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Celebrating 50 Years of EOP

As a reaction to the Civil Rights movement and student activism in the late 1960s, the Educational Opportunity Program was created in 1969.


Senate Bill 1072

Since construction began in 1965 and the first classes were taught in 1970, it can be argued that CSUB and EOP grew together out of the same movement--an expansion of educational opportunities for all the people of the Southern San Joaquin Valley.

California State College Bakersfield First Classes September 1970

The first step in establishing EOP at what was then called "CSB" or Cal State Bakersfield, was to hire a Director. The first Director, Track Coach Charlie Craig, remembers when the buildings were still being constructed on campus: 'The guys would hit the nails in the studs and water would spray out, the 2x4s were so new."  

EOP first Director at CSUB,Charlie Craig

In 1985, CSUB established its own Summer Bridge Program after pilot summer programs that visited other CSU campuses. This photo is the first cohort of Summer Bridgers from 1985, and the tradition has continued for nearly 35 years.

Photo of the 1985 Summer Bridge participants

Many of the lessons learned in Summer Bridge in the 1980s are still applicable today. In the below image, students in 1989 were asked the obstacles they anticipate facing in college. The list includes a lack of money, a lack of support, new priorities, bad grades, lack of transportation, and indecisiveness. Unfortunately, little has changed for first-generation students in the past 30 years, and the need for EOP and Summer Bridge is as great as ever.

Photo showing Summer Bridge 1989

Summer Bridge 2019, in the 50th year of EOP, will be the 35th Summer Bridge at CSUB. As we say in EOP: "Often imitated, never replicated," Summer Bridge will continue to be the primary vehicle for granting access to EOP students and preparing them for the rigors of University study. For another 50 years, if necessary...as long as injustice and educational disparities plague our most vulnerable populations.

Students in a group photo in Summer Bridge 2015


First EOP Graduates, 1976

First EOP Graduates, 1976

An early EOP Recognition Ceremony, circa 1978

An early EOP Recognition Ceremony, circa 1978

Student participants in Summer Bridge 1987

Summer Bridge 1987