FSCJ Receives U.S. Department of Education Grant to Develop Educational Opportunity Center

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Florida State College at Jacksonville (FSCJ) received a five-year, $1,160,250 grant from the U.S. Department of Education to establish a TRiO Educational Opportunity Center (EOC) to support adults from Duval and Nassau counties, specifically those who belong to traditionally underrepresented populations, have limited English proficiency or are living with disabilities. Focus will also be given to homeless children/youths, students who are in foster care/aging out of the foster care system, other disconnected students, and veterans, military spouses and their dependents.

The EOC will identify and serve 850 eligible participants yearly, eliminating the barriers to postsecondary education. A team of dedicated EOC Enrollment Coaches will also assist and connect participants to the following:

  • Guidance on secondary school reentry or entry to a general educational development (GED®)/alternative program
  • Individualized career and academic counseling
  • Tutoring services
  • Career workshops/counseling
  • Veteran workshops on benefits, military spouse education, etc.
  • Education and counseling designed to improve financial and economic literacy
  • Mentoring services
  • Support with college admission and financial aid applications
  • Preparations for college entrance exams

“We know that education can provide economic mobility and positive social outcomes that have the ability to change the trajectory of one’s future,” said College President John Avendano, Ph.D. “Through comprehensive service offerings, the EOC will work to turn around the lives of individuals who have found themselves in hopeless situations due to generational and situational poverty and limited access to critical services.”

EOC services will be provided by trained staff at each of FSCJ’s five campuses located throughout Duval and Nassau counties and at field/satellite offices provided by partnering agencies. During the initial intake process, the EOC will assess postsecondary barriers and needs and will work to remove them by connecting participants with financial resources and other wraparound support services. Enrollment Coaches will maintain contact with participants throughout their journey, with the goal of leading them to further their education to earn a postsecondary degree.

To learn more, visit fscj.edu/eoctrio.