Dr. Sari Byerly has been selected to serve a three-year term on the executive Board of Directors for the Council for Opportunity in Education in Washington DC. The Council for Opportunity in Education (COE) is a nonprofit organization, established in 1981, dedicated to furthering the expansion of college opportunities for low-income, first-generation students, and students with disabilities in all 50 states, Washington, D.C., the Pacific Islands, and Puerto Rico. Its membership includes more than 1,000 colleges and agencies. Through its numerous membership services, the Council works in conjunction with colleges, universities, and agencies to help low-income students enter college and graduate. Over a million low-income students and students with disabilities each year receive college access and retention services through our member colleges and agencies. Federal TRIO Programs (Talent Search, Upward Bound, Upward Bound Math/Science, Veterans' Upward Bound, Student Support Services, Educational Opportunity Centers, and the Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program) help students to overcome class, social, academic, and cultural barriers to higher education. TRIO services include — assistance in choosing a college; tutoring; personal and financial counseling; career counseling; assistance in applying to college; workplace and college visits; special instruction in reading, writing, study skills, and mathematics; assistance in applying for financial aid; and academic assistance in high school or assistance to reenter high school or college.
The work of educational opportunity organizations has contributed significant accomplishments. An estimated 5 million students graduating from college; the integration of more than 3,100 TRIO programs into college campuses, serving more than 800,000 students (two-thirds of whom come from families with incomes under $37,650 — family of four); the establishment of performance standards that are subject to specific outcome measures. Each program's continued funding is dependent upon meeting quantifiable objectives related to college entrance and graduation rates; increased national awareness of equal educational opportunity issues and diversity in colleges and universities; and leveraged $1.06 billion in FY 2019 to support TRIO Programs (up from $174.9 in 1985). As mandated by Congress, two-thirds of the students served must come from families with incomes under $37,650, where neither parent graduated from college. More than 3,100 TRIO programs currently serve more than 812,000 low-income students. Many programs serve students in grades six through 12.
Dr. Byerly is the first female from the Northwest region of TRIO programs to serve in this position and the first person from Idaho to have been selected. She will begin her three year term October 1, 2019 and serve through September 30, 2022. During her three-year term she will serve as Board of Directors- Chair elect, Chair, and past Board of Directors Chair.