31st Annual CAEOP Conference Examines Past and Current Educational Landscapes

The 31st annual CAEOP Conference was held on October 13, 2017 at Goodwin College in East Hartford, CT. Over 60 TRIO and Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) professionals attended the event. This year’s theme was The Changing Landscape of Access and Retention, which focused on remembering TRIO/EOP history as we face today’s challenges in supporting first-generation, low-income students’ quests for college access and success.

The keynote speaker was Marian Belgrave-Howard, co-founder and first president of the New England Educational Opportunity Association, CAEOP’s regional parent organization. Kimberly Jones, Vice-President for Public Policy and Communication at the Council for Opportunity in Education, CAEOP’s national parent organization, presented a brief TRIO history and provided members with legislative updates as they relate to TRIO. Workshop sessions included: TRIOz: Academic Recovery for Struggling Generation Z TRIO Students; Best Practices in Supporting Undocumented Students; Preparing Students for a Future STEM Career; First Generation in the Workplace; and GEAR UP and NVCC Academic Division Collaboration Program.

Three institutions were recognized for 50 years of promoting educational access, retention, and opportunity for populations traditionally underrepresented in higher education: The University of Connecticut Center for Academic Programs (CAP), CONNTAC EOC, Inc., and Wesleyan University. CAEOP awarded two TRIO/EOP alumni with Achiever Awards: Dr. Joanne Leon, a licensed clinical social worker and faculty and chair of the Social Work Department  at Central Connecticut State University, is an alumna of CCSU’s EOP program; Aneela Shah is a UConn Upward Bound alumna who currently is director of Bulkeley High School’s (Hartford) College and Career Center.

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