SEATTLE – Earning a degree from the University of Washington just became a great deal easier for students from migrant and seasonal farm worker backgrounds due to a five-year, $1.9 million grant funded by the College Assistance Migrant Program (CAMP) in the U.S. Department of Education, the UW Office of Minority Affairs and Diversity (OMA&D) announced Monday.
Under the CAMP grant, the UW will provide academic, personal and financial support to 50 students annually who are engaged, or whose parents are engaged, in migrant and other seasonal farm work, and are enrolled or admitted for enrollment on a full-time basis in their first academic year.
Eligible students will benefit from services such as advising, educational planning, career/personal assessments, student stipends and tutoring that will provide the necessary information, support and skills for them to successfully complete their first year at UW and continue their postsecondary education through graduation. Students will also be eligible to participate in the Summer Transition Program and will have access to supplemental instruction in a variety of courses.
Counseling and advising services will include one-on-one interaction for students, while the program will also include group activities and workshops that involve parents. Stipends will assist students with the costs associated with attending UW and funds will be available to help them pay for health and other social services. Participants will also be connected to key community resources, employment referrals and childcare support.
“Many migrant and seasonal farm worker students have the desire to pursue a college degree but for a variety of reasons never have the opportunity to do so,” Dr. Gabriel Gallardo, principal investigator for the grant and OMA&D Associate Vice President of Student Services and Academic Support Programs said. “The CAMP program will certainly enhance the University of Washington’s ability to prepare talented students from these backgrounds to succeed academically at our institution. We will be able to contribute to the development of a pool of students that will become future leaders in our communities.”
The majority of CAMP services will be offered on the UW campus, but OMA&D staff members will also engage in outreach and recruitment activities across the state that may include bilingual workshops (Spanish/English). During those activities, OMA&D staff will be available for admissions discussions with students who are applying to UW. Parents and students will receive information about the college applications process, financial aid and campus resources available in both Spanish and English formats.
There are currently over 40 federally-funded CAMP grants administered by colleges and universities within the United States and Puerto Rico. Since the program’s inception in 1972, CAMP has helped over 20,000 students accomplish their educational goals and nearly three-quarters of all CAMP students have graduated with baccalaureate degrees.
Additional data shows that students receiving CAMP services in the state of Washington have a 94 percent retention rate after completing the first year of college compared to a 52 percent retention rate for students not receiving CAMP services.
Not only will the CAMP grant allow the UW to better serve students from migrant and seasonal farm worker backgrounds, it will help the University be more responsive to the changing demographics of Washington state.
“This program is especially helpful for the University to build its Latino enrollment as they represent the predominance of migrant and seasonal