Extending opportunities for students

BY ISELA MURILLO

CAMPUS LIFE EDITOR

EOPS is offered at College of the Desert and provides support to students with social, economic and educational issues. Since February 2016, EOPS has been under the direction of  Dr. John Sousa.
The program offers priority registration, a personal counselor, book service and waivers to Cal State and UC applications. The main goal for the program is to help students graduate and transfer to a four-year university in a reasonable amount of time. The EOPS counselors are well prepared to assist students.Our counselors are specialized, they qualify in as a general counseling criteria and additional standing, as in having additional skills,” said Dr. Sousa. The staff keeps on growing to make every student’s transition easier.
Students are required to meet twice each semester to follow-up with their student plan closely, which will help them graduate on time with all the units and classes required.  Therefore, students benefit with the economic help to buy the mandatory books for their courses. The amount could vary depending on the demand of students and resources the program may count with at that given moment. The fee waiver supports low-income students when it comes to applying to a four-year university.
The program has been successful for students especially in assisting first-year generation students. EOPS goes over and above to help their students. They are currently working on a  “success station.” This station provides extra computers and help. Labs can get pretty hectic and when students feel overwhelmed, that is when the “success station” comes into play. The EOPS office, which is located on the second floor of the Cravens Center, is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and during these hours EOPS students are allowed to use the station and get that extra push and individual help that they might need. 
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Dr. Sousa (back row center) and his EOPS staff
Dr. Sousa and his staff are determined to extend this program’s success. “My staff inspired me to be a better director. Their actions inspire me to be better than yesterday,” stated Dr. Sousa. His staff inspires him to be better and they inspire every single student that belongs to EOPS to be better. They inspire them to be more successful, and to be inspired to have a brighter future, to break cycles and to create new ones. The amazing EOPS staff  accomplish every single one of these goals by following one powerful mantra , “over and above in addition too.”

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