On October 1, 2013, Maureen Hoyler assumed the position of President of the Council for Opportunity in Education, a nonprofit organization that provides professional development, program improvement, and advocacy for nearly 2,800 federally funded college opportunity programs at more than 1,000 colleges and universities nationwide. Ms. Hoyler has been a voice for low-income, first-generation students and individuals with disabilities. As President, she oversees management of the Washington office and the fiscal affairs of the Association also while serving as the primary liaison between the Association and the United States Congress, the Executive Branch, all Governmental Agencies. She is the official representative of the Association with all other postsecondary educational associations.
Under her leadership, the Council has launched several new initiatives, including the Executive Leadership Institute for College Opportunity Professionals, which brings educational opportunity chapter leaders to institutions such as Princeton, Cornell, and Yale for instruction in various topics such as transformational leadership and public policy as well as provides on-going mentorship by highly experienced college access and success leaders. Hoyler also spearheaded the creation of the First-Generation College Celebration, during which hundreds of campuses recognize their first-generation students and faculty on the anniversary of the signing of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (November 8). She has brokered partnerships with corporations such as Comcast to promote careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) for underrepresented students.
Hoyler began her career at the Educational Opportunity Program at Marquette University as an assistant to the then Director, Dr. Arnold Mitchem. Ms. Hoyler moved to Washington in 1981 to establish the Council’s office. As the organization’s Chief Operating Officer, she has played an integral role in the growth of the organization over the past 33 years, starting from a staff of one full-time professional. Ms. Hoyler has lectured widely on federal law and regulations. Over the years, she has received numerous awards from TRIO-based associations. She received her B.A. and her law degree from Marquette University from Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Dr. Arnold Mitchem, President Emeritus of the Council for Opportunity in Education, has been a voice for low-income, first-generation students and individuals with disabilities his entire career. Thanks to his work, the federally funded TRIO Programs have expanded by nearly 400% and now serve more than an estimated 790,000 students at 1,000 colleges and universities.
He began his career on the History faculty at Marquette University in Milwaukee and was named the Director of the Educational Opportunity Program in 1969. He relocated to Washington, D.C., in 1986 to serve as President of the Council for Opportunity in Education until October 2013.
Dr. Mitchem has been awarded Honorary Doctorates from eleven universities — Lehman College; DePaul University; University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana; University of Liverpool, Marquette University; Marycrest College; University of Massachusetts Boston; Lewis University; St. Joseph's University; Saint Louis University; and SUNY Buffalo State.