Karen Keim, director of the Maine Educational Opportunity Center and Maine Educational Talent Search at the University of Maine, will receive the Walter O. Mason Award from the Council for Opportunity in Education (COE).
The award is the highest honor given by COE and recognizes outstanding contributions to federal TRIO programs and the advancement of educational opportunity for under-resourced and first-generation college students.
The Maine Educational Opportunity Center (MEOC) and Maine Educational Talent Search (METS) are outreach and service programs designed to assist low-income and first-generation students work through the academic pipeline from middle school to postbaccalaureate programs. They are housed in UMaine’s College of Education and Human Development.
MEOC works with adults to assist them in going to college. Advisors work with students to assess academic readiness, provide career counseling and refer them to community resources. They also coordinate efforts with area schools, colleges and other service agencies to provide information and assistance in completing college admission and financial aid forms.
METS works with middle and high school students in seven school districts throughout Maine, many in rural areas, to set high academic expectations, stay in school and take the courses needed to prepare them for college-level studies.
Keim has worked on federal TRIO programs at UMaine for more than 20 years. In addition, she has served on numerous boards and commissions at the state, regional and national level, including the COE board of directors and the New England Educational Opportunity Association.
She will receive the award on September 23 at COE’s annual conference in San Diego.