Advocacy Center

A key factor in our students’ success is our community’s ability to advocate successfully. Get the latest news, resources, and helpful information to assist TRIO supporters in advocating for college access and success.

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Policy Seminar 2023

Marching Towards One Million

This year, the Council for Opportunity in Education’s annual Policy Seminar, Sunday, March 19 through Wednesday, March 22, includes three events: the Leadership Summit, the Seminar on Relations with the U.S. Department of Education, and the Legislative Conference. For individuals participating in Policy Seminar, COE strongly encourages online registration via the registration button below. Download the paper registration form here.

Testimonials from past attendees:

  • “Policy Seminar is a game-changer, these advocacy skills are incredibly transferable. These kinds of experiences can totally enhance your professional development–even though they’re kind of intimidating.”
  • “Your attendance at Policy Seminar makes a difference! Even if you are awed by the political process, take the step forward and be willing to use your voice for your students. TRIO has many mentors who would love to help you with the process.”
  • “You will not be disappointed! Policy Seminar is true advocacy in action, visiting the Hill offices as a group is extremely valuable. My favorite COE event!”
  • “Policy Seminar is where you experience firsthand the importance in personally advocating for and providing a voice on behalf of your students!”

With new dynamic content every year, COE’s annual Leadership Summit provides high-quality professional development for all levels of leaders in TRIO. This year’s summit will focus on organizational capacity building and advocacy skills for leaders and include a case study poster session and presentations by state leaders who have completed this year’s Executive Leadership Institute. Whether you are new to TRIO or a seasoned professional, this day-long convening will heighten your skills and expertise at the local, state, regional, and national levels of leadership. For questions about the Leadership Summit, please contact Jen Rudolph at [email protected]

This seminar for college access and success professionals in post-secondary institutions and community agencies provides information about the following: U.S. Department of Educational fiscal and programmatic policies and reporting requirements; the latest information on TRIO regulations; and the outlook for upcoming TRIO grant competitions. For questions about the Seminar on Relations with the U.S. Department of Education, please contact Angelica Vialpando at [email protected]

The capstone feature of COE’s Policy Seminar is the newly rebranded “Legislative Conference,” during which the TRIO community educates Members of Congress, congressional staff, and others about the history and the success of federal college access and success programs. After a day of intense preparation, participants can represent the interests of low-income and first-generation students and students with disabilities through direct engagement with legislators in the policy arena.


Educational opportunity outreach programs motivating and supporting students nationwide

advocacy toolkit

Take Action Now!

The key to TRIO’s success in creating over 5 million first-generation college graduates has been the strength of our community’s advocacy. Be part of our collective effort to fight for more funding to expand access to these life-changing services and programs. Contact your House Representatives and Senators today and tell them that TRIO WORKS!


Contacts List

Let’s remind your Members of Congress that TRIO works!

Use the contact information for all congressional education staffers and schedulers by state and district.


Sample One-Pager

Now is the time to let your students and their stories shine!

Use this sample resource to share the successes of your students and programs with Members of Congress.



COE offers resources to aid your TRIO advocacy.


Get in Touch

Questions? Contact Director of Congressional Affairs Zach Farmer.

Diane Shust

Vice President, Public Policy [email protected]

Zach Farmer

Director, Congressional Affairs
[email protected]

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The United States needs to boost both its academic and economic competitiveness globally.

More than 800,000 low-income, first-generation students and students with disabilities — from sixth grade through college graduation — are served by over 3,100 programs nationally.

TRIO Caucus

Congressional Champions of TRIO

The Congressional TRIO Caucus is a bipartisan group of Members of Congress supportive of the Federal TRIO Programs and higher education access for low-income, first-generation, and disabled students.

about the trio caucus

TRIO Alumni

Here’s how you can get involved

Take action and tell your Member of Congress how TRIO works! The Take Action Now page will allow you to send a message on current TRIO issues in Congress. Use the toolkit below to stay in constant contact with Congress at each point in the appropriations process.


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