Lake Michigan College receives $1.69 million educational opportunity grant

Nov 18, 2016
Educational Opportunity Center serving six Michiana counties refunded for another five years.

A program that helps students from disadvantaged backgrounds realize a dream of higher education has been funded for another five years.   

The U.S. Department of Education has awarded Lake Michigan College $1.6 million to maintain its Educational Opportunity Center through the year 2021. LMC is one of 143 nation-wide colleges and organizations to receive the grant.

LMC opened the Educational Opportunity Center (EOC) in 1994 with a goal of helping more people further their education beyond high school. Since then, the center has served more than 25,000 adults throughout southwest Michigan and northern Indiana.

The EOC is a free community service and an information hub for adults seeking training and education, career advancement and a better quality of life. The EOC specializes in understanding the needs of those traditionally underrepresented in postsecondary education, including students with disabilities, limited English proficiency, are first generation college students or are homeless or exiting foster care. For those who may not have finished high school, help is offered for secondary school re-entry or high school equivalency exam programs.

Participants are connected with resources to help them be college ready regardless of which college they choose to attend. Staff are available as tutors, mentors and counselors to guide students through the college admissions, course selection, transfer and testing process. Students gain access to computers and technology, and receive training in financial literacy and planning. 

“Creating a 21st Century workforce requires more than just high quality academic instruction, and the EOC gives students the tools and resources to become successful in and out of the classroom. It is an essential resource in Michiana, where about 65% of jobs will require training and education beyond high school. Our region’s potential resides in our people, and we can’t afford to leave anyone behind,” said LMC President, Dr. Bob Harrison.   

EOC services are available to people age nineteen and older who reside in the Michigan Counties of Berrien, Cass, Van Buren and Allegan, and the Indiana counties of La Porte and St. Joseph.

Educational Opportunity Centers are one of eight national programs collectively known as the Federal TRIO Programs. TRIO helps people successfully progress through the academic pipeline from middle school to post-baccalaureate programs.

Learn more on the Lake Michigan College Educational Opportunity Center website, or call 269-927-8965 to meet with someone in person.