McGovern Announces $7.3 Million in Funding to Increase College Access in Worcester and Across Massachusetts
WORCESTER, MA (August 15, 2016) – Today Congressman Jim McGovern (MA-02) announced a total of $7.3 million in funding from the U.S. Department of Education for Massachusetts Education and Career Opportunities, Inc. (MassEdCO) in Worcester. The funding is through a $5.5 million five-year grant from the Educational Opportunity Centers (EOC) program and a $1.8 million five-year grant from the Education Talent Search (ETS) program.
Both awards will support MassEdCO’s mission to help more Massachusetts residents pursue a college education and good-paying jobs. MassEdCO is a statewide network of service sites that provides education and career advising to over 14,000 individuals each year. This new federal funding will help MassEdCO continue to pursue its mission to assist individuals in identifying a potential career path and the education programs that will lead to that career, and help them enroll in, pay for and succeed in the appropriate education program.
“A college education can be a game changer, but for so many families working to reach the middle class, a college degree is too often out of reach. With this grant we can help to change that,” Congressman McGovern said. “Every year MassEdCO helps thousands of Massachusetts residents pursue and receive a college education and help with their career and these new funds will help to continue that important work. This smart investment in our community will open doors for so many and I look forward to seeing all the good that it will do.
“MassEdCO is extremely pleased to be able to continue its delivery of critical post-secondary access services in high-need areas across the state,” said MassEdCO CEO Pamela Boisvert. “An array of academic and career advising services funded through the EOC and ETS programs enable over 6,800 Massachusetts residents annually to progress toward their academic and career goals.”
"I don't know what I would have done without EOC services. I am an immigrant to this country. EOC walked me through the whole college application process, particularly the financial aid,” said Helena Osei of Worcester, a Quinsigamond Community College student and program participant since 2013. “They do a terrific job and they are amazing. I don't know what I would do each year without them. I am so grateful!"
The Educational Opportunity Centers program provides counseling and information on college admissions to qualified adults who want to enter or continue a program of postsecondary education. The program also provides services to improve the financial and economic literacy of participants. An important objective of the program is to counsel participants on financial aid options, including basic financial planning skills, and to assist in the application process. The goal of the EOC program is to increase the number of adult participants who enroll in postsecondary education institutions.
The Education Talent Search program identifies and assists individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds who have the potential to succeed in higher education. The program provides academic, career, and financial counseling to its participants and encourages them to graduate from high school and continue on to and complete their postsecondary education. The program publicizes the availability of financial aid and assist participant with the postsecondary application process. Talent Search also encourages persons who have not completed education programs at the secondary or postsecondary level to enter or reenter and complete postsecondary education. The goal of Talent Search is to increase the number of youth from disadvantaged backgrounds who complete high school and enroll in and complete their postsecondary education.