State Leadership

National College Opportunity Programs Leadership Summit

Are you looking for an opportunity to expand your professional network, enhance your leadership skills, learn about state and federal TRIO initiatives, and develop tools for professional engagement? Inspiring present and future leaders is essential for developing our TRIO community and the National College Opportunity Programs Leadership Summit embodies this necessity. This cornerstone event occurs each year prior to COE's Annual Policy Seminar and gathers State/Regional leadership, Emerging Leaders, Alumni and Experienced Professionals to develop leadership skills and form quality professional connections. Check back soon for more information about the next Leadership Summit.

COE Executive Leadership Institute for College Opportunity Professionals

Since 2017, COE has partnered with a highly selective institution to host upcoming leaders of its state and, as appropriate, regional affiliate associations for a four-day Executive Leadership Institute. This experience provides invited college access and success professionals with the opportunity to engage in lectures, workshops, and facilitated exercises designed to strengthen their leadership skills at both the state and institutional levels. The curriculum includes topics such as effective leadership, communications, and negotiation strategies; team-building; increasing and leveraging social capital on college campuses; and influencing state and federal policy to advance the interests of low-income, first-generation students. At the same time, the Executive Leadership Institute provides the host institution with the opportunity to showcase its offerings — both financial and non-financial — that support the enrollment, retention, and graduation of the very students that these college access and success professional serve.

The first Executive Leadership Institute took place at Princeton University in 2017. The second event took place at Cornell University in 2018. In 2019, Yale University hosted the Executive Leadership Institute.

State Leadership Community of Practice

The Communities of Practice State Leadership page is a central location for all state/chapter association Presidents, President-Elects, and other future or experienced leaders to network with each other, share resources and best practices, and promote the distribution of timely information from the state and regional associations. Click here and join the conversation in the State Leadership Community of Practice today!

Paul T. Spraggins State Initiative Grants

The Paul T. Spraggins State Initiative Grants are awarded to select state/chapter associations of COE affiliates bi-annually to promote activities across the country that will help state/chapter associations build their capacity to advocate for college access and success programs serving low-income, first-generation students. Learn about the May 2019 Spraggins State Initiative Grant winners here.

Examples of past grant-funded projects include:

  • Emerging Leaders Institute activities and support.
  • Hosting a TRIO Day celebration.
  • Expansion of Professional Development offerings.
  • Developing a media relations plan.
  • Hiring a state advocacy consultant.

Grant awards of up to $500 are available for state/chapter associations.

Applications for a Spraggins Grant must include:

  • Completed application form Document is available for download (.pdf) including a commitment from the respective Regional Association to provide at least $500 in matching funds; and a Regional Association President’s signature (or his/her designee’s signature).
  • A project narrative with budget and evaluation methods (not to exceed 2 pages).
  • Completed checklist.

Prior awardees who have failed to submit a follow-up report Document is available for download (.doc) to State Initiatives Director, Jen Rudolph, will not be considered.


  • The State Leadership Committee accepts applications on a rolling basis.
  • The committee reviews and determines which applications are funded twice a year.
  • The application deadlines are May 1 and December 1 of each year.
  • Applicants are notified of grant status by June 1 and January 1, respectively.
  • Award checks are sent by COE to regional treasurers within two months of grant award notification.
  • Follow-up reports from awardees are due within 30 days of project completion.

Regional Presidents should submit approved Requests for Proposals to State Initiatives Director, Jen Rudolph, at ( Please ensure that the grant application form and checklist are entirely filled out before submitting.

To assist applicants in writing competitive applications the State Leadership Committee’s scoring rubric is available here. In addition, past awardee applications may be found in the State Leadership Community of Practice. Please contact Jen Rudolph at ( if you have any problems accessing the State Leadership Community.