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History of EOF

The College of New Jersey – EOF

The Educational Opportunity Fund program, originally named CHANCE, was established at The College of New Jersey (formerly known as Trenton State College) in the fall of 1968. Since its inception, more than 1,300 students have earned their degrees from The College as participants in the program.

State of New Jersey – EOF

In November 1967, in the aftermath of the previous summer riots in Newark, New Jersey, newly appointed Chancellor of Higher education, Ralph A. Dungan, directed a memorandum to the presidents of all of the state’s institutions of higher education. In it he outlined a proposed program of special assistance to young women and men from economically and educationally disadvantaged backgrounds. The president’s response was immediate, widespread, and overwhelmingly favorable. Enthusiasm was particularly marked at those institutions that were participating in the federally supported Upward Bound Program, which sought to help high school students from disadvantaged backgrounds prepare for entry into college.

The following February, the Select Commission on Civil Disorders (the Lilly Commission, established in response to the events in Newark) made its report to Governor Richard Hughes, who subsequently submitted his Moral Recommitment message to the New Jersey State Legislature. The message called for the establishment of a broad range of programs to address the basic conditions the Commission had cited as contributing to the summer’s unrest. Among those programs was the Educational Opportunity Fund, established by legislation sponored by then freshman legislator Thomas Kean.

EOF sets the pace for many initiatives, which today are widely incorporated into college life. Among the many powerful strategies implemented by EOF are precollege articulation, basic skills testing and remediation, systemic retention efforts, peer counseling and peer tutoring, academic support courses, multicultural curricula and human relations programming, student leadership development and outcomes based program evaluations.

EOF has also been a leader and a linchpin in the higher education system effort to increase diversity. While participation is not limited to minority students, EOF sponsors more than one-third of the African American and Latino students enrolled at New Jersey colleges and universities who participate in the EOF program. EOF enrolls about 12% of the first-time, full-time New Jersey freshman that enter the states colleges and universities.