2020 Annual Policy Seminar

Monday — Wednesday • March 23-25, 2020 • Online

Highlights from COE’s 2020 Annual Policy Seminar

In 2020, the 39th Annual Policy Seminar was 100% virtual. In order to preserve the health and safety of the TRIO community during the COVID-19 crisis, COE condensed the program into three days of online instruction, conversation and engagement.

Visit the Policy Seminar online app with resources from the broadcast.

The first day, Monday, March 23, featured the Seminar on Relations with the U.S. Department of Education with the traditional, two-day Policy Seminar starting immediately afterwards on Tuesday and Wednesday. At the centerpiece of the final day were virtual Hill Visits with Members of Congress.

Watch video remarks from Senator Jon Tester, Representative Joe Courtney and Representative Mike Simpson.

Here are five of the big takeaways from this year’s event.

  • The U.S. Department of Education and COE want to hear from you. During the ED Seminar, division directors from the Office of Postsecondary Education provided updates and information on how programs can best meet their students’ need now that many institutions — from K-12 through college — have closed due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The TRIO community is encouraged to continuing to submit questions to COE here. Responses to some of your questions asked at the ED Seminar are available here Document is available for download (.xls). We will continually be adding and updating the questions you have asked. The Office of Management and Budget sent out further guidelines for all grant programs Document is available for download (.pdf). Download the Seminar on Relations with the Department of Education 2020 manual here Document is available for download (.pdf).
  • While we discouraged travel to Washington this year, the 2020 Policy Seminar remained focused on Capitol Hill. In response to COVID-19, Congress has already passed two stimulus bills to address the economic downturn, and currently Congress is working on a third and fourth. Team Leaders converted in-person meetings to video or telephone conferences. COE urges teams to email the Congressional staff our Virtual Hill Meeting packet Document is available for download (.pdf). A sample e-mail is available here Document is available for download (.doc). If you were not able to meet virtually, please reach out to reschedule a virtual meeting for the week of April 13.
  • Tuesday featured deep discussion of FY 2021 funding. The request for FY 2021 is a $250 million increase for program year 2021-22. Learn more about what TRIO is asking for via the Virtual Hill Meeting packet Document is available for download (.pdf) and digital Policy Manual Document is available for download (.pdf) in the conference app.
  • Even though all meetings were virtual, legislators and their staff members still took the time to connect with TRIO constituents. As you have your virtual Hill meetings, take photos of yourself on the video or phone conference and use social media to tag and thank the Member of Congress if they support our asks. Use the hashtags #COEPS2020 and #TRIOworks. Member of Congress profiles with social media links and TRIO support are available here.
  • Youth civic engagement activities and programs are critical for empowering young people to develop their skills and talents. For TRIO, 2020 is the Year of Engagement and this year’s Seminar launched a campaign the TRIO student steering committee is leading to call campus peers to action around several themes. View the February Document is available for download (.pdf) and March Document is available for download (.pdf) one-pagers here.

See social distancing selfies, screenshots and other photos from the virtual Policy Seminar on Twitter using the hashtag #COEPS2020.

We hope to see you either online or in-person at the next Council for Opportunity in Education event.