Level Up: Unite Voices, Create Change

This year, the Council for Opportunity in Education’s annual Policy Seminar, Sunday, March 17 through Wednesday, March 20, 2024, 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 the Policy Seminar, COE strongly encourages online registration. Download the paper registration form here.

Testimonials from past participants:

  • “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!”

Keeping in theme, this year’s Leadership Summit will provide high quality professional development for all levels of leaders in TRIO to assist them in their efforts to Level UP! This year’s summit will focus on the connection between your efforts and how you can create layers of impact that will enhance your work. Additionally, we will feature 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 provide you with skills and resources to level up your impacts with your participants, in your program, through your state organizations, and within yourselves.

Join our engaging seminar tailored for college access professionals. Get the most up-to-date information from the U.S. Department of Education (ED). Participants can meet senior ED officials from the TRIO division.

Experience the pinnacle of COE’s Policy Seminar: the dynamic Legislative Conference. Join your TRIO community as we passionately enlighten Congress about the remarkable history and achievements of federal college access and success programs. After a day of rigorous preparation, seize the opportunity to advocate for low-income, first-generation, and disabled students directly with legislators in the policy arena. Your voice, your impact!
Free Webinar

Policy Seminar 2024: What Happens, Why It’s Important, and How to Pay For It

January 18, 2024,

This free webinar features TRIO veterans discussing what happens during the Policy Seminar and how you can identify different ways to fund your participation.
Get more info & Register


The Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill is now sold out. Contact A Room With A View to make your reservations.

The conference host hotel, the Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill, located at 400 New Jersey, Avenue, NW, is now sold out. Please contact COE’s housing agent, A Room With A View, to assist you with overflow hotel options. Representatives will secure the lowest rates at the best available hotels within walking distance of the Hyatt Regency hotel. This is a free service for all conference participants. Contact A Room With A View via phone at 1(800) 780-4343, Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. ET; or via e-mail at [email protected].

  • Please identify yourself with COE, stating the dates your require when sending e-mail, and representatives will guide you through an easy process.
  • If cancellations do occur at the Hyatt Regency, representatives will contact you to ask if you wish to transfer back.
  • In addition, if you have a reservation at the Hyatt Regency and wish to cancel it, please call A Room With A View to do so. Instead of canceling the reservation, representatives can transfer it to another attendee by changing the name and credit card on the reservation.


This year, COE’s annual Policy Seminar includes three events: the Leadership Summit, the Seminar on Relations with the U.S. Department of Education, and the Legislative Conference.


Sunday, March 17
  • 9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. — Registration
  • 10:00 a.m.–12:30 p.m. — Welcoming and Opening Plenary
  • 12:30–1:45 p.m. — Brunch Buffet and Executive Leadership Institute Winning Presentations
  • 2:00–4:00 p.m. — Break-out Sessions
  • 4:00–5:00 p.m. — Reception, Executive Leadership Institute Poster Presentations, and Pinning Ceremony
Monday, March 18
  • 8:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m. — Registration
  • 9:00–10:00 a.m. — Remarks from leadership at the U.S. Department of Education, Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Office of Postsecondary Education Amanda Miller (Invited)
  • 10:15–11:30 a.m. — Breakout sessions with U.S. Department of Education program officers
  • 11:45–2:00 p.m. — Luncheon featuring remarks from the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Student Service, Senior Director Gaby Watts (Invited)
  • 2:00–8:00 p.m. — Legislative Conference registration
  • 2:15–3:30 p.m. – Breakout sessions with U.S. Department of Education program officers (continued)
  • 3:45–5:00 p.m. — Professional development sessions with COE (Topics TBD)
  • 6:30–7:30 p.m. – Opening Legislative Conference Session: Level Up: Uniting Voices, Creating Change
  • 7:45–8:30 p.m. — Orientation for Hill Team Leaders
Tuesday, March 19
  • 8:30 a.m.—4:00 p.m. — Registration
  • 9:00–10:00 a.m. — Congressional Staff Panel
  • 10:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m. — Storytelling Skills Development (Interactive)
  • 12:00–2:00 p.m. — Lunch on Your Own
  • 2:00–3:00 p.m. — Remarks from a Member of Congress
  • 4:00–4:15 p.m. — Break
  • 4:15–5:30 p.m. – State Team Meetings
Wednesday, March 20
  • 8:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m. — Visits to Congressional offices
  • 8:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m. — Information Table
  • 4:00–6:00 p.m. – Regional presidents debrief preparation
  • 6:30–7:15 p.m. — Debriefing and rally


Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill
400 New Jersey Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20001
(202) 737-1234
Fax: (202) 737-5773

Make hotel reservations here via hyatt.com or by calling 1-877-803-7534 and using the group code G-CO34.


Review this document to understand how the cost of the Policy Seminar (ED Seminar and Legislative Conference) breaks down for members and nonmembers.

For Members
$1, 025
For Nonmembers
Full-price registration begins on Saturday, February 10, 2024.

Additional Registrations

For TRIO Alumni*
For Retirees
*Alumni rates are available to TRIO alumni NOT currently employed by a TRIO program. Download the paper alumni registration form here.
Maura Casey

How to Cover the Cost of Policy Seminar

The meetings on Capitol Hill are crucial for the continued growth and success of TRIO programs. They are among the most rewarding activities of the conference.
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Registration Instructions and Deadlines

For individuals participating in Policy Seminar, online registration at coenet.org is strongly encouraged. Online registrants will receive an immediate receipt.

All registrations not completed online must include a credit card payment, check, or purchase order to be accepted.

The registration fees include all conference sessions and materials. The cost for the Seminar on Relations with the U.S. Department of Education provides coffee and rolls in the morning, plus a luncheon. The price for the Leadership Summit includes brunch.

Special Discounts

If you attended last year’s Legislative Conference and bring a newcomer this year, the newcomer can register for half their regular registration rate (member or non-member). These registration forms must be submitted by email at the same time. There is no online registration option for this special offer. Download the paper registration form here.

  • IMPORTANT NOTE: This half-price discount applies only if you register for Legislative Conference. Suppose you register for the Legislative Conference and the Seminar on Relations with the U.S. Department of Education. In that case, the half-price discount will only be applied to the Legislative Conference portion. If you bring a member of your institution’s Government Relations staff or campus institutional leadership, their registration for the Legislative Conference only is also half of their regular registration price. This does not include the Seminar with the Department of Education. Registration for this special discount must be submitted by email to [email protected]—there is no online registration for this special offer.

Refund Policy

Registration fees paid in advance are refundable (less the processing fee of $250) if written notice of cancellation is received/faxed on or before Thursday, February 29, 2024. Refund requests will only be accepted before this date. All refunds will be made after the seminars. Return by mail to Council for Opportunity in Education; P.O. Box 742282; Atlanta, GA 30374; or by email to [email protected].

Get in Touch

Questions? Contact Vice President for Public Policy Diane Shust at [email protected].

Diane Shust

Vice President, Public Policy [email protected]

Owen Toomey

Director, Congressional Affairs [email protected]

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