Adams State launches College Assistance Migrant Program
Adams State University was awarded a five-year grant of $2.1 million by the U.S. Department of Education to create a College Assistance Migrant Program (CAMP). CAMP aims to improve access to and success in higher education for those whose families perform migrant or seasonal agricultural work, according to CAMP Director Pete Gomez.
Adams State CAMP Director Pete Gomez
The program launched July 1, and is available to qualified students for the coming fall semester, which begins August 25, 2014. CAMP participants will receive financial aid and stipends to completely cover tuition, fees, and housing for the first year, according to Gomez.
"We've hit the ground running," said Gomez. He and CAMP Recruitment & Retention Specialist Miguel Chaparro have already visited several locales throughout the state. "The great part about CAMP is it includes individuals from families that are migrant and/or seasonal farmworkers, which means it is available to those whose families work seasonally in the potato warehouses or doing other agricultural work in the San Luis Valley, the eastern slope, and western slopes. I believe it's going to open a lot of doors for locals and families."
The CAMP grant supports three primary goals:
- Student outreach and recruitment
- Academic and student support services
- Financial support for students
According to Eric Carpio, Adams State assistant vice president for Enrollment Management, CAMP will identify eligible students by coordinating with Migrant Education Programs throughout Colorado and the region, Bueno HEP GED programs, high school counselors and teachers, and other programs and agencies that work with migrant students.
- To be eligible for CAMP, students must meet one of the three following criteria:
The student must have participated in or been eligible to participate in a school Migrant
Education Program (MEP).
- The student or an immediate family member of the student must have been a migrant whose employment required travel that prevented him or her from returning to his or her home within the same day, or a seasonal farmworker who worked for at least 75 days within the past 24 months performing qualifying agricultural work.
- The student must have participated in or been eligible to participate in a National Farmworker Jobs Program (NFJP) enacted to provide employment services specifically for migrant or seasonal farmworkers and their families.
CAMP participants must also:
- Meet Adams State University admission requirements
- Be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident
- Be a high school graduate or GED recipient
- Enroll as a full-time student (minimum of 12 credit hours per semester)
Gomez said the program intends to enroll 30 first-year CAMP students per year, for a total of 150 students over the life of the grant. It also entails providing staff development regarding the purpose of the CAMP grant for staff and faculty. The program provides scholarships and stipends to assist students with tuition, fees, and room & board, as well as continued financial advising.
"A major component our work will be to connect students with existing Adams State resources that provide tutoring, advising, and other support services," Carpio noted.
By Julie Waechter