History of EOPS and CARE History of EOPS and CARE



In 1969, Senate Bill 164 was enacted into law, establishing Extended Opportunity Programs and Services (EOPS) within the California Community Colleges system. This action came about as a direct result of the civil rights activities and social unrest witnessed throughout the 1960s. Lawmakers in office during this era soon began to realize the pressing need to address the injustices and inequalities that had plagued our society for so long. The first EOPS programs were established in Spring 1970 at 46 community colleges. Columbia College was one of the EOPS pioneers and our program has been in existence since 1971. Today, EOPS exists at all 114 community colleges in California. 

EOPS is a state-funded program which offers educational support services and grants to students who have historically experienced economic, social, or language disadvantages and who are often within the first generation in their families to attend college. The intent, purpose and resources of EOPS are directed at assisting EOPS students achieve their academic and career goals.


CARE logo


The Cooperative Agencies Resources for Education (CARE) Program (a multi-agency program sponsored by the State of California Department of Social Services, the State Employment Development Department and the Chancellor’s Office of the California Community Colleges), was established in 1982 as a supplemental component of EOP&S to provide educational support services and activities for single head-of-household students whose family are receiving County Cash Aid support.

Our team is pleased to assist you in achieving your academic and personal goals while at Columbia College. We are delighted that you have chosen to participate in our program. Remember, the EOPS and CARE staff is here to help you make college a successful experience!



The story behind the EOPS logo: The Nickel and the Nail

In November 1971, the Executive Committee of the California Community College EOPS Association (CCCEOPSA) adopted the Nickel and the Nail as the symbol of aid offered to many California Community College students through EOPS. This symbol, the EOPS logo, represents a successful effort at helping to provide the motivation and means for students to reach their educational goals. 

Nickle and Nail

Here is the story:

A young man in the deep South was walking down a dusty road to visit a lady friend, all too aware that the nickel in his pocket was all he had in the world.  That emptiness tore away at his self-esteem.  But, as he walked, he noticed two gnarled horseshoe nails that were twisted together and lying by the road.  He picked them up and put them in his pocket, and as the metal jingled against his meager fortune, the young man walked a little straighter, with a little more pride and dignity.  It is important to have “something to jingle.”  EOPS works to enhance self esteem, foster pride and dignity, and motivate people to more effectively define and pursue career goals.  The nails twisted into a puzzle, suggesting the problem has yet to be unraveled for helping people who, by circumstances of the society in which we live, have been limited in meeting their own educational challenges.




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