RCBC student flourishes with support from the Educational Opportunity Fund
Wednesday, Mar 01, 2023

With support from Rowan College at Burlington County’s Educational Opportunity Fund Office,  student Alycia Copeland set herself up for success and is now helping other students have a transformative experience as a student worker in the office.

The Educational Opportunity Fund (EOF) provides financial and academic support to RCBC scholars who demonstrate significant potential to succeed but may lack the economic and academic resources. Subsequently, the path to success for EOF scholars is paved with attentive advisors, workshops and assistance when it comes to future careers and transferring.

EOF scholars meet with their advisors every month and have an opportunity to express concerns or share successes they’ve had in their personal or academic lives. The ability to interact with students on a daily basis at the EOF office is Copeland’s favorite part of her job. “It makes my day,” she said. Behind the scenes, Copeland facilitates campus events and projects for the EOF office. Just recently, she hosted a Black History Month Jeopardy event and helped write bios to highlight EOF alumni. 

Copeland realized that being able to talk to students “not only about academics but also about life,” largely drives her when it comes to her own academic journey. After meeting with RCBC’s Career Preparation and Experiential Learning department, Copeland realized that psychology is her true calling. With her passion and interest in fields that focus on education and/or addiction, she feels best when she can listen to someone struggling. 

Not only did her time at EOF inspire her career goals, but she now feels more prepared due to her EOF advisor’s mentorship.  “As a teenager, only working at Target and fast food, you don’t know how to be in an office,” Copeland said. Learning how to navigate a professional work environment is something that she will continue to use in the future, and that is just one of the skills she has gained from her time at EOF.

When a student walks into the EOF department, they feel secure enough to tackle struggles that they may be facing.

“I see how the EOF advisors interact with students, and that just inspires me to want to be that safe haven,” Copeland expressed.

For general academic advisors at RCBC, their caseloads can be quite large, but EOF advisors have fewer students and the opportunity to build a more personal relationship with their students. The EOF department encourages this relationship, students are invited to drop in and say hello at all times because this is a safe space for them. For students like Copeland, this mentorship is invaluable.

To learn more about the EOF office and the benefits they provide to EOF scholars, visit https://www.rcbc.edu/eof.