The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

Got a tip? Have something you need to tell us? Contact the Sundial

Loading Recent Classifieds...

EOP celebrates 39-year anniversary of program

First-time freshman gathered together at the Educational Opportunity Program’s 39-year anniversary last Wednesday to play games, battle the hot weather with cold drinks, snack on kettle corn and snow cones, as well as meet other students and make new friends.’

EOP hosted its ’39 Years of Making a Difference’ event to raise awareness about its program and the opportunities and services it offers to students.

Andres Olivera, an 18-year-old freshman from San Diego, has used EOP’s services and says that the program has prepared him for college life.

‘Without EOP I’d be lost, I wouldn’t know where to go and I wouldn’t know what classes to take. EOP is a good way to meet new people and help me adjust to living away from home,’ said Olivera.

Established by Senate Bill 1072 in April 1969, EOP’s purpose was to focus on low-income, first generation college students and provide them with the tools they needed to succeed in college.

CSUN’s EOP was founded in the late 1960s by students when it was still San Fernando College. When it was first funded, there were only eight African American students and seven Mexican American students on campus. EOP currently has 3,000 students enrolled in the program for the 2008 academic school year.

‘The initial EOP was the first of its kind to go out and recruit students at churches, communities and neighborhoods,’ said professor Glenn Omatsu, coordinator of the Faculty Mentor Program.

EOP provides financial aid and resources such as tutoring, mentoring and counseling for incoming freshmen to help bridge the gap between high school and college and make the transition easier for new students.

Students who wish to be a part of EOP must fill out the application form when they apply to college. Applications are evaluated and students who are under consideration are invited to CSUN to undergo both individual and group interviews and take a series of entrance exams. Not all students who apply to EOP are accepted.

Assessment focuses on a student’s potential and dedication to furthering their education. After students have undergone evaluation, they are invited to participate in the Bridge Program, which was designed to assist students in their transition from a high school environment to college.

There are three programs, Bridge Residential, Bridge Commuter and FreshStart.
Residential Bridge is the first module of a three-semester program that includes an academic schedule for university credit. The summer phase is a six-week summer experience where students live on campus, earn six units of university credit, and get the chance to be a part of university life. Residential students sign a contract to participate in Bridge for their first three semesters at the university. The academic curriculum includes reading and math courses, freshmen seminars, and Asian American, Pan-African, or Chicano/a Studies courses.

FreshStart is a three-day transitional program designed to familiarize students with EOP and the CSUN campus, informing students on university services and resources.

Marlene Toribio, an 18-year-old freshman psychology major from Los Angeles, found out about EOP from her high school counselor and participated in the Summer Bridge Program where she took Pan-African Studies.

‘For me, the Summer Bridge Program helped me join a community and educated me on the counselors and tutors that are available to help me with my classes,’ Toribio said.

In addition to the Bridge Program, EOP also sponsors the Majors Fair and provides financial support to the Financial Aid Office and Learning Resource Center.

Michelle Street, academic adviser for the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences and the Student Services EOP Office, believes that EOP really does make a difference in students’ lives.

‘There’s nothing better than giving students who wouldn’t typically be able to go to college the opportunity for upward mobility and success in life,’ said Street.

More to Discover