Special Populations Collaborative

Effective Practices for Single Parents & Displaced Homemakers

College of San Mateo – EOPS Preview Day

Title: EOPS Preview Day

College: College of San Mateo

1700 W. Hillsdale Blvd., San Mateo Ca 94402

College Contact: Danita L. Scott-Taylor, Director Student Support Services, 650-574-6155 or scott@smccd.net

Ruth Turner, EOPS Coordinator/Counselor, 650-574-6154 or turner@smccd.net

Target population: The practice targets high school seniors who demonstrate possible eligibility for EOPS program services. High school personnel contact students who have less than a 2.5 grade point average and/or students who participate in the school lunch program; and are, or may be, interested in enrolling at College of San Mateo. EOPS serves low-income, often first generation college students, who are academically under prepared; and/or are ESL. Students must meet income and educational criteria.

Goals: The program seeks to assist students in visualizing themselves as college students. It addresses barriers to their participation in college: anxiety, fear, expectations, financial and academic difficulties, etc. The program promotes the understanding that college is a possibility if students so choose. Preview Day specifically attempts to generate interest in 1) attending college, 2) attending CSM/applying for EOPS and 3) serves as a recruitment opportunity for the Summer College Readiness Program, SCRP.

Description: The Preview Day is held each spring. EOPS invites thirty-five (35) seniors to experience a ‘day in the life’ of an EOPS college student. Transportation assistance is provided (if necessary), and a continental breakfast is served. Key campus personnel (President, Vice President of Student Services, Vice President of Instruction, Dean of Counseling, Dean of Enrollment Services, etc.) welcome students by participating in an ice breaker activity with them. Afterwards, students are assigned to an EOPS student mentor who has similar interests/major, who serves as a guide for a two- hour period, taking the students to class with them, or providing a tour if no class is scheduled. Prior to serving as student mentors a training session is held so that they will understand the goals of the "Preview Day" and know what their role is. Based on the high school student- EOPS student matches, the program identifies the classes that will be visited and notifies the instructors. The high school students and their mentors return to EOPS for lunch, followed by an informational session on EOPS and College of San Mateo. Students leave with an EOPS Preview Day T-Shirt, a folder filled with CSM information, and an application to the college’s Summer Class Readiness Program.

Staffing: The practice has two Program Services Coordinators (classified positions), and 1-2 student assistants. On the actual Preview Day 35 student mentors work with the high school students. All activities are under the direction of EOPS Director and/or Coordinator.

Facilities, equipment, materials: Activities take place in a classroom or common gathering place. Materials include the ice-breaker activity and related materials, folders with campus program materials, t-shirts, and an application for college’s Summer College.

Readiness Program. The program coordinates with food services to supply lunch.

Costs, funding source: The preview day costs $1,350 that is currently funded out of the EOPS budget. It was previously funded through a campus Partnership for Excellence grant that is now defunct.

Outreach and marketing: Program staff conducts monthly visits and presentations to local high schools targeting students who may meet EOPS criteria. These students are identified with assistance of high school staff. Upon request from local feeder schools, college staff will conduct and facilitate a College Readiness Workshop Series that also serves as a marketing tool.

Evidence of effectiveness: Effectiveness is determined by an annual student satisfaction survey; the number of Preview Day students who subsequently participate in Summer College Readiness Program and/or enroll at CSM for fall semester and apply for EOPS services. Beginning 2005 the program will use pre/post tests to assess student learning outcomes for the event.

Suggestions for replication: Plan early. Check with high school districts for the best date. Many high schools have STAR testing, exist exams, etc. in the spring that can conflict. To ensure that you are not short of student mentors, recruit more mentors than are actually needed, with the caveat that there may not be enough high school students to go around. Have the mentors attend a training session so that they are clear on what is expected of them.