Campus outreach program continues to hurt

The Extended Opportunity Programs and Services, or EOP&S, has already been feeling the effects of the “all-cuts mentality” of the state of California.

The EOP&S program, coordinated by Kathy F. Degn, is an academic support program that helps students “who have the potential to be successful but just need a little extra help to ensure the likelyhood of that happening,” Degn said.

The program offers its students top priority registration, academic advising, transfer information, and a list of other services that bolster a student’s ability to be successful.

The typical person in the program is a full time student, and most, but not all, are at a basic skills level of English or math, or both. Another common factor is that “a lot of them are the first one in their family to go to college,” said Degn.

Degn, who was an EOP&S student herself when she was in college, knows the many benefits this program can offer, but “this is our second year of operating at a 40 percent reduction in funds, and basically what that equates to is $400,000 a year,” Degn said.

As a byproduct of that, the EOP&S is serving 400 less students a year. All community colleges in California have this program, and each of these campuses will not be able to support 400 students.

According to the California Community College Registry there are a total of 110 community colleges in the state. Degn said the effects of this on the students are the effects on the family.

The book service they provide, although not generally stressed, by paying for a part or for some books provided a big help to students financially, which is now reduced due to funding.

Flora Tolentino, 22, sociology major, said that cuts to the book program were one of her main concerns, “that was one of the concerns I had, because I couldn’t get all the books I wanted, so it had to come out of pocket.”

“We used to do a lot of tutoring one on one, and we have pretty much had to eliminate that,” Degn said.

The program used to be able to admit students in the middle of the year, so if a student did decide to come back to college with help, they could enroll. But now they must wait till the next year to enroll if they decide to, so students would have to be denied enrollment, with the help they would need.

Alex Foy, 23, Construction Management major, and a former recipient of the program has felt the repercussions of the cuts not allowing the program to admit students.

“EOP&S had my back, I wouldn’t say anything bad about the program, I wish I could get back [in],” said Foy.

Yet when asked about the funding cuts Foy offered a positive response, showing that the resilience of the program, and the services it offers are still unaffected by the cuts.

“With me it wasn’t really about the funding,” Foy said. “For me I needed the inspiration to keep me going.”