Opportunity Program

Mission Statement - Higher Education Opportunity Program at Skidmore College

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The principal mission of HEOP at Skidmore College is to provide educational opportunity and support to students who have strong academic and personal potential but who would otherwise be excluded from higher education due to circumstances of academic and economic disadvantage. The mission of the Higher Education Opportunity Program reflects and enriches the mission statement of Skidmore College.

As an academic program, HEOP assists and inspires students to earn their degrees by offering a wide range of academic supports. These include a comprehensive summer program for pre-freshmen (the Summer Academic Institute), academic advising as part of the College's faculty advising system, academic-year remedial and developmental courses for program students, and one-on-one and small-group sessions regarding specific courses or academic issues. HEOP staff assesses students individually to provide academic and personal supports that will allow them to reach their full potential.

In addition, HEOP works closely with Skidmore faculty to help students succeed. Together, HEOP staff and faculty encourage students, review skills and organization of their studies, and discuss methods that will provide students with information to lead them toward their strengths and to eventual academic proficiency and accomplishment.

The support, both financial and academic, is in effect from the start of the summer program through all four years of a student's college career.

HEOP Mission Statement- New York State Regents and New York State Education Department

As a NYS grant-funded program, HEOP works with the New York State Regents and the New York State Education Department by assuring full participation in a society for all New Yorkers through continuing efforts to admit and retain those individuals who, due to economic and educational disadvantage, would otherwise not enroll at an institution like Skidmore College. HEOP at Skidmore assists in the economic resurgence of New York State by distributing the academic, social, and economic resources of the state. This generosity allows people to graduate from college who might not have become contributors to society without higher education.The program enhances the quality of life for New York State residents by improving, through education, the potential for those whose earning power was previously limited by socio-economic class.

Academic Opportunity Program

The Academic Opportunity Program (AOP) recruits and admits students who are HEOP-like in their academic and economic profiles yet are not eligible for support from the program because they reside in states other than New York or have income levels slightly above the HEOP economic eligibility guidelines.

New York State Legislation Establishing HEOP

The Higher Education Opportunity Program was established in 1969 by The New York State Legislature (Section 6451 and 6452 of the Education Law) to "expand educational opportunity at independent colleges and universities in New York State." The Bureau of Higher Education Opportunity Programs/ State Education Department awards grants, in their words: to subsidize programs of academic support for students who are both educationally and economically disadvantaged. Program funds are used to test and recruit prospective students and then for counseling, tutoring, and special academic courses and workshops for enrolled students. Funds also provide supplemental student financial assistance and administrative costs for services. HEOP's success is the result of the dedication and commitment of the staff of the Bureau of Higher Education Opportunity Programs, the independent colleges and universities that provide academic and fiscal resources to support the program, the campus educators and other professionals who work directly with HEOP students, and the motivation and hard work of the students themselves. (source: HEOP Still Works!! ed. Frank Whelan Smith, Albany, New York: HEOP-PO, 1996, p.3).

There are well over 30,000 HEOP graduates from all statewide colleges and universities.