About Us

The Southern Appalachian Educational Opportunity Center (EOC) is a grant program funded by the U.S. Department of Education and is one of seven TRiO programs.  The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga (UTC) is home to several other TRiO programs: Student Support Services, Educational Talent Search, Upward Bound and Upward Bound Math Science. All of these programs are part of The Center for Community Career Education.

The Educational Opportunity Center was first funded in 1998 to provide counseling and information about the college admission process to adults who want to enter or continue a program of postsecondary education. The program also provides services to improve the financial and economic literacy of participants. An important objective of the program is to counsel participants about financial aid options, including basic financial planning skills, and to assist in the application process. The goal of the EOC program is to increase the number of residents who enroll in postsecondary education institutions.

We help residents who may need one or more of these services: select a high school equivalency degree (GED/HiSet) program, apply to an accredited college, apply for financial aid, and/or enroll in a postsecondary institution. We serve 1,000 people each year and target low income, first-generation adults, Veterans and military families, youth in foster care, homeless youth, and other disadvantaged groups. 

We partner with many community agencies and programs to provide college access services. Metropolitan Ministries,  United Way 211, MOMentum Network, Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology (TCAT), First Things First, Tennessee National Guard, Partnership for Families and Children, Southeast Tennessee Veterans Coalition, Chattanooga State Community College, and the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga are only  a few of our partners.


Cynthia Long - Director 

Marla King, MSW - Education Advisor

Irene Schickel - Accounting Specialist