My fellow readers, it’s great to be back! Just a heads up I will be posting my blog every week so keep an eye out.
To begin, for those who aren’t aware of what the Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) stands for: its an organization whose purpose is “to fulfill New York state’s commitment to provide access to higher education for historically underrepresented students who possess the potential to succeed in college, but whose academic preparation in high school has not fully prepared them to pursue college education successfully.” Additionally, in private universities, the Educational Opportunity Program is recognized as HEOP, and SEEK in CUNY schools. Professionals say that it is good to have diversity in the workplace because people can relate to others and think outside the box.
The EOP program provides students with additional financial assistance. In fact, despite the financial stress, EOP students have higher graduation rate than admitted students and become successful.
I am an EOP student from the class of 2014. My experience has been amazing at Oswego and before coming here, as an EOP student, we are given the opportunity to come for a month. During this month you get the chance to live on campus and experience the life of a college student. First, you will meet your peers and live in one of the residence halls. Many of the students are from different parts of New York so you meet people from a similar but different background. Which is great, since you meet people before you begin your first semester freshman year, causing it to be less overwhelming. Second, your classes will mostly consist of English and math in order to help transition high school students to the college life. Lastly, you will be assigned to an individual Academic Planning Counselor (APC) but you can go to whomever you feel comfortable with.
In addition, there will be peer leaders to guide you which are upperclassmen that inform you about Oswego and their experience. The peer leaders spend a lot of time creating activities so that you can bond with each other. I know this because I was a peer leader for the class of 2015. After my freshmen year, I wanted to gain those experiences I lost because I was not involved in my EOP class. Which is why I wanted to become a peer leader. It was a channeling experience but I recommend that everyone should apply even if you are not an EOP student. It is an opportunity to build leadership qualities and something to put on your resume.
Moreover, if given the opportunity to do it again, I would be more social and attend group activities. I was lucky enough to find true friends which is why I did not do much, but I suggest talking to everyone. You can never have too many friends and sometimes your freshmen year friends will not be the same friends you leave with. You will be assigned to an individual Academic Planning Counselor (APC) but you can go to whomever you feel comfortable with.
A goal I suggest as EOP students are to be a part of the Chi Alpha Epsilon National Honor Society. I am a part of this and I have been a member since Spring 2016. To get into this honor society you must first maintain a 3.0 GPA for three consecutive semesters. Then you would be invited to be inducted as a member. It is an honor because not many EOP students are in it but I suggest to start off your freshmen year strong. Have a mindset of not going lower than a 3.o because freshmen year really does affect your whole college GPA. I mean I did not have a 4.0 at the end of my freshmen year but if you have that mindset you can reach close to it. There is plenty of great staff in EOP who are very friendly and there to support you.
Overall, what should you take away from this? Aim high because you were chosen to be in EOP. Do not be ashamed to admit your EOP because there are students who actually wish they were. Take advantage of all opportunities because you do not know where it will take you. Be an active student but remember that school always comes first. Make time for school and then everything will fall into place. Remember to be yourself because college is to grow as a person, not become someone new. At the end of your journey, you’re here to graduate so do not let anyone stop you!