College Pipeline Program at MEOC Receives $1.36 Million in Federal Funding

October 14, 2021

The State University of New York, Manhattan Educational Opportunity Center (Manhattan EOC) administered by Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC/CUNY) has received renewal of its funding—$1.36 million— from the Federal TRIO Programs at the Department of Education for the College Connections Project. The five-year grant period began on September 1.

The TRIO Educational Opportunity Center Program (TRIO EOC) at the Manhattan EOC—located in Harlem—funds the College Connections Project. College Connections provides comprehensive college access services to individuals that are traditionally underrepresented in postsecondary education. The project aims to inspire, motivate, and empower adults 19 and older to seek higher education. In addition to Harlem, College Connections serves communities throughout upper Manhattan as well as the Bronx.

“I am ecstatic over the opportunity to continue providing the much-needed services of our TRIO EOC funded College Connections project,” said Manhattan EOC Executive Director Anthony Watson.  “This gives us an opportunity to serve 1,000 individuals each year for five years, to help people navigate the post-secondary environment.  This program changes lives and I am thrilled that we are in the trenches doing the work.”

Specifically, College Connections offers one-on-one college advising, college application fee waivers, and college planning workshops. College Advisors also help individuals complete necessary financial aid documents.

Putting Adults on the Road to Higher Education

“No words can express how helpful College Connections Advisor Rashonda Moore was during my college application process,” said BMCC Psychology major Tasha Kibler, a former College Connections participant.  “I am 43, work and have children, so the prospect of applying seemed overwhelming, but I really wanted to go to college.

Kibler says Moore’s intensive one-on-one guidanace through the application process helped her reach the point she’s at in her academic journey.  She is in her third semester at BMCC.

“We are excited about the opportunity to continue serving the first-generation, low-income residents of New York City,” said Stacy Cummins, TRIO EOC Project Director at the Manhattan EOC. “TRIO funding will allow us to create a comprehensive program that will increase awareness of post-secondary educational opportunities and change the trajectory of the participants we serve.”

More broadly, the Manhattan EOC also provides programs and services to help New Yorkers learn English, earn their High School Equivalency Diploma, prepare for college and/or earn a New York State or nationally recognized career training credential to obtain employment that allows for career growth.

College Connections partners with the Abyssinian Development Corporation (ADC) and the Thurgood Marshall Academy, BMCC CUNY Language Immersion Program (CLIP), and THE POINT Community Development Corporation (THE POINT) as well as SUNY Empire State College to achieve the goals of the TRIO EOC Project.

“We are thrilled to hear that the MEOC has been awarded TRIO EOC funding from the U.S. Department of Education,” said SUNY Empire State College Officer in Charge Nathan Gonyea.  “This award is well-deserved. MEOC has worked tirelessly to fulfill its mission to serve as a gateway to education, career achievement, personal growth, and self-sufficiency for adult learners in New York City. SUNY Empire State College is a proud partner of MEOC. Our shared mission makes what we do — helping hardworking individuals change their lives for the better through access to education they might not otherwise be able to access — meaningful.”

Lori Blueweiss, Administrator, Resource Development and Programs at Abyssinian Development Corporation (ADC) said her organization was thrilled about “its partnership with BMCC to support young adults in achieving their educational and postsecondary goals to live fulfilling lives.”

“We are truly excited to come together as a community to help residents in the Harlem community soar, and are deeply appreciative of the support of the US Department of Education,” said Blueweiss.

Paul Shively, Director of BMCC’s CUNY Language Immersion Program called news of MEOC’s grant renewal “wonderful.”

“We are so happy with how well the Manhattan EOC TRIO program, College Connections, works directly with our CUNY Language Immersion Program students to assist with applying for financial aid and transitioning them to post-secondary programs,” said Shively.

  • College Connections Project at the Manhattan EOC, administered by BMCC, receives five-year $1.36 million grant
  • College Connections, enables adult learners to enter degree programs
  • BMCC Psychology major thankful for guidance she received at the Manhattan EOC

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