CWU administrator

Aaron Brown, CWU associate dean for Student Development and Achievement, and Mateo Arteaga at the Council for Opportunity in Education 38th annual conference in Chicago.

Central Washington University’s Mateo Arteaga has been nationally recognized for distinguished service and leadership in helping low-income and first-generation students gain access to a college education, according to news release from the university.

Arteaga, the director of the university’s Educational Opportunity Centers (EOC), received the Walter O. Mason TRIO Lifetime Achievement Award from the Council for Opportunity in Education (COE) during its 38th annual conference in Chicago this past week.

Arteaga leads the EOC’s efforts to provide comprehensive, individualized educational support and guidance to eligible low-income, first-generation students as well as students with disabilities and military veterans and their dependents. He also works to increase the number of adult participants who participate and succeed in higher education.

“I was deeply honored and humbled by this recognition,” Arteaga said. “I wish I could personally thank everyone that I have worked with, including the university’s Student Success staff and others at both CWU and Yakima Valley College that have helped support TRIO-EOC students.”

Arteaga estimated that in his 20 years working in the university’s EOC, he has helped tens of thousands of students benefit from programs such as assistance with adult basic education and GED (General Educational Development) preparation and testing, academic advising, educational and vocational planning, and financial aid.

CWU’s EOC is fully funded through the federal TRIO Programs. Administered by the U.S. Department of Education, the eight TRIO Programs are designed to identify and provide services for individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds.

The honor is named for Walter O. Mason, regarded as one of the creators of TRIO, and is the COE’s highest national honor. COE established the award in 1988 to highlight outstanding educational opportunity professionals who exemplify his sense of leadership and ideals.

Since 1981, the nonprofit COE has worked to expand higher-education opportunities for low-income, first-generation students, and students with disabilities. CWU is one of its more than 1,000 members across all 50 states, Washington, D.C., the Pacific Islands, and Puerto Rico.

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