eaopHelp is now available at El Centro’s Central Union High School for students tackling the daunting and often times overwhelming college preparation process.

UC San Diego’s Imperial County Early Academic Outreach Program (EAOP) opened its new College Access Center on Central Union High School’s campus this fall. The center provides the latest tools and resources necessary for successful college and career planning.

“EAOP worked closely with Central Union’s administration to open the College Access Center,” said Thomas Gilkison, EAOP Imperial County assistant director. “We wanted a place on campus where students and parents can go for one-on-one college preparation support.”

The concept of a “one-stop” center is evolving, as more schools realize the potential of housing all academic preparation programs under one roof. “It streamlines our ability to serve students and makes preparing for college a lot easier,” Gilkison said.

The new College Access Center was announced at Central Union High School’s Parents’ Night, Oct. 22. Photo credit: Fernando Acosta, Imperial Valley Press

The College Access Center offers college application assistance, help with FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid), registration for the SAT or ACT, and grant and scholarship information. EAOP staff, along with colleagues from other academic preparation programs including Cal-SOAP, MESA, and TRIO’s Upward Bound and Educational Talent Search programs, are available Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. to help students and their parents.

“All participating College Access Center organizations are members of the Imperial County Partnership of Higher Education, part of the College Going Initiative at the Imperial County Office of Education Pre-K through 16 Council,” Gilkison said. “Our collaborative goal is to provide effective programs and services that foster Imperial County students’ academic development and help make them admissible to the college of their choice.”