40th Annual Conference

40 Years of Good Trouble: Equity, Access, and Success • September 12-15, 2021 • Atlanta, GA

40 Years of Good Trouble: Equity, Access & Success


It’s Showtime! Here's How to Join the Online Platform — Even if You're Joining Us In — Person in Atlanta!

For online and in-person participants, COE's virtual Annual Conference is hosted on the virtual conference platform OpenWater. Login using your COE credentials here. All participants can live stream the entire conference or specific sessions via the OpenWater video platform, in virtual meeting rooms powered by Zoom. You must be registered for the 2021 COE annual conference to participate. You will be able to log-in using single sign-on credential to the conference hub. To make the most of your time 'on-site,' take an hour or two before the conference begins to play around in the event hub. Your experience is in your control. 1) Click on the Login button on the top menu to be directed to the login page. 2. Enter the email associated with your registration. Get full instructions here.

An Unmatched Event for College Access Professionals

For college access professionals, attending the Annual Conference is an investment in professional development that will provide more impactful leverage for programs and participants. The conference features discussions on new trends in college access and retention and connects college leaders to proven best practices that will improve local colleges. Attendees come to the Annual Conference to hear new ideas, meet new colleagues and generate renewed energy. The agenda is filled with information to help college access professionals and students become more competitive professionally and personally. Click here Document is available for download (.pdf) to view the tentative schedule of Annual Conference sessions, COE ED Talks and Hot Topic seminars.


The Hyatt Regency Atlanta is now sold out. Please contact our housing agent, A Room With A View, to assist you with overflow hotel options. Representatives will secure the lowest available rates at the best available hotels within walking distance of the Hyatt Regency Hotel. 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 (

Please identify yourself with COE 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.

Maintaining Healthy Environments and Operations at COE’s 40th Annual Conference — Wearing masks is important to prevent the asymptomatic spread of the virus that causes COVID-19. Choosing not to wear a mask puts the health of others and your own health at risk. Masks will be always required for all conference participants and exhibitors when they are not eating or drinking, regardless of vaccination status. Any person who refuses to comply with COE's mask mandate will be removed from the conference venue and will not be issued a refund.

COE strongly encourages all participants to be fully vaccinated at least two weeks prior to the conference. Providing the safest environments for our colleagues at our 40th Annual Conference in Atlanta remains a top priority for the COE. We want participants to feel at ease during the conference. As such, we want to share some important safety protocols with you regarding the in-person event. Read our COVID-prevention protocols at Annual Conference here Document is available for download (.pdf).

Hyatt has also announced its Global Care and Cleanliness Commitment, which focuses on the safety and wellbeing of colleagues and guests in a COVID-19 world and beyond. Read its Cleanliness Commitment here Document is available for download (.pdf).

The dates reserved are from September 12 through 15, but the hotel is holding dates pre- and post-conference dates to accommodate those arriving early for our pre-conference sessions or to see Atlanta! Reservations via COE’s room block at the Hyatt Regency Atlanta must be made no later than August 18. However, the block will close when the room block is full.


COE strongly encourages online registration. Online registration will be available until September 15, 2021.

Volunteer and Help Make Annual Conference a Success! — This year, COE will need about 200 volunteers. COE hopes at least 20 volunteers from each of the 10 regions will come forward. Interested volunteers, select your preference from the available volunteer tasks and timeslots here. COE will confirm your specific duties, times, and contact person as the conference approaches. All volunteers must be registered to participate in the conference in person. Regional presidents, please share this call for volunteers with your constituents. For more information, contact Vanessa Ramirez at (

Special Events

  • Educational Opportunity and National TRIO Achiever Awards (Virtual and On-Site)
  • Walter O. Mason Awards (Virtual and On-Site)
  • Chair’s Reception (On-Site Only)
  • Selective College Fair (Virtual and On-Site)

Fun Run or Walk or Sweating to the Oldies: Three Great Ways to Get Your Morning Started!
Tuesday, September 14
7:00 a.m. - 9:00 a.m. (ET)

Our Annual Conference fun run is a friendly race that involves fitness running or walking with participants taking part for their own enjoyment rather than competition. This year, participants can choose either of the following:

  • 5k Fun Run (loop around nearby Centennial Olympic Park)
  • 2 Mile Walk (head to the park and back)
  • Sweating to the Oldies (in the hotel)

  • All participants will receive a special edition COE Fun Run 2021 hat — whether you run, walk, or just register and stay in bed. Our virtual participants can also send a selfie of themselves working out from wherever they are in the country using #COEAC2021.


