EOP Through the Years
In 1980 EOP developed freshmen seminar classes designed to facilitate the transition from high school to college. Pictured here are EOP Counselor Beth Crawford and her freshmen seminar class of students from the fall 2007 cohort. The first EOP Seminar classes become so successful that the university expands them for more students.
1968 - Geraldine Rickman was the first Director of the Educational Opportunity Program of San Diego State University. She was recognized in 1967 for her meritorious service for the advancement of women and minorities with the National Sojourner Truth Award.
1974, Chavez was appointed director and charged with restructuring and realigning the five EOPs into one unified program. EOP experienced strong growth during his tenure, bringing structure and expansion to the program in regards to both students and resources. Chavez served as director of EOP for 30 years, retiring in 2003.
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In 1988, under the direction of EOP Director Gus Chavez, EOP began the Transfer Bridge Program. This was first coordinated by EOP Counselor Paul Delys. The commuter program started with 40 students and ran for four weeks. Students took an introductory Chicano Studies class taught by Rene Nunez and either a math or writing workshop. This picture is from the year 2010. Transfer Bridge is still active today. Last year was the first time we held a virtual program.
In 1984 EOP pioneered the Summer Bridge Program for its incoming freshmen, a program later called BEST (Building Educational Skills and Talents), to help students negotiate the difficult transition from high school to San Diego State University. Our EOP BEST Summer Bridge Program is 36 years old and still active to this day!
This image is from 1994 when students were protesting against proposition 187, which was an anti-immigrant ballot initiative denying undocumented immigrants from using non-emergency healthcare, public education, and other services in California. Prop. 187 passed on November 15, 1994.
In 2018 EOP officially opened the Undocumented Resource Area (URA), providing a safe and welcoming space for undocumented students, staff, and faculty at SDSU. In 2020 the Undocumented Resource Area expanded to a center. The URC is led by Cynthia Torres and collaborates with campus partners to provide students with academic support, career advising, and referrals to off-campus community service providers to help improve student retention and progress towards graduation.
In 1996 proposition 209 was passed in California. This proposition banned affirmative action. In 2020 Assembly Member Dr. Shirley Weber, who is now Secretary of state, introduced proposition 16 to bring back affirmative-action, arguing that educational disparities still exist and need to be remedied. It did not pass.
In 1998 Rosalia Salinas an SDSU Alumna, Chicano Studies teacher, Language Coordinator at the County Office of Education, and former president of CABE (California Association for Bilingual Education) fought adamantly against proposition 227, partnering with EOP Director Gus Chavez and former City Council member and Chairman of the Board of the Chicano Federation Jess Haro, who provided support as they risked their state and county positions. Proposition 227 was passed in June of 1998 eliminating bilingual education in public schools. As a result of prop 227, a group called Californians Together was formed, Rosalia co-chaired the committee. In 2016 the committee’s word paid off when Prop 58, The California Non-English Languages Allowed in Public Education Act, passed.
In the year 2000 - SOAR (Success, Opportunity, Academics, and Relationships), EOP’s mentoring program, was developed by Wanda Clay Major. The goal of this program was to assist new freshmen and transfer students’ transition to the university. The program started with 10 students in the first cohort. The program now serves approximately 100 students including all new incoming Guardian Scholars and continues to develop the leadership skills of 25 peer mentors.
SOAR is the Mentor Program of The Office of Educational Opportunity Programs and Ethnic Affairs (EOP). Through its components of success, opportunity for academic development, retention and graduation it allows EOP students to SOAR. The SOAR Mentor Program pairs trained upper-class student mentors with incoming freshmen called protégés. Mentors serve as guides to assist new students through the maze of rules, regulations, expectations, and activities of general college life.
In 2004 ESAB, the EOP Student Advisory Board, with Charlotte Moore and Millie Robinson as the first advisors, became a recognized SDSU student organization.
In 2007, the SDSU Guardian Scholars (GS) program is started by Dr. James Kitchen, vice president of student affairs, along with the EOP Director Reggie Blaylock, with Josephine Mojica as first director of the program. The program supports former foster youth, wards of the court, unaccompanied homeless youth, and students under legal guardianship throughout their educational journey at SDSU.
EOP Creates the Harambee Scholars Mentoring program for African-American freshmen students.
Photos from EOP Summer Bridge 2006 Experience at Mission Bay Park, Balboa Park, Downtown SD, etc.