The State University of New York celebrates the 40th anniversary of its Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) this month. SUNY’s EOP is the second oldest program of its type in the nation.
At Purchase College, there are 157 students currently enrolled in the EOP program. The retention rate for Purchase EOP fall 2006 freshman is 96 percent. Many graduates of the program have pursued graduate and professional degrees. Alumni of the Purchase EOP program are now working as lawyers, doctors, teachers, human resources professionals and social workers, among other professions.
Naomi Silie, ’98, political science, continued her education at the University of Buffalo Law School and Brooklyn Law School, and opened her own law offices in 2006 in New York City. Gina Joanne Oviedo, ’00, biology, is now a third-year medical student at NorthEastern Ohio University’s College of Medicine. Fred Gibson, ’06, history, is a police officer with the New York City Police Department. Veronica Cruz, ’00, literature/art history, received her MBA from Long Island University, and is the lead web systems analyst for a national comprehensive cancer center in Tampa, Florida.
SUNY’s EOP has been creating opportunity for educationally and economically disadvantaged students since October 1967, when Arthur O. Eve, then a first-year assemblyman from Buffalo, helped launch the program and open SUNY’s first office to 249 students on the Buffalo State campus.
“We are very proud of the accomplishments of our wonderful EOP students,” said SUNY Interim Chancellor Dr. John B. Clark. “The support provided to our students by our dedicated EOP staff on our campuses and here at System Administration is tremendous and we are very grateful to these outstanding professionals for their work each and every day.”
At 84.5 percent, first-year retention rates for SUNY EOP students outrank the national public average by 11.5 percent and six-year graduation rates for SUNY EOP students, 62.6 percent at doctoral degree-granting institutions, outpace the national average by more than seven percent. Additionally, more than 2,200 EOP students maintained a 3.0 cumulative average and received honor certificates in the spring 2007 semester.