For 50 years, Extended Opportunity Programs & Services (EOPS) has helped students facing social, economic, and language barriers earn their degrees and certificates and transfer to four-year universities. Through EOPS, they become "better tooled or prepared to enter their chosen career path and ultimately increase access to more livable wages," San Bernardino Valley College EOPS Director Joanne Hinojosa said. 

During the fall and spring semesters, between 650 and 700 SBVC students participate in EOPS. They receive counseling, priority registration, transfer assistance, and help with paying for textbooks, and also attend special workshops. "EOPS was started in 1969 as a statewide program at California community colleges during a time when access to higher education opportunities was limited for many, especially those that are first-generation college students and low-income," Hinojosa said. "The way the program was originally designed is exactly how it is still being implemented today, with regular counseling contacts being the basis of the program, as it is a known fact that the more a student meets with a counselor, the more likely they are to succeed." 
Thousands of students have benefited from EOPS over the last five decades, and a celebration that had been planned for this spring, "Reflecting on 50 Years of EOPS Student Success," is now on hold. The event was set to feature SBVC faculty, staff members, and students talking about how the program changes lives. 
"The spirit of EOPS is to go above and beyond the efforts of the college to ensure that the EOPS student who was not expected to graduate from college does," Hinojosa said.