9 questions with Pat Wolfe, Director EOC, ETS, & UB**
- Can you give me a brief description/breakdown of your organization/office? The Educational Opportunity Center (EOC) is a federal TRIO program funded by the United States Department of Education, and is administered by Massachusetts Education & Career Opportunities, Inc. (MassEdCo), and sponsored by North Shore Community College. The program is designed to help low income and first generation students gain access to higher education. The mission of the center is to assist students in the admissions and financial aid processes, including how to complete the FAFSA.
- Where on campus are you housed? (Main campus, Off-site office) Located in the MBTA building next to the Lynn Campus of North Shore Community College, the Center is run by Pat Wolfe, who has two full time staff members and one part time employee.
- What population do you work with? The center assists traditional and non-traditional students, and 80% of them are low-income first-generation. 63% of the students assisted are female, while males make up the other 37%.*
- When do you currently interact with students (prospective, current, only ones who come to you, etc.)? We deal with a lot of your non-traditional adult learners, as well as High School Seniors in the North Shore area.
- How do you reach the population you serve? Because there is a major bus stop (Lynn Commuter Rail Busway) right outside the Center, we get a lot of walk in traffic. There is also a lot of word of mouth referrals.
- How does your organization/office promote Access/Inclusion/Diversity? It’s really about the attitude of the people working here. We try to embrace students that walk through the door; keeping an open mind and treating everyone with kindness and respect.
- What are your short term/long term goals? Keeping the program healthy, and well-staffed. Continue doing the program accurately and correctly the best we can. Making sure the staff is growing and moving forward.
- How do you measure success? It’s those one-on-one moments. When a student comes in lost and leery and leave happy and feeling respected. Also, when they don’t have to come back to us with corrections needed to be done. I like to feel we get the FAFSA completed correctly the 1st
- Can you relate a student story to us? Explain how the program/organization helped a student? One of our current full time employees came to us as a student speaking very little English. She came to the center for help with her FAFSA/Admission application when she came to the states. She worked at the center as a work study, left to go complete her degrees, and came back and was hired here as a full time employee. To me, that is the most inspiring story. She is able to be an example, a shining light to other students that it is possible~ Education and finding a job that is fulfilling and rewarding is attainable.
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