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EOC gains grant writing experience

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Educational Opportunity Center discusses grant writing at a lunch meeting.

Educational Opportunity Center discusses grant writing at a lunch meeting.

Ryan Fischer

Ryan Fischer

Educational Opportunity Center discusses grant writing at a lunch meeting.

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The Educational Opportunity Center had a lunch meeting Tuesday with a grant writer and representatives from Adult Basic Education to gain knowledge for their upcoming grant proposal.

EOC director Nick Bedway said it is a federal TRiO program on Marshall University’s campus that assists adults who are low-income and first generation college-attenders to receive financial aid and pass a high school diploma equivalency test.

“We serve 1000 adults in Lincoln, Mason and Wayne counties to complete an educational degree,” Bedway said.

Bedway said although EOC is not exclusively related to Marshall, many of its participants end up attending the university.

Bedway said EOC is in its fifth year of a five-year grant, so it has to reapply for funding in April.

Director of Marshall’s Heart of Appalachia Talent Search program Angela Holley is working as an independent consultant to write the EOC grant.

HATS is also one of Marshall’s TRiO programs. Holley said HATS provides academic support to middle and high school students and has connections to EOC because students in HATS often have parents in EOC.

Holley and Bedway consulted with several people working in Adult Basic Education to gain information and strong partnerships that will help them write a successful grant.

“We want to be innovative and we want to grow with our community,” Holley said.

“We’re trying to show that there’s a need for a program,” Bedway said.

Bedway and Holley looked to their consultants for data and information that would add to their proposal, showing the need for EOC in Lincoln, Mason and Wayne counties.

Holley said the grant should prove a low number of adults enroll in college. Holley said they also need data showing there is a need for EOC based on numbers of people testing for high school equivalency compared to numbers of people passing.

Bedway said the ECO is also looking for data regarding people who show an interest in taking a high school equivalency test but do not follow through.

Holley said it is one thing to collect data, but they need to also offer solutions.

“West Virginia is number one in the nation of people not in the workforce,” Holley said. “What is it that we’re missing? How can we help fill those gaps?”

Holley said it is the EOC’s first year writing on behalf of Cabell County. During the meeting Holley asked for and received contacts for people who could offer information about Cabell County that would be useful in the grant proposal.

Holley said she writes grants as if the reader knows nothing about the EOC or West Virginia.

“They read these from all across the nation,” Holley said. “We want ours to stand out.”

Lydia Waybright can be contacted at [email protected]

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