Frequently Asked Questions
What is the history of EDP?
The Educational Opportunity Program combines access, academic support and supplemental
financial assistance to make higher education possible for students who have the potential
to study at the baccalaureate level and beyond, despite poor preparation and limited
financial resources. The Educational Opportunity Program had its origins in the late
1960's, during the Rockefeller Administration. The Master Plan of the State University
for 1964 set forth a long-range commitment that “every student capable of completing
a program of higher education shall have the opportunity to do so.” This objective
was reaffirmed in the 2002-04 Master Plan which states: “As a public institution the
University has a strong commitment to ensuring broad access and opportunity for New
York State residents.” That commitment was reaffirmed in Mission Review. In 1967,
then first-year Assemblyman, Arthur O. Eve, of the 141st Assembly District, gave further
force to the principles of access and opportunity by developing the appropriation
bill that gave birth to the Educational Opportunity Program. Modeled on the SEEK (Search
for Education, Elevation and Knowledge) program that had been instituted by Percy
Sutton in the City University in the prior year, the first unit of what would become
a university-wide opportunity program enrolled 249 students at the State University
College in Buffalo, New York. In the following year, Assemblyman Eve was able to obtain
sufficient funding to permit expansion to ten campuses. By the 1970-71 academic year,
thirty campuses had enrolled more than 4,600 opportunity students and New York State
Education Law §6452 had formally established the provisions of SEEK at the City University
of New York, the Educational Opportunity Program in the State University of New York
and the Higher Educational Opportunity Program at the independent colleges in New
York. The Educational Opportunity Program now exists on 43 campuses in the University.
Similar programs offer opportunities in the higher education systems of New Jersey,
Pennsylvania and California. Today, graduates number more than 60,000 (as of S'12/OOP). Most continue to live in New York, enriching its economic and social fabric. Among
their number are physicians, teachers, scientists, engineers, attorneys, artists,
entrepreneurs and public servants. And, many have returned to the University as administrators
and counselors who provide support to another generation of opportunity students.
(Taken from Office of Opportunity Programs' website.)
The Office of Opportunity Programs, located at SUNY Central in Albany, New York, oversees university-wide
opportunity programs, including Fredonia's. Oversight responsibilities include program
leadership, policy development/implementation, fiscal planning and management, performance
monitoring, data collection and reporting. For additional information about the Office
of Opportunity Programs, visit their website: Office of Opportunity Programs. SUNY EOP celebrated 35 years in the fall of 2002 and EDP at Fredonia celebrated
its 35th anniversary in September 2005. Dr. Jeffrey J. Wallace, EDP director from
1972 - 1981, renamed the Educational Opportunity Program to Educational Development
Program "to emphasize the developmental process that students go through to become
successful, contributing citizens in society. Opportunity allows access, but what
a college does with and for students, is the developmental nature of education."
Graduation and retention rates of Educational Opportunity Program students compare
favorably to that of the general student population at many institutions of medium
admissions selectivity. First year retention in the senior colleges is 84.5% percent
and the six-year 2008 graduation rate is 54%, respectively.
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Is EDP a minority or race based program?
No. EDP is very ethnically and racially diverse. Currently, the SUNY Fredonia EDP's
student body is composed of 41% African American, 23% Hispanic, 3% Asian, 1% Native
American, 32% Caucasian, and 0% Other. Statistics from F'12 reports.
Is EDP a Financial Aid Program?
Although extremely important to the student, the amount of EDP direct aid award is
relatively small. Ranging from $250-$900 per semester, the EDP award will not cover
the cost for food or housing or any single primary college expense.
The major benefits of EDP are that it provides a vehicle to gain admission to college
and then makes available the counseling and tutoring support so valuable for students whose economic
and educational circumstances have already placed them at a disadvantage.
Is EDP for less talented students?
EDP students have been identified as students who have the talent and ability to succeed
in college but have been placed at a disadvantage for access by financial and academic
circumstances. In fact, many EDP students have been accepted and/or are currently
enrolled in graduate programs on an openly competitive basis. Many others are successfully
competing, succeeding and contributing in their careers, families and communities.
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