Arnold L. Mitchem

President of the Council for Opportunity in Education

Dr. Arnold Mitchem, President of the Council for Opportunity in Education, has been a voice for low-income, first-generation students and individuals with disabilities his entire career.

Thanks to his work, the federally funded TRIO Programs (the largest discretionary program in the U.S. Department of Education) have expanded by nearly 400 percent and now serve more than 872,000 students at 1,200 colleges and universities.

Dr. Mitchem graduated from the University of Southern Colorado in 1965. Before receiving his Ph.D. in Foundations of Education at Marquette University in 1981, he studied European History as a Woodrow Wilson Fellow at the University of Wisconsin.

He began his career on the History faculty at Marquette University in Milwaukee. In 1969 he was named Director of the Educational Opportunity Program at Marquette, serving in that role until 1986, when he relocated to Washington, D.C. to represent low-income and disabled students nationally. Dr. Mitchem is the first and only President of the Council for Opportunity in Education.

Dr. Mitchem is a member of the Executive Committee of the European Access Network as well as a former Trustee of the College Board, and Past-President of the Committee for Education Funding, a Washington-based coalition of national education associations. He currently serves on the Board of Trustees of Marquette University. Most recently, he was awarded the Marquette University Alumnus of the Year Award.

Dr. Mitchem has been awarded Honorary Doctorates from ten universities: CUNY-Lehman College in New York; DePaul University; University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana; University of Liverpool, England, Marquette University; Marycrest College ; University of Massachusetts at Boston; Lewis University; St. Joseph University in Philadelphia; and St. Louis University.