EAOP in News

A Message From Our Director | Fall 2017

by Mikayla Molinaro | Oct 11, 2017

     Welcome to our first staff written newsletter.  Our goal is to inform, engage, and generate awareness about the various pre-college academic preparation services, events and activities that are provided and hosted by UCSB’s Early Academic Outreach Program. 

     What a year we have had in 2017!  This past spring and summer our team’s hard work and great outcomes equaled a big impact for the Department.  Our efforts were recognized twice by the Division of Student Affairs and then by UC Office of the President as EAOP UCSB received honors for award winning commitments to first-generation college bound students and promoting higher education access for all students across California.

     This summer nine College Readiness Academies took place at each of our EAOP Partnership high school sites.  These 1-2 week intensive academies assist incoming seniors with the application and matriculation preparation process.  They are especially significant for first-generation students as they prepare to be the first in their family to travel the road to higher education.  Students join their peers during their summer vacation, to get a head start on drafting personal statements, scholarship letters, registering for admissions tests, conducting scholarship searches, taking virtual tours of their top choice universities, reviewing the financial aid process, taking part in team building and communication workshops, as well as hearing from inspirational VIP speakers about the road to college success.

     We hired three new staff this year across our three service counties and had two seasoned staff transfer to new high school sites in Santa Maria and Santa Paula.  Two of our recently hired team members are also former EAOP participants as high school students and have now come full circle to work for the program as young aspiring professionals.   

     As most educators would say, “Its never to early to start preparing for college!”  In the Santa Maria Bonita School District (K-8) we are fostering a unique partnership through the placement of two EAOP College Site Coordinators in the district office.  Both staff are home grown products from Santa Maria Valley and together they work at the 4 middle schools and 16 elementary schools to promote higher education readiness with both students and parents from 6th through the 8th grade.  Parents and students alike are learning about financial aid, study skills, college knowledge, and taking college tours before they ever step foot on a high school campus.  A truly “seamless” college prep pipeline from Santa Maria Bonita to the high school district has taken hold over the past two and half years.  We are now able to directly hand off students to our EAOP College Site Coordinators placed at Santa Maria, Pioneer Valley, and Ernest Righetti high schools.    

     One aspect of the EAOP Dual Service model we utilize in our partnership schools is the intensive cohort services provided for on-track, a-g eligible students, especially first generation and under resourced students and their families.  These intensive services start in the 9th grade and continue all the way through the senior year.  EAOP enrolled students receive not only general workshops in the context of classroom presentations along with their non-EAOP peers, but they have the opportunity to receive personalized academic advisement, parent services, campus tours, access to summer programs, and attendance at EAOP sponsored conferences and workshops for college prep students. 

     This year the entire team felt that parent engagement opportunities needed to go to the next level across the program.  To this effect, all of our sites agreed to promote greater awareness among parents by hosting a series of meet and greet events, intensive parent workshops, and a needs assessment process designed to include more parent voice in the college preparation process.  Our goal is to improve parent interactions, inform, and inspire parent participation, awareness, and understanding of the college prep and financial aid process.  First generation student success starts first with their parents. 

     This year we will host our first Achieve UC event at UCSB.  Designed to promote the message that the UC system is, “affordable, attainable, and welcoming” approximately 300 EAOP seniors and juniors will join us from six school districts and include 9 high schools from our 3 service counties.  EAOP Pre-College Scholars (PCS) will also take part in the event.  These are the best and brightest of EAOP students that have been invited to participate in an early identification and cultivation process for very academically talented high school students.  This is part of a UC President initiative to promote early readiness and competitive eligibility among EAOP students.     

     Finally, EAOP is on the move again!  By mid-October UCSB EAOP will be relocated from Ellison Hall to Building 406 or “El Centro.”  Currently the building is going through considerable renovations and seismic upgrades.  It is adjacent to the library and the new Bio Engineering building.  EAOP will reside on the 2nd floor of the two story part of the building.  EAOP will join team members from CAPS and EOP, along with El Congreso and associated student organizations that are also slated to call El Centro home. Personally speaking, this is a return to where I grew up as an UCSB undergraduate both as an avid El Congreso member & leader and as an EOP peer advisor.  El Centro continues to be the historical and cultural heart of the Chican@-Latin@ student communities on campus.


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