Educational Opportunity Center at ASU Mid-South promoting higher education

By Don Threm ASU Mid-South

The Educational Opportunity Center (EOC) located at Arkansas State University Mid-South is encouraging adults (ages 19 and older) to pursue higher education and a brighter future. “This program is particularly important to us in trying to reach those in our region who have little hope of earning a good wage without further education.” said Sandra Wade Mabry, director of the program that serves Crittenden County, Ark., and Shelby County, Tenn. “We assist people in a variety of ways with the ultimate goal of strengthening our region one person at a time,” Mabry continued. “We offer numerous services to support students’ efforts to earn a certificate or degree.” While the spring semester is only days away, students interested in taking classes beginning in January still have time to complete the admissions process. ASU Mid-South’s spring 2016 semester begins Tuesday, Jan. 19, and registration will be held on Monday, Jan. 11, 10 a.m.-noon and 5 p.m.-6:30 p.m. in the Donald W. Reynolds Center on the college’s South Campus. Created through a U.S. Department of Education grant, the EOC focuses on counseling participants about financial aid options and the application process to institutions of higher learning. “One of the EOC’s goals is to increase the number of adults who enroll in post-secondary instructional and training programs,” Mabry said. In addition to its work at and with ASU Mid-South, the Center works closely with other area universities and colleges to motivate and support students in their higher education endeavors. Program participants include high school dropouts, GED-enrolled students, high school and GED graduates, college dropouts, under- and unemployed citizens, veterans, disabled citizens, and anyone else interested in pursuing their dreams. Center services include assistance with admissions, financial aid, and scholarships, the Center offers academic counseling, college entrance exam preparation, school re-entry assistance, personal counseling, career counseling and assessment, mentoring, academic skills enhancement, campus tours, business and cultural trips, and job training. All of the services are free. In addition to the traditional enrollment assistance, the EOC provides a personal touch, Mabry said. “To a lot of people, returning to school is scary, so we try to ease their fears,” she pointed out. “We provide quite a bit of one-on-one encouragement and help the students cope with their new responsibilities in the classroom. Balancing school, families, and work is far from easy, but we provide students with information and support that can help.”


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