COE Weekly Update

Announcement 1: Calling All SSS Programs

Is your college a First Forward Institution? COE partner, NASPA’s Center for First-generation Student Success, launched First Forward, the nation’s first recognition program acknowledging higher education institutions for their commitment to first-generation student success. The application process for the 2020-21 First Forward cohort is now open! Selected institutions will join an elite community of professionals prepared to share evidence-based practices and resources, troubleshoot challenges, generate knowledge, and continue to advance the success of first-generation students across the United States. The deadline to apply is Wednesday, December 18th.

For more details, including virtual meeting dial-in information, please visit


Announcement 2: Registration for COE’s 2020 Policy Seminar Now Open!

COE is thrilled to announce that registration for the 2020 Policy Seminar is now open! This cornerstone event actually consists of four activities:  (1) the National College Opportunity Programs Leadership Summit (“Leadership Summit”) for new and experienced college access and success professionals, which will be on Sunday, March 22; (2) the TRIO Alumni Leadership Forum (“Alumni Forum”), a one-day leadership and networking event designed to re-engage TRIO alumni, which will also take place on Sunday, March 22; (3) the Seminar on Relations with the U.S. Department of Education (“ED Seminar”), which includes remarks from grant agency officials and programmatic roundtables on Monday, March 23; and (4) a two-day advocacy session (formally known as the “Policy Seminar”) which features remarks by key Members of Congress, panels of legislative experts, and advocacy training by COE on Tuesday, March 24 and visits to Capitol Hill on Wednesday, March 25.

Download the Policy Seminar Brochure Here!

This year’s Policy Seminar will take place at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill (400 New Jersey Avenue NW, Washington, DC). Rooming information will be available shortly. In the meantime, to view a preliminary agenda and register for the Leadership Summit, Seminar on Relations on the Department of Education, and Policy Seminar, please visit The early bird deadline for discounted registration is Friday, January 31. To register for the TRIO Alumni Leadership Forum, please visit


 Announcement 3: Communities of Practice Services

All Communities went off-line on November 15, 2019 at 5:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Savings Time for scheduled maintenance.We are working on getting the system back online as soon as possible and will alert the community once the scheduled maintenance is complete. Thank you for your patience.


Announcement 4: Paid Summer Research Positions for College Students

Undergraduate Students

Paid Summer Research Programs — deadlines are fast approaching! has a searchable database of 650+ summer research programs in all STEM disciplines. These are all FULLY FUNDED opportunities including programs sponsored by NSF, NASA, NIH, etc. We also have a selection of resources to help you strengthen your applications:

If you are considering graduate school, search FULLY FUNDED graduate programs in a variety of disciplines, and view resources on applying:

If you need help finding a program that’s a good fit, please feel free to email me at for assistance. You can also follow us on Facebook for program deadlines and updates.


Graduate Students

Search paid summer research programs for graduate students, travel grants, and fellowships – many deadlines fast approaching!

Also, search our postdoc positions and view tips on applying for postdoc positions, here: Sign up for a webinar today and learn how to provide your teachers and students with the skills they need to boost test scores and increase their confidence.


Announcement 5: Applications now open for the COE 2020 Keith Sherin Global Leaders Program in The Hague, Netherlands

COE, ECHO Expertise Center for Diversity Policy, and The Hague University of Applied Sciences will co-sponsor 20 TRIO students for a three-week study abroad experience as part of the Keith Sherin Global Leaders program. The summer 2020 program will take place June 26–July 18, 2020 in The Hague, Netherlands, and applications are due to COE by February 1, 2020. Students must be current participants in TRIO SSS and McNair programs, and the programs must be institutional members of COE. Applications for the program are available by clicking on this link. Cost of the program is $2,700, and a refundable deposit of $500 is due with the application.For more information, please contact Holly Hexter at (202) 347-7430 or (



Announcement 6: CHCI Leadership Experience for Latino High School Students


The Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute has an all-expenses paid leadership experience designed just for Latino high school students. Spend a week exploring Washington, D.C., while creating lasting friendships and wonderful memories. Participate in R2L® NextGen and make this a summer to remember! The application deadline is February 18, 2020 and the program dates are June 14-19, 2020 and July 19-24, 2020. Learn more at

Alexander Wants New Higher Ed Law by End of Year

Alexander Wants New Higher Ed Law by End of Year

by Andrew Kreighbaum

A top staffer for Senator Lamar Alexander, a Tennessee Republican andchairman of the Senate education committee, said Monday that the senator wants to pass a reauthorization of the Higher Education Act before Christmas.

David Cleary, Alexander’s chief of staff, made the comments at an event hosted by the Education Writers Association.

In January 2018, Alexander offered a similarly ambitious timeline, saying he wanted his committee to mark up HEA legislation by April. But after multiple hearings focused on higher education, the Senate never made progress on crafting a bill last year.


Diverse Issues in Higher Education: House Education and Workforce Chair discusses priorities

Diverse Issues in Higher Education: House Education and Workforce Chair discusses priorities

In a half‐hour session Monday afternoon that seemed to pass faster than a New York minute, U.S. Rep. Bobby Scott, D‐Va., spoke and fielded a range of questions about education from about 40 media professionals attending a two‐day Education Writers Association seminar titled “Covering Higher Education’s New Political landscape.”

Read more.

Education Week: U.S. high school grad rate reaches another all‐time high. But what does it mean?

U.S. high school grad rate reaches another all‐time high. But what does it mean?

The U.S. high school graduation rate has risen for yet another year, to a new all‐time high of 84.6 percent. But even as
some celebrated the steady gains in high school completion, others worried that the pace of improvement is slowing,
and that the numbers tell a false story.
New figures released Thursday by the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics show
that 84.6 percent of the students in the class of 2016‐17 earned diplomas in four years. That’s a half‐point better than
in 2015‐16, when the graduation rate was 84.1 percent.  Read more

“: Looking to improve students’ mental health? Ask what they need”

Looking to improve students’ mental health? Ask what they need

By Lily Jackson

As part of its mental-health services, Jefferson Community College offers a food pantry and help with transportation.

Last year Katy Troester-Trate distributed Thanksgiving baskets overflowing with cans of cranberry sauce, dressing and biscuit mixes, green beans, and a gift card for a turkey to students.

Though handing out food may seem outside the usual job description for an interim dean of students, this is just one her many efforts to improve mental health on campus.

Read more


Survey: Employers want “soft skills” from graduates

Survey: Employers Want ‘Soft Skills’ From Graduates

By Jeremy Bauer-Wolf

Employers want college graduates who have “soft skills,” such as being a good listener or thinking critically, but they have difficulty finding such candidates, according to a new report.

The survey was conducted online in September by Morning Consult for Cengage, an educational technology and services company, among more than 500 hiring managers and 150 more human resources professionals. More than 1,500 current and former college students from two- and four-year institutions were also surveyed.

The companies found that the most in-demand talent among employers was listening skills — 74 percent of employers indicated this was a skill they valued. This was followed by attention to detail (70 percent) and effective communication (69 percent).

About 73 percent of the employers said that finding qualified candidates was somewhat or very difficult. Roughly one-third of the employers (34 percent) indicated colleges and universities have not prepared students for jobs.

Read more