at Pueblo Community College, Pikes Peak Community College, Trinidad State Junior College, Otero State Junior College, Lamar Community College and Fort Carson.

According to TRiO EOC Director Michael Manos, the two major initiatives of the new grant will be improving parent, family and community engagement and increasing support to military families and veterans. The first priority will be addressed through a partnership with the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless, Otero Junior College and Lamar Community to assist homeless and recently homeless individuals at the Fort Lyon Support Residential Community in accessing educational resources. The EOC program is expected to serve between 500 and 600 active duty military, family members, and veterans each year by increasing the EOC program’s presence at the Fort Carson Education Center and by further developing outreach at Peterson Air Force Base.

Manos said the new grant adds back in services to Fremont and Alamosa counties, which were dropped in the last grant cycle due to budget cuts and challenges related to travel.

"We were able to reinstate those counties in this grant and plan to service residents in part through web conferencing, which we are calling "Virtual EOC," Manos said.

The five-year EOC grants will help adults gain the skills necessary to pursue postsecondary credentials. Participants will be connected to advisors for guidance on admission, financial aid and postsecondary course selection. For those who may not have finished high school, help will be offered on secondary school re-entry or high school equivalency exam programs - or other alternative education programs for secondary school dropouts. EOC projects also provide services to students traditionally underrepresented in postsecondary education, including students with disabilities, limited English proficiency, and other disadvantaged groups, such as those who may be homeless, exiting foster care, or otherwise disconnected.

Colorado State University - Pueblo is a regional, comprehensive university emphasizing professional, career-oriented, and applied programs. Displaying excellence in teaching, celebrating diversity, and engaging in service and outreach, CSU-Pueblo is distinguished by access, opportunity, and the overall quality of services provided to its students.

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