Annual Conference 2023

COE’s 2023 Annual Conference took place September 10-13 in Washington, D.C. at the Washington Hilton.

For college access professionals, attending the annual conference was an investment in professional development that will provide more impactful leverage for programs and participants. The conference featured discussions on new trends in college access and retention and connects college leaders to proven best practices that will improve local colleges. Professionals came to the annual conference to hear new ideas, meet new colleagues, and generate renewed energy. The agenda was filled with information to help college access professionals and students become more competitive professionally and personally.

Maura Casey

Isabel Wilkerson’s Powerful Address on America’s Caste System Opens the 2023 COE Annual Conference

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Isabel Wilkerson delivered a powerful keynote address at the 2023 Annual Conference of the Council for Opportunity in Education, discussing the deep-rooted issues of caste and discrimination in America, drawing parallels with historical events and emphasizing the collective responsibility to address and rectify these systemic challenges.
Read More
Maura Casey

COE’s Incoming President Highlights TRIO’s Resilience and Future at Annual Conference

Kimberly Jones, the incoming president of COE, shared an update at the annual conference, highlighting the resilience of the TRIO movement despite funding challenges. While the Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2023 maintained level funding for TRIO programs, Jones emphasized the importance of grassroots efforts and addressed potential challenges arising from debates around diversity and equity.
Read More
Maura Casey

Long-Time TRIO Professionals Honored with 2023 Walter O. Mason Awards

At the 2023 COE Annual Conference, three TRIO professionals were honored with the Walter O. Mason Award, COE’s highest honor, recognizing their outstanding contributions to college opportunity programs and educational equity for low-income, first-generation students, and students with disabilities. This prestigious award celebrates their dedication to transforming lives and advancing educational excellence.
Read More
Maura Casey

2023 National TRIO Achiever Awards: Honoring the Journeys and Impact of Distinguished Alumni

Five outstanding TRIO alumni were honored with the 2023 National TRIO Achiever Awards at COE’s annual conference. Cheryl L. Johnson, James T. Brett, Fernando Cárdenas, Lesia Crumpton-Young, and Ruben Canedo shared inspiring stories of how TRIO programs like Upward Bound played a pivotal role in their success, emphasizing the importance of investing in education and advocating for programs like Head Start, Talent Search, and Student Support Services to provide greater returns than taxpayer dollars spent on juvenile detention facilities.
Read More
Download the agenda and review your course through an extraordinary Annual Conference experience.

$42 for 42 Years of Service Campaign

A Celebration in Honor of the retirement of Maureen Hoyler

In honor of Maureen Hoyler’s remarkable 42 years of service, the Council for Opportunity in Education invites you to participate in our special fundraising campaign. Help us recognize the retirement of our esteemed President and leave a lasting impact on the future of educational equity for first-generation and low-income students and students with disabilities. Your generous $42 donation will help us continue her legacy, supporting the education and dreams of those who need it most. You may donate using the link below or download the paper form here.

donate here
Maura Casey

The President and First Lady of Palau Recognized with the 2023 TRIO Family Achievement Award from the Council for Opportunity in Education

At the Council for Opportunity in Education’s annual conference, the 2023 TRIO Family Achievement Award was presented to President Surangel S. Whipps Jr. and First Lady Valerie Ngereblungt Remengesau Whipps of the Republic of Palau, who both participated in the Upward Bound program at Palau Community College. The award recognizes the transformative impact of TRIO on individuals and families, highlighting how it prepared the Whipps for leadership roles, and President Whipps shared his personal journey from Upward Bound to the presidency, emphasizing the program’s motivational and confidence-building aspects.
Read More
Maura Casey

Building Strong College-to-Career Pathways for TRIO Students: Insights from Industry Experts

TRIO professionals aim to bridge the gap between college and career success for students, particularly in light of a recent Harvard study revealing that 40 percent of college graduates end up in jobs not requiring a bachelor’s degree. Strategies like personal mentoring, goal-focused mentoring, and improving diversity in college programs can help students transition into successful careers. It’s crucial for colleges to reassess their programs and address roadblocks hindering diversity and career readiness in fields like nursing and STEM to ensure a smoother college-to-career transition.
Read More
Maura Casey

From TRIO to the Halls of Congress: U.S. Representative Steven Horsford’s Inspirational Journey

Pamela Horsford’s journey from Trinidad to the U.S. and her son, Congressman Steven Horsford’s, rise from adversity to Congress were highlighted at the annual conference. TRIO played a pivotal role in Steven’s path, showcasing the power of TRIO in empowering individuals to overcome challenges and become leaders like him, as emphasized by moderator Henry Bonilla and Georgia Senator Raphael Warnock, both TRIO alumni.
Read More

Upcoming Events

We’re bringing together students, families and TRIO professionals to further the expansion of college opportunities for low-income, first-generation students and students with disabilities by offering courses, webinars, works and more.

Support Us

If you are a student support services professional, thank you. You are an unsung hero for all the good that you do, and surely you know by now that COE has your back.



Through strategic collaborations, we work to strengthen quality, opportunity and access to education for all American students — the next generation of global leaders.

partner with us

Join Us

Join more than 1,000 colleges and community agencies committed to postsecondary opportunity for low-income, first-generation students, students with disabilities in all 50 states, Washington, D.C., the Pacific Islands, and Puerto Rico!

become a member