Del Mar College receives nearly $1.2 million U.S. Education Department Educational Opportunity Centers Program grant


Five-year award will support College’s TRIO Educational Opportunity Center and serve 850 students each year 

A U.S. Department of Education grant will help eligible students to begin or resume their postsecondary education. Del Mar College (DMC) was recently selected for the department’s competitive Educational Opportunity Center (EOC) Program grant with the award totaling $1,160,250 over the next five years. The grant runs through Sept. 30, 2026. 

Del Mar College

The College’s TRIO Educational Opportunity Center will receive $232,050 each year to assist 850 students annually through the programs supported by the funds, including DMC Student Support Services and the Veterans Upward Bound program. TRIO refers to the U.S. Education Department’s three programs––Student Support Services, Talent Search and Upward Bound––for which DMC offers two with its Upward Bound program targeting veterans.  

“No matter whether students want to pursue a GED, vocational, technical or college- or university-level education, these funds will assist eligible students with reaching their goals,” said Patricia Benavides-Dominguez, Interim Vice President for Student Affairs. “Getting individuals into higher education or assisting them with resuming what they’ve started can be life-changing, and the grant gives Del Mar College the ability to provide services to more students who can benefit from the TRIO programs we offer.”

The College’s TRIO Programs are federal outreach and student services programs designed to identify and assist individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds––usually low-income, first-generation college students and individuals with disabilities––to help them progress through the academic pipeline. Overall, the goal is to increase the number of adult participants who enroll in postsecondary education institutions and increase retention and graduation rates.

Del Mar College’s EOC will provide career guidance, tutoring, mentoring, financial aid advising, college admissions assistance, testing workshops and coordination with other higher education institutions for transfer opportunities.  

DMC Student Support Services facilitates a climate of supportive academic success and personal enrichment through proactive and individual services available to students from their first semester through graduation. The College’s Veterans Upward Bound program provides U.S. military veterans with supportive services that will ensure they have the motivation and skills to enter and graduate from a post-secondary institution. Services parallel those provided by Student Support Services, but veteran students also receive an explanation and assistance with their Veterans Administration educational benefits, among other veteran-specific services. 

Both programs fall under the College’s Division of Student Engagement and Retention.

Among criteria for these programs are:

  • age 19 or older, 
  • U.S. citizen, national permanent resident or eligible non-citizen, 
  • resident of Nueces, Refugio or San Patricio County, 
  • does not hold a four-year college degree, 
  • expressed desire to enroll or is enrolled in an adult education program or a program of postsecondary education, 
  • demonstrated academic need, and 
  • meets two or more of the following eligibility requirements: 
  • low-income per established TRIO definition 
  • first-generation in college 
  • documented disability
  • Veteran

Individuals interested in attending Del Mar College and believe they are eligible for one of these programs can contact:

Veterans Upward Bound Offices at 361-698-1035 (Heritage Campus at Baldwin Blvd. and Ayers St., Room 174 in the Harvin Student Center) or 361-698-2648 (Windward Campus at Old Brownsville and Airport Rds., Room 204 in Health Sciences Bldg. #2)

Student Support Services at 361-698-1277 (Student Engagement and Retention Office, Room 204, Harvin Student Center on Heritage Campus at Baldwin Blvd. and Ayers St.) 

Admissions, advising and registration for Del Mar College’s Spring 2022 Semester is currently underway. For more details about processes, visit or contact the DMC Student Enrollment Center at 361-698-1290 or  

Various registration periods and tuition and fee payment deadlines run through mid-January. DMC credit courses begin Tuesday, Jan. 18.