Dept. of Education awards IRSC $1.2 million for Educational Opportunity Ctr

news release

Indian River State College (IRSC) has received a five-year, $1.2 million grant to establish an Educational Opportunity Center (EOC) at its Massey Campus in Fort Pierce, Florida. The Center serves to improve adults’ financial and economic literacy throughout the IRSC service district—Indian River, Martin, Okeechobee and St. Lucie counties—and provides counseling and information on college admissions to qualified adults who want to enter or continue a program of postsecondary education. IRSC was one of only four new grant awardees in the State of Florida.

Educational Opportunity Centers are one of eight federal grant programs collectively known as the Federal TRIO Programs. TRIO Programs identify and provide services for individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds. They help low-income individuals, first-generation college students, and individuals with disabilities progress through the academic pipeline from middle school to post-baccalaureate programs.

IRSC endeavored to initiate an Educational Opportunity Center to further assist those in specific areas of its service district where unemployment is high, educational attainment is low, and the percentage of low-income families exceeds state and national rates.

“The goal of EOC programs is to help end a cycle of poverty by increasing the number of adult participants who enroll in postsecondary education,” says IRSC President Dr. Timothy Moore. “IRSC’s EOC program provides the conduit for these adults to break through the multiple barriers impeding their educational success.”

To help achieve this vision, IRSC has hired Donnella Clarke, M.Sc., as the EOC program director. Clarke has spent her career working in human resources, organizational management and workforce development helping individuals—including those in underserved communities—achieve educational and professional goals. As EOC Program Director, she is responsible for implementing, administering, and managing all program activities, budget, databases, and reporting and hiring, supervising, and training program staff.

The EOC at IRSC is located in the W-Building at 3209 Virginia Avenue in Fort Pierce. Services are offered at no charge to EOC clients. For more information on available services, call 772-462-7035.

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