Yakima Valley College recently received a $2.1 million federal grant to help support the region's migrant and seasonal farm working students. The College Assistance Migrant Program, or CAMP, is funded via the U.S. Department of Education and works with migrant or seasonal farmworkers and their children in completing their first year of college at YVC. CAMP Director Ilda Guzman says the program offers resources not typically provided to students.

"Anything related to budget management, time management, financial literacy, accessing resources within the community and within the institution. There's tutoring services that are provided for those students to keep them academically abreast in their discipline. Students are [also] provided with access to technology and textbooks."

Students in the CAMP program will also have an advisor to help develop an education plan for their first year of study. As students near completion of their first year, retention specialists will also meet with them to develop a plan to prepare them for their second year of study. Guzman added that when students don't have access to advising, it takes them longer to complete their first year of college and beyond.

"What this does is it really enhances the inherited skills and experiences of migrant and seasonal farm working students. There's really a communal and family-oriented way of which students go through this program. It's really taking what students bring with them and building upon that so that they can enhance their academic, personal, and career goals and aspirations."

Students will also receive a stipend for training they participate in while they are in the program. The CAMP grant will support 40 students in each of the next five years.

Here is the student eligibility:

  • They or their immediate family members have engaged in migrant season farm work for at least 75 days within the last 24 months
  • They have participated or been eligible to participate in the Title 1C Migrant Education Program (MEP)
  • Has qualified for the Workforce Investment ACT 167 Program (WIA 167), formerly the High School Equivalency Program (HEP)

For more information about CAMP at YVC, contact E-mail Ilda Guzmán or call (509) 882-7070.

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