Our association consist of six chapters:  Arizona, Central California (CenCal), Nevada, Northern California (NorCal), Pacific Island (PIC) and Southern California (SoCal).


  • To establish a community of communication, coordination, and professional development among educational equity personnel.

  • To advocate for continued financial and legislative support at the federal, state, and local levels for educational programs working with economically and  educationally disadvantaged persons and persons with disabilities.

  • To monitor local, state and federal legislation, regulation, policies, and procedures affecting educational opportunity.

  • To promote and engage in research and evaluation which will enhance the effectiveness of programs and personnel providing educational opportunities.

  • To provide technical assistance, resources, and expertise for educational equity programs.

  • To promote the success and public value of educational equity programs, its students and personnel.

2003At WESTOP's Annual Conference in Hawaii, the WESTOP membership voted to recognize the newly created Central California Chapter (CenCal).

2008 - WESTOP Board developed a 5-year Strategic Plan (2009-2014). WESTOP Board of Directors (BOD) held their first board meeting in Palau.

WESTOP has had a trailblazing legacy of strength, leadership and commitment to represent the concerns and needs of TRiO students and educational equity issues in our region. We continue to face numerous challenges: the uncertainty of receiving substantial funding; delays in grant competitions; many campuses and states that are coping with unprecedented budget shortfalls which have resulted in work furloughs and implementing the new HEOA regulations. As in the past, we have managed to come together and advocate for educational access on behalf of our students. It is vital for WESTOP to strengthen its advocacy partnerships and educational alliances regionally and nationally to get through these challenging times.

WESTOP's membership is comprised of educational personnel from the states of Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada and the Pacific Islands of American Samoa, Guam, the Federal States of Micronesia, the Republic of Palau, the Republic of the Marshall Islands and the Common Wealth of the Northern Marianas.

1976A small group of TRIO project directors convened in Long Beach to begin the process of writing a constitution and by-laws for what was originally called the Association of TRIO project Directors of Region IX.


To create and develop educational professionals who are able to advocate and provide educational opportunities for those who are underserved.

Our objectives

1975 - Dr. Ratliff agreed to coordinate regular meetings of Upward Bound Directors in Southern California.

The Western Association of Educational Opportunity Personnel (WESTOP) is one of ten regional associations dedicated to furthering educational opportunities for low-income, first-generation and disabled students.

1979Lake Tahoe was selected as the site and the first conference of WESTOP was held in February. 

Western Association of Educational Opportunity Personnel