Consortium institutions total more than 70,000 alumni living in Worcester County.
Educational Opportunity Centers
The Educational Opportunity Centers for Massachusetts is a project of the Colleges of Worcester Consortium, Inc. Known as EOC, this program provides education access services primarily to low-income adults (age 19 and above) who are interested in returning to school. Their goal may be to complete a high school program or enroll in a postsecondary education or training program. This may include a short-term training program or a four-year college or university. The Consortium partners with local organizations to bring EOC services to high-need areas of the state. More than 7,000 individuals are served each year at one of our convenient locations.
EOC services are comprehensive and meant to address the diverse needs an adult client may bring to the education access process. Career advising, using technology and individual interviewing techniques, is provided to ensure that an education placement will be appropriate to the client's ultimate career goals. Other services include: information on education programs, admissions requirements, financial aid, including scholarship searches and application assistance; and referrals to other academic support services. All services are provided on a no-charge basis.
The EOC service centers are located in six cities across the state, including Boston, New Bedford, Lynn, Worcester, Springfield and Pittsfield. Each of these offices serves local residents as well as those in surrounding cities and towns. Each Center has extensive resources, including education and career information in hard copy, video and software formats. Information on local, regional and national programs of study is available. Each Center is staffed by a dedicated group of professionals who are very knowledgeable about issues relating to higher education access for adults. They are experts in areas such as admissions criteria and procedures, financial aid information, application procedures, and student loan default prevention and rehabilitation. EOC offices are located as follows:
ASA College Planning Center - EOC
Boston Public Library
700 Boylston Street
Boston, MA 02116
Educational Opportunity Center
c/o North Shore Community College
P.O. Box 3340
Danvers, MA 01923-0840
site address: Corner of Broad & Market Streets, Lynn, MA 781-477-2114
Seven Hills Behavioral Health - EOC
10 Welby Road
New Bedford, MA 02745
The Learning Connection - EOC
10 Lyman Street
Pittsfield, MA 01201
Valley Opportunity Center - EOC
35 Mt. Carmel Street
Chicopee, MA 01013
Colleges of Worcester Consortium - EOC
484 Main Street, Suite 500
Worcester, MA 01608
508-754-6829 ext. 3004
Most EOC clients are "first-generation college students," meaning neither of their parents have graduated from a four-year college. They may be the first in their families to have graduated from high school. The majority of clients are also low-income. Many EOC clients are in need of education or training in order to enter the workforce and be employed in a job that will pay a living wage. Or, they may have recently become unemployed and are in need of retraining.
EOC is one of the TRIO Programs funded by the U.S. Department of Education. The Colleges of Worcester Consortium, Inc.'s Educational Opportunity Centers project is one of the original 13 EOC projects, first funded in 1973. It is currently the second-largest EOC project in the country.
Call your nearest EOC to set up an appointment. All centers are handicapped accessible and located near public transportation.