KC Educational Opportunity Center celebrates 40 years of serving the community

Staff members of the Kansas City Educational Opportunity Center are (from left) Jan Rosenblum, director Jennifer Walk, Rufina Nelson, Janet Weaver, Jaime Alabi and Scott MacDougall. (Photos by Andrew Ryan/MCC)

The Kansas City Educational Opportunity Center, which works to increase the number of adults enrolling in college or other postsecondary training, first opened its doors in 1979. That makes this the 40th year for the Kansas City location, which has been administered from the beginning by Metropolitan Community College.

A 40th anniversary celebration for the KC Educational Opportunity Center was held Sept. 10 at MCC-Penn Valley.

The four-decades milestone was celebrated at an event Sept. 10 on the MCC-Penn Valley campus. The EOC office is just a couple of blocks away, at 3100 Main St., Suite 100.

About 2,500 people a year are served by the KC Educational Opportunity Center, two-thirds of whom are low-income, first-generation college students. From the 1979-80 school year to 2018-19, more than 106,000 individuals have benefited from KC EOC services.

“EOC helped me secure an adult learner scholarship, which is such a blessing,” said EOC participant Frederick Martin. “I’m in my third semester at MCC and was on the Dean’s List my first two semesters.”

The Kansas City office is one of just three EOCs in Missouri. Educational Opportunity Centers are federally funded through the U.S. Department of Education’s TRIO program. MCC-Penn Valley’s Project Success program is also funded through TRIO.

EOC’s services, all free, include academic,¬†career and financial counseling and high school equivalency referral and placement. Its staff can help with college planning and selection, college and financial aid applications, and scholarship searches and resources.

Of the participants served by the Kansas City EOC, at least 10% obtain a high school diploma or its equivalent, 60% or more complete financial aid applications, at least 60% apply for college/postsecondary admission, and 40% or more enroll in a college/postsecondary education program.

Learn more at mcckc.edu/EOC.