About EOP

History of the EOP

The Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) emerged from the Civil Rights movement of the late 1960s as a response to the call for access and equity to higher education. All across California, courageous students, faculty, and staff made great sacrifices to fight for justice and inclusion. As a result of this hard-fought, student-led campaign, there is now an EOP at all 23 California State University campuses.

Below is a video of events that took place at California State University, Northridge.


Our history as EOP at CSUDH is tightly bound with the history of our campus. California State University, Dominguez Hills was chartered on April 19, 1960 as South Bay State College. The college was originally planned to be located in Palos Verdes, California, and serve as the “Harvard of the West,” a progressive, liberal arts college. The campus was moved to Carson in 1965 as a response to the Watts Rebellion in August of that year. The move was an effort by the State of California to address calls by African American residents on the growing need for higher education institutions and career opportunities in South Los Angeles and the surrounding communities.


In light of the political climate of the decade, demonstrations took place at several CSU campuses during 1968 and 1969. Students protested the Vietnam War, and called for greater access to higher education for under-represented students. In 1968, students on campuses statewide brought issues of access, culturally and historically relevant courses, and other concerns to the attention of the administration and made their demands known through sit-ins, demonstrations, and strikes. The demand for access to higher education intensified. Students had the motivation and desire to obtain a four-year university degree but lacked the financial means and academic support to encourage their success. To address this, EOP pilot offices were established in several campuses across the state. The pilots relied on community outreach and volunteers to attract the most marginalized populations.

EOP was formally institutionalized in 1969 through the Harmer Bill (SB 1072), introduced to the California State Senate by State Senator John Harmer. This bill cleared the way for the California State University to develop systemwide, state-funded EOP programs.


EOP at CSU Dominguez Hills was one of the first to assess their applicants in Math, Reading, and Composition prior to their admission. This was implemented in 1977 by EOP Director James Clayton, due to the prevalence of grade inflation on students' high school transcripts. The Stanford Diagnostic Reading Test, math diagnostic, and subjective essays were utilized to evaluate a student's potential for success. This process preceded the mandated EPT and ELM examinations, which began statewide with the incoming freshman class of 1978. The EOP assessment was used to assist in the placement into Summer Bridge courses appropriate for the students' level of understanding and knowledge in Math and English subjects. This process also facilitated the beginning of Summer Bridge in 1978, which was conducted by EOP staff and volunteers at CSUDH.

EOP at CSUDH was also one of the first programs to have a dedicated Financial Aid Advisor directly housed in the Office of Financial Aid. This began during the winter of 1977 as an experiment to provide EOP students with important financial aid information and counseling. This led to the creation of a dedicated EOP Financial Aid Advisor staff position in 1978. This position allowed EOP to process financial aid applications for EOP students and advise them in accordance with federal and state guidelines. Former Assistant EOP Director, Frank X. Urquidez, is the original EOP Financial Aid Advisor since that winter of 1977. Today, Mr. Urquidez is now retired, but he continues to serve EOP students as a part-time volunteer.


Efforts to serve under-represented students continued into the 1990s. EOP hosted theatrical plays in the University Theater, including "Cinderella Brown" by Marvin Clayton, to raise funds for the program. EOP also hosted overnight programs for local students, including a weekend program called "Chillin in the Hills" - a program designed by EOP to increase the number of African American males that attended CSUDH by recruiting students from local high schools and inviting them to stay on campus for the weekend.

Today, EOP continues to meet the needs of students who display the potential to succeed in higher education, but who may not meet university admission requirements. The program provides services to historically low-income, historically educationally disadvantaged, first-generation college students; a population that not only reflects the diversity of CSUDH feeder communities but also the diversity of the university itself.


EOP is a Head Start!

Services offered:

  • Assistance in completing CSU & EOP applications for prospective applicants
  • Summer Bridge Experience
  • Mentoring
  • Holistic Academic Advising
  • Student Advocacy
  • Student Engagement
  • Financial Support through the EOP Grant (if eligible)


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