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Best Practice

A procedure that has been shown by research and experience to produce optimal results and that is established or proposed as a standard suitable for widespread adoption.

If you have an EOC best practice to share, please contact us and we’ll put up for others to consider using in their programs.

EOC Best Practices

2023 NEOCA Conference
Round Table Topics Summarized
Topic #1 EOC Recruiting Strategies

  • Connect with Community Resources that Cover Rehab, Jail, Housing, Unemployment
  • Goodwill (Classes for people who were just released)
  • Attend Back-to-School Events
  • Door hangers with information on them
  • Pregnancy Resource Centers
  • Look for community events that are giving away free items that will create a large crowd
  • Word of mouth
  • Pre-release programs
  • GED Programs
  • Mobile Units
  • Raffles
  • Second Chance Pell
  • Public Libraries
  • Higher Education Enrollment Events
  • Create Community Events
  • Connect with Detox Centers and Transitional Housing
  • Partner with Tech Centers, Community Colleges, and High Schools
  • Partner with Gear-Up
  • Partner with companies that pay for college
  • Host Parent Nights
  • Host Resource Fair
  • GED Programs
  • Partner with other non-profit organizations
  • Educate local community resources about your program

2023 NEOCA Conference
Round Table Topics Summarized
Topic #2 Technology/Apps/Social Media

  • Electronic Signatures
  • Improve/build social media presence (YouTube/Facebook/Instagram)
  • Mass texting and emails
  • Mass texting (Simple Texts/Mongoose)
  • Student Access/Blumen
  • Zoom/Microsoft Teams
  • Canva
  • Rado Ads
  • Mobile Unit
  • JotForm
  • Newsletters
  • Digital equity and navigation workshops
  • Mobile application
  • Virtual intake process
  • QR Codes
  • Google Voice
  • Targeted social media ads
  • Up-to-date and inviting program webpage
  • ChatGPT
  • MailChimp (Mass emails)
  • Geo-Targeting
  • Digital Flyers
  • iPads/hotspots/laptops

2023 NEOCA Conference
Round Table Topics Summarized
Topic #3 Advocacy – You, Your Program, EOC as a Whole

  • Connect with government officials
  • Attend Policy Seminar
  • Remind local schools what your program offers
  • Attend City Council Meetings
  • Showing up to court hearings
  • Send Newsletters and Emails to participants and community partners highlighting achievements
  • Be present on campus and in the community
  • Work to remove barriers for participants
  • Work on increasing salaries
  • Apply for other grants
  • Branding (Rebrand)
  • Create relationships with probation and parole
  • Talk to representatives when they are in your area and get on their agendas to provide tour of your program.
  • Know your representatives and who serves on education committees
  • Schedule meetings individually with policymakers
  • Stand your ground and create boundaries when offering assistance
  • Hold a stakeholders’ luncheon
  • Reach out to your chamber of commerce and board of education
  • Host meet and greets
  • Work with the student affairs/student success departments at local institution

2023 NEOCA Conference
Round Table Topics Summarized
Topic #4 Financial Aid/FAFSA Tips for EOC Professionals

  • Attend COE workshops
  • Attend DOE webinars!
  • Partner with financial aid departments to host FAFSA events
  • Focus on FSA IDs and scholarships in the fall and then FAFSA in the spring
  • Apply early
  • Use renewal choice if possible
  • Host virtual FAFSA Fridays
  • Hold additional appointments for FSA ID creation or recoveries
  • Partner with free tax preparers
  • Host workshops to help groups of people at one time
  • Create a document or card for them to keep their username, password, and challenge question answers.
  • A lot of changes on the 24-25 FAFSA (Demo and walkthrough video linked on email)

Submitted by Kathy Bryant, University of Kansas Educational Opportunity Center

There are two documents I print off back to back on BRIGHT NEON paper so they will stand out, and to save costs on color printing.

They have a dual purpose:

  1. Information to help participants create their FSA ID.  We use them when we have an FSA ID workshop.
  2. The reverse side lets students know when and where they can receive FAFSA Assistance, and what to bring.

We can use them during a presentation and/or leave them with program partners to give to possible participants.

Submitted by Kristina Wagner, Minnesota Educational Opportunity Center

The Minnesota Educational Opportunity Center Staff favor the International Coach Federation philosophy on coaching which advocates, “Coaches honor the client as the expert in his or her life and work and believe every client is creative, resourceful and whole”.  Through a coaching process, EOC clients increase their awareness, broaden their thinking, shift their perspectives, and generate solutions for favorable academic and career outcomes. Coaching benefits people in all areas of their lives, empowering them to handle daily challenges and advance their own success.

The Minnesota Educational Opportunity Center Staff use The Clifton Strengthsfinder, an online assessment designed to help people identify, understand, and leverage their strengths for personal empowerment.  EOC staff are qualified Gallup Strengths Coaches and continue to develop their talents through ongoing seminars, the Strengths Summit, and through a college wide strengths group with a SharePoint site to share best practices, workshop materials, articles, and more.

EOC participants receive a report showing their top-five most dominant talent themes, from a total of 34 possible talent themes. Staff developed workshop guides to help students identify career paths that will make use of their natural talents. The Strengthsfinder raises self-awareness in our students, which in turn enables them to make thoughtful choices. Additionally, when students can name their strengths, they increase their chances of finding opportunities for success.