PARTNERSHIPS WITH THE ADULT EDUCATION CENTER
Started in 2002, the Educational Opportunity Center (EOC), also housed at NIC, serves students whose parents did not attend college. The EOC counsels students, helping students to complete applications to college, create educational plans, and apply for financial aid. EOC staff also offer information on college programs. EOC staff work with students on career planning, providing computerized career information and assessments such as skill and interest surveys. EOC counselors offer many of these services at the Adult Education Center and its outreach sites, which makes access to services easier for adult learners and enables EOC to reach more potential clients.
The director, Sandra Kettle, was new to the area and relied on the Adult Education Center and Rex Fairfield to make connections to other programs, services, resources, and potential learners. Center staff refer students to the EOC and help EOC staff work with the outreach centers to reach learners in remote areas. The outreach centers welcomed the EOC, contributing office space for the EOC counselors who visit the outreach centers weekly. EOC academic and career counselors also spend a full day each week at the main Adult Education Center, doing career counseling. As Sandra Kettle observes, "Tapping into existing relationships is fundamental to the success of a new organization."