TCC receives grant to help qualified adults attend college

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The TRIO Educational Opportunity Center at Tulsa Community College has been awarded a U.S. Department of Education grant to help qualified adults who are interested in attending college, regardless of the college or university they choose.

“The TRIO/EOC program is not tied to a specific college but instead exists to assist individuals who want to enter, re-enter, or transfer to post-secondary education programs,” said John Thao TRIO/EOC Program Director. “Our goal is to increase the number of adults who enroll in postsecondary education institutions.”

The total estimated award is $1.3 million based on continued federal funding for five years and focuses on serving qualified low-income, first-generation adults. TCC’s TRIO/EOC program serves eligible adults who reside in Tulsa, Creek and Osage counties and are 19 years and older.

For individuals like Michelle Lozano, TRIO/EOC provided support and encouraged her to try college again. Lozano had dropped out after two separate attempts. But with TRIO/EOC, she received support to help her navigate the process.

“A friend told me about the TRIO/EOC workshop in Fall 2019. At the time I wasn’t thinking about my future, I was simply trying to survive as a single mom working three jobs. It was there that I heard, 'You are going to be somewhere in five years, why not have a college degree.' And that was enough to get me started,” Lozano said. Now, she is back in college and pursuing a bachelor’s degree. Recently, she was named a NextGen Under 30 Winner.

TCC will receive $273,793 in federal dollars each year for a total of five years. Federal dollars cover roughly 71 percent of the total program cost, and TCC covers the remaining 29 percent, demonstrating its continued commitment to the program, which has been in place at the College since 2002.

“The TCC TRIO/EOC has resources to help someone obtain a GED, complete financial aid documents such as scholarship applications and the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), as well as admission applications to any school. Plus, we assist with exploring different career pathways and becoming financially literate,” said Thao.

TRIO/EOC offices are located on the TCC Southeast Campus and Northeast Campus with satellite offices at Central Tech-Sapulpa, Osage Nation-Hominy, and Tulsa Technology Center-Lemley Campus.

For more information, contact us by phone at 918- 595-8600, by email at trioeoc@tulsacc.edu or visit the TRIO/EOC website.