The State University's commitment to serve underprepared students more extensively resulted in the creation in 1966, of four Urban Centers. The Centers, located in Brooklyn, Manhattan, Albany, and Buffalo, were funded by the Governor and the New York State Legislature, to provide occupational training and college preparatory programs.
Further, extending these services in 1969, the State University created seven Cooperative College Centers, offering remedial and lower division college courses for underserved populations of Syracuse, Wyandanch, Mount Vernon, Buffalo, Rochester, Westchester, and Nassau.
In 1973, the Urban Centers and Cooperative Colleges merged to form the more comprehensive Educational Opportunity Centers in Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, Troy, Yonkers, Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Long Island. The same year, the Schenectady Outreach Center, formerly a satellite of the Center in Troy, became a separate entity. Each of the new Centers offered vocational training, college preparation and support services as well as community services aimed at neighborhood residents.
Legislative initiatives in 1985 and 1986 brought the addition of Centers in the Bronx and Queens boroughs of New York. Also established in that year were specialized SUNY outreach and recruitment components in the Brooklyn, Buffalo, and Rochester Centers. These efforts articulated well with the Educational Opportunity Programs on our SUNY campuses.
Today, the network of Educational Opportunity Centers represents a major effort by the State University to meet the educational and vocational needs of economically disadvantaged persons. Programs are geared to grow and adapt to the changing environments in which they operate, while serving as a readily accessible first step toward the attainment of educational and/or vocational objectives and ultimate self-sufficiency.
The University at Buffalo Educational Opportunity Center relies on multiple community, corporate, and educational collaborations to meet the needs of our students. These collaborations open access and opportunity for students and offer significant resources, thus enabling our role in broadening access to higher education and the workforce.
Our diverse student body comprises adults aged 17 to past retirement age. Our students rely on a full complement of life experiences that enable their success in their pursuit of educational opportunity and job training.
Our students who are enrolled in vocational-technical programming are required to satisfy and externship commitment as part of their program completion requirements. In addition, all students are exposed to opportunities that encourage campus visits, participation in career fairs and job seeking events.
In all, we have efficiently harnessed the resources of the State of New York and effectively supported the public mission of the State University of New York. Those of us who are members of the UBEOC community carry a deep commitment to our constituency, share pride in the work that we accomplish and are visbly committed to excellence.
Our UBEOC has evolved into a vibrant, dynamic learning community that delivers comprehensive community-based academic and workforce development programs, wrap-around supportive services and access to further education and employment. Our Center is committed to providing educational and growth experiences that empower students to realize their dreams and turn efforts into achievements.