To demonstrate its commitment to serve under-prepared adults, the State University of New York created four Urban Centers in 1966; which were located in Brooklyn, Manhattan, Albany and Buffalo. These Centers were funded by the Governor and the New York State Legislature to provide tuition-free occupational training and college preparatory programs.
In 1969, seven Cooperative College Centers were also created to offer remedial and introductory college level courses to under-served populations in Buffalo, Mount Vernon, Nassau, Rochester, Syracuse, Westchester and Wyandanch.
In 1973, the Urban Centers and Cooperative College Centers merged to form the more comprehensive Educational Opportunity Centers in Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, Troy, Yonkers, Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Long Island. In that same year, the Schenectady Outreach Center, formerly a satellite of the Center in Troy, became a separate entity. Each of the new Centers offered vocational training, college preparation, and support services, as well as community services for neighborhood residents. There are currently ten Educational Opportunity Centers and two outreach centers in New York State; as EOCs were added in 1985 and 1986 to the boroughs of the Bronx and
In 1997, Brooklyn EOC moved from its original location at 470 Vanderbilt Avenue to downtown Brooklyn at 111 Livingston Street, near the Metrotech and the Brooklyn Bridge.
The BEOC enrolls 1500-2000 students yearly in career programs including: Allied Health, OSHA certification, Security Guard Training and Tourism and Hospitality; and educational programs including: College Preparation, English as a Second Language and High School Equivalency.