In 1969, Senate Bill 164 was enacted into law, establishing Extended Opportunity Programs and Services (EOPS) within the California Community Colleges system. This action came about as a direct result of the civil rights activities and social unrest witnessed throughout the 1960s.
The first EOPS programs were established in Spring 1970 at 46 community colleges. Today, there are 113 EOPS programs funded in 72 districts throughout the community colleges system Merced College's EOPS has been operational since 1978.
The primary goal of EOPS is to encourage the enrollment, retention and transfer of students handicapped by language, social, economic and educational disadvantages, and to facilitate the successful completion of their goals and objectives in college. EOPS offers academic and support counseling, financial aid and other support services.
EOPS’ mission, in collaboration with instruction, instructional support units, student services, and external constituents is to facilitate very low-income and historically underrepresented students’ goal attainments be they Career & Technical Education programs (CTE), or Associate transfer degrees by helping remove language, social, and economic barriers to success.