In November 1971, the executive committee of the California Community College Extended Opportunity Programs and Services Association adopted the "Nickel and Nail" as a symbol of services offered to many community college students.
The story goes that a young man, many years ago in the deep South, was walking down a long, unpaved, dusty road to visit his lady friend. He was all too aware that he had a nickel in his pocket and that his worthiness would be questioned if he were unable to say he were a man of means. He noticed two gnarled horseshoe nails lying on the side of the road, picked them up and put them in his pocket. As he jingled these two objects together with his meager fortune, he walked a bit straighter and with more pride and dignity. Similarly, Extended Opportunity Programs and Services endeavors to enhance self-esteem, foster pride and dignity, and motivate those who the program serves, enabling them to more effectively define and pursue career goals. It is important that they too, have something to "jingle." Further the nails are twisted into a puzzle, suggesting that the complete enigma has yet to be unraveled for helping those who, through social circumstances, have been limited in successfully meeting educational challenges.