Thursday, September 2nd 2021

KC will receive $1.16 million to help displaced, underemployed adults continue path to higher education

The U.S. Department of Education announced that Kilgore College will receive a federal Educational Opportunities Center (EOC) grant of $1,160,250 to help unemployed workers, low-wage workers and returning high school and college students enter or continue a program of postsecondary education.

This is the first Educational Opportunity Center grant awarded to KC and it will assist 850 adult learners per year in Gregg, Rusk, Upshur and Harrison counties to find their path to higher education.

EOC provides counseling and information on college admissions and services to improve participants’ financial and economic literacy.

KC currently has two additional TRIO Programs, Student Support Services and Upward Bound.  The Student Support Services program, originally awarded in 2001, serves 160 enrolled college students per year.

The Student Support Services program was awarded $1,371,980 in September 2020 to be dispersed over a five-year span. The Upward Bound program, which was originally awarded a five-year, $1,287,500 grant in 2007, serves 50 area high school students per year.

“With financial hardships discouraging 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,” said Maureen Hoyler, president of the non-profit Council for Opportunity in Education (COE) in Washington, D.C.

“COE is dedicated to furthering the expansion of college opportunities for low-income, first-generation students and students with disabilities nationwide.”

For more information, please call Bindy Tice, director of TRIO student support services, at (903) 988-7590.

About the EOC:

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 FY20 there were 139 Educational Opportunity Centers in America serving more than 192,000 adult learners nationwide. With this new funding cycle, the State of Texas was awarded 15 Educational Opportunity Centers. 

Comprehensive services include academic and personal counseling, tutoring and mentoring, career workshops and information on postsecondary education opportunities, student financial aid assistance and help with completing applications for college admissions.

EOC programs offer services to a broad range of adult learners, including those who are limited English proficient, from groups that are traditionally underrepresented in postsecondary education, individuals with disabilities, homeless individuals, youth aging out of the foster care system and other disconnected students.