Ball Named Board Chair-Elect of Council for Opportunity in Education

Trent Ball

Trent Ball

Zalite Serving as Regional Finance Chair

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., Nov. 21, 2014 – Trent Ball, associate dean of students and director of student retention at Southeast Missouri State University, has been named board chair-elect of the Council for Opportunity in Education (COE).

He begins his new duties in December at the organization’s winter board meeting.

COE is a nonprofit, national organization, established in 1981, dedicated to expanding college opportunities for low-income, first-generation students, veterans and students with disabilities throughout the United States. Its membership includes more than 1,000 colleges and agencies. The Council works in conjunction with colleges, universities, and agencies that host Federal TRIO Programs (TRIO) to specifically help low-income students enter college and graduate.

TRIO are federal outreach and student services programs designed to identify and provide services for individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds. TRIO includes eight programs targeted to serve and assist low-income individuals, first-generation college students, and individuals with disabilities to progress through the academic pipeline from middle school to postbaccalaureate programs.

Ball, who has been employed at Southeast since 1995, recently completed a term as past president of the Mid America Association of Educational Opportunity Program Personnel (MAEOPP). He was president of the Missouri, Kansas and Nebraska (MO-KAN-NE) chapter of MAEOPP in 2010 and parliamentarian of MAEOPP in 2011.

MO-KAN-N​E is the three-state chapter of the Mid-America Association of Educational Opportunity Program Personnel (MAEOPP), one of the 10 regional associations in the United States that form the Council for Opportunity in Education (COE). The Council represents TRIO programs nationwide. There are 137 TRIO programs in the MO-KAN-NE service region.

MAEOPP is a consortium of professionals dedicated to leveling the playing field of educational opportunity for first generation, low income, and disabled students. MAEOPP is the representative body of those interested in or professionally involved in broadening accessibility to and success in formal postsecondary education. MAEOPP advocates on behalf of people least likely to enroll in and obtain a college degree, and is a member organization of the Council for Opportunity in Education.

In addition, Valdis Zalite, Southeast TRIO/Student Support Services director, has completed his second year as president of MO-KAN-NE after serving as Missouri State Representative to the chapter from 2008-2010. He is now moving into the role of finance chair for MAEOPP.

“Southeast has been well represented at the state level,” Ball said.

Michael Ignacio, TRIO intake specialist at Southeast, has served as Missouri State Representative to MO-KAN-NE from 2012-2014. India Jeffery, retention specialist for TRIO/Student Support Services, served as a member at large from Missouri to the chapter in 2012-2013 and was an Emerging Leader Institute participant in 2010-2011.

“Now we are on the national stage,” Ball said. “Valdis has been very active in our regional and national advocacy efforts and will work with me on the national level during my chair-elect and chair year with efforts for the 10 states that are MAEOPP – Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Ohio and Wisconsin — the largest region of the country.

“We are excited to be moving from the state and regional stage to the national stage in discussing educational opportunity and equity, advocacy and public educational policy,” Ball said.