    Postmark Deadlines Council Member Non-Member Retiree TRIO Alumni Student
    Early Bird (Ends May 31) $899 $995 $345 $345 $345
    Pre-Registration (June 1 — August 22) $999 $1195 $395 $395 $395
    Registration (August 23 — September 15) $1299 $1495 $395 $395 $395

    Registration prices are the same for both in-person and online participation. After Friday, September 3, COE will assess a $125 fee for modifying your participation format. TRIO alumni rate is for alumni that do not currently work in a TRIO program.

    Dining During the Conference — This year, conference meals (the Chair’s Reception, the Walter O. Mason Awards Luncheon, and the TRIO Achiever’s Luncheon) are included in the registration fee for on-site participants. Conference participants will not need a meal ticket to enter meal events, but they will need to have a conference name badge.

    Disability Access and Accommodations — COE is exploring options to provide closed captioning for participants who may be deaf or hard of hearing. If you require any accessibility accommodations, please contact Angelica Vialpando at (

    Refund Policy — Please note that registration fees are refundable minus a processing charge of $350 for general conference registration and $50 for the pre-conference sessions. Refunds will be remitted via the original method of payment after the conference if written notice of cancellation is received on or before August 22, 2021 No refund requests will be accepted after this date. If you have additional questions, please contact Business and Finance at ( or at (202) 347-7430.

    Purchase Order Payments — These registrations are not confirmed until full payment is received. The deadline for payment is August 22, 2021. COE will not accept purchase order payments on or after August 22, 2021.

    Sponsorship Guide

    For Conference Sponsors — Join us at the 40th COE Annual Conference, 40 Years of Good Trouble: Equity, Access & Success,” for a hybrid virtual and in-person convening of over 2,000 leaders in the educational equity community, including policy makers, educators, and college access and success professionals.

    Your support as a sponsor will help to close education attainment gaps among first-generation and low-income college students. This national forum allows college opportunity professionals to share the latest insights, innovations, and evidence-based best practices. This is a great opportunity to build relationships with professionals in the pre-college and college success sector. Enjoy this rich learning and networking experience and celebrate our 40th anniversary at the Educational Opportunity Dinner where we will honor the achievements of outstanding TRIO alumni. Learn more in the Sponsorship Guide here Document is available for download (.pdf).

    For Educational Opportunity Dinner — This year marks 40 years of “good trouble” at COE! During COE’s 40th anniversary celebration at the Educational Opportunity Dinner on Monday, September 13, we will recognize the National TRIO Achievers—TRIO alumni that have made remarkable progress in their chosen profession. Past honorees include U.S. Senator Raphael Warnock, John Quinones of ABC, Academy Award-winning actress Viola Davis, and former NASA Astronaut Jose Hernandez. This event allows your organization to network with leaders in public policy and research and decision makers in educational services and college success. Come and celebrate with us! Learn more in the Sponsorship Guide here Document is available for download (.pdf).

    Invitation to Exhibit

    Register Today! — Early bird registration prices end soon for exhibit booths and more. Exhibit at the nation’s largest and oldest conference for college access and success professionals nationwide. The Exhibit Hall is available to all conference participants. For more information about exhibits or participating in our Selective College Fair, please contact Patricia Mahomond at ( For more information about exhibit opportunities and for advertising details, download the guide here Document is available for download (.pdf).

    Pre-Conference Sessions

    All-Day Pre-Conference Session — Sunday, September 12, 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Cost $315

    Attendance is capped at the first 30 registrants.

    • Social Justice and STEM (On-Site Only)

    Pre-Conference Sessions — Sunday, September 12, 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., Cost $175

    Participants may only select one pre-conference session. Sessions will not be recorded.

    • Career Preparation: It’s Never Too Soon to Prepare Students for a Selective Career (On-Site Only)
    • Not Just for Elections: Keeping Civic Engagement Front and Center (On-Site Only)
    • Strengthening Your Veterans Upward Bound Program in 2022 (On-Site Only)
    • Strengthening Your Upward Bound Program in 2022 (On-Site Only)
    • Strengthening McNair Program in 2022 (On-Site Only)

    Important Dates

    Deadline for Early Bird DiscountMonday, May 31, 2021
    Deadline for Regular Registration Rates and Paper RegistrationsSunday, August 22, 2021
    Deadline for Online RegistrationsWednesday, September 15, 2021

    Council for Opportunity in Education's 40th Annual ConferenceSunday thru Wednesday, September 12-15, 2021