MORRIS COUNTY — The Educational Opportunity Fund (EOF) program at County College of Morris (CCM) has received the Silver Award of Excellence from NASPA Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education for its record of success in serving first-generation students.
The national award recognizes programs, policies, procedures, best practices and services that support students who are the first in their families to earn a college degree.
Sponsored and supported by the New Jersey Office of the Secretary of Higher Education, EOF provides underserved, low-income and predominately first-generation students with academic and financial support to assist them in completing a college education. EOF students receive a state grant to help defray the cost of their education. At CCM, the program also offers them comprehensive, customized and holistic support services, including a summer orientation on college readiness, academic counseling, tutoring, mentoring, workshops on study and time management skills, and opportunities to develop leadership skills.
At CCM, EOF also collaborates with other campus departments, such as Counseling, Career Services, Campus Life and The Academic Success Center, to ensure the success of its students.
Students who participate in the CCM EOF program have high success rates, both in terms of graduating with an associate degree and transferring to a four-year institution to earn a bachelor’s degree. On average, nearly 45 percent of CCM’s EOF students graduate within three years of enrolling at CCM, compared to the 22 percent three-year rate for community colleges nationwide.
“Ultimately, EOF at CCM meets students where they are regardless of their background, academic aptitude, social challenges or needs,” says Dr. Pam Marcenaro, dean of Learning Support and Opportunity Services, who oversees the EOF program. “Our philosophy is to personalize and customize support for students to help them fulfill their academic and professional goals and increase their overall chance of college success.”
“The EOF staff at CCM does an outstanding job of assisting first-generation students so they can improve their lives and positively impact their communities,” notes Dr. Anthony J. Iacono, president of CCM. “We’re delighted that their work and the success of the students they serve have been recognized with this national award from NASPA. Our EOF students are invaluable members of the CCM community and are leaders in the making. Every one of these students has a dream, ability and the need for a great education. They are our future.”
NASPA serves as a leading voice for student affairs whose mission is to drive innovation and evidence-based student-centered practices throughout higher education nationally and globally.