MACON, Ga. — The Mercer University Educational Opportunity Center has received a renewal grant of $1.86 million from the United States Department of Education to continue to provide information and counsel to individuals wanting to expand their education beyond high school. The grant to Mercer, which will be distributed over four years, was one of only three awarded to educational institutions in Georgia.
“This grant renewal is another indication of Mercer’s commitment to helping young people pursue higher education in Central Georgia,” said Mercer University President William D. Underwood. “Mercer’s Educational Opportunity Center has enabled thousands of adults and high school students realize their dream of post-secondary education.”
The grant takes effect Sept. 1 and funds the Center’s outreach to U.S. citizens living in an eight-county area around Macon. It allows the Center to continue to provide a range of free services, including GED preparation, referral services and tutoring to adults and high school students. The Mercer Center provides free counseling and information on college admissions to adults and some high school students, assisting with admissions to colleges as well as technical and vocational schools. The Center also counsels participants on financial aid options and assists in the aid application process. The Center maintains partnerships with a number of Central Georgia entities, including Central Georgia Technical College, the Houston County Board of Education and the Georgia Division of Family and Children Services.
The Mercer Educational Opportunity Center began in 1988 as a part of the University’s ongoing efforts to support the Central Georgia community. Today, with a nine-member staff operating offices in Macon and Warner Robins, the Center serves more than 2,000 people per year. The goal of Center is “to increase the number of adult participants who enroll in postsecondary education institutions.”
The good news builds upon the Center’s recent successes, including a recent “Outstanding” rating following an audit by the Department of Education last year, said Michelle Currie, whose office overseas the Center.
“We were ecstatic when we heard the news of the renewal,” Currie said. “The grant process was very rigorous, but this renewal means that our program will continue to offer much needed services to the people of Central Georgia.”
About Mercer University:
Founded in 1833, Mercer University is a dynamic and comprehensive center of undergraduate, graduate and professional education, the University has 7,300 students; 11 schools and colleges – liberal arts, law, pharmacy, medicine, business, engineering, education, theology, music, nursing and continuing and professional studies; major campuses in Macon and Atlanta; four regional academic centers across the state; a university press; teaching hospitals in Macon and Savannah; an educational partnership with Warner Robins Air Logistics Center in Warner Robins and Piedmont Healthcare in Atlanta; an engineering research center in Warner Robins; a performing arts center in Macon; and a NCAA Division I athletic program. For more information, visit www.mercer.edu.