It’s Showtime! Here’s How to Join the Virtual Policy Seminar 2021.

March 18, 2021

COE's 40th Policy Seminar is hosted on the virtual conference platform OpenWater. Login using the same email address you used to register at (

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 Policy Seminar to participate. You will be able to log-in using a single sign-on credential to the conference hub. To make the most of your time 'on-site,' take an hour or so before the conference begins to play around in the event hub. Your experience is in your control.

  • 1) Click on the LOGIN menu item at the top of the page to be directed to the login page.
  • 2) Enter the email associated with your registration.
  • 3) Please check your e-mail inbox for login instructions. The platform will automatically send you unique information to access the virtual conference platform and session gallery.
  • 4) Once you click the link in that email, you will be automatically redirected into the session gallery.

The session gallery is your hallway to the conference. Participants and speakers will be able to browse through the schedule and find the session they wish to join. Here's how to find and join a session under the Virtual Sessions menu.

  • 1) Click the title of the session you wish to join.
  • 2) If you arrive early, you'll see the session button will not yet be active. The page will refresh every 15 seconds and will change to 'Join Session' when the meeting room opens, and you can enter.

By default, all participants will be in listen-only mode for most sessions. For some sessions, you will be unable to unmute yourself, however. We encourage participation via the Q&A box during most sessions.

Now that you're in, enjoy! Block off time in your day to attend live and interact with other attendees and have your questions answered directly by the conference speakers. Treat a virtual conference as you would an in-person conference with respect to your calendar and task load. Prioritize the time to be truly present in the experience, engage with the sessions and presenters, and use the Q&A box and other networking tools regularly to connect with other participants.

Experiencing difficulty during the conference? During a session, you can use the chat box if you're having any technical difficulties. If you have any technical difficulties outside of the sessions, contact John Hernandez and Angelica Vialpando at (

Then engage with us on social media using #COEPS2021. Network with more than 900 college access professionals from hundreds of institutions nationwide and share your big ideas during educational sessions, Hill visits and other opportunities on social media using the official hashtag #COEPS2021.

Download the official Policy Seminar virtual background. Zoom's virtual background feature doesn't require a green screen and is handy if you have a messy room you want to hide during a meeting. Make Policy Seminar as fun or professional as you want with our official #COEPS2021 Zoom backgroundsWhite, Red and Blue.

Click here for instructions on how to upload use the virtual background during after-hours networking, Hill visits, and other events when Policy Seminar participants will be on screen.

Please note our community guidelines. Some of the goals of this virtual conference are to encourage strong and mutually beneficial ties between college access professionals and to stimulate interest and enhance involvement through increased opportunities for engagement. In order to meet these, it's important for participants to feel like they are in a safe place that is populated by people with shared interests. As such, we request that you read and adhere to the guidelines that follow.

  • Treat others online as you would treat them in real life. Be tolerant towards others' viewpoints; respectfully disagree when opinions do not align.
  • Communicate with courtesy and respect. Respect the privacy and personal information of other participants.
  • Use messaging/email responsibly. These tools are intended to keep participants in touch with one another, to help facilitate networking and to promote common interests.

By logging onto the conference platform and joining a virtual session, you are considered to be in agreement with the terms and conditions listed above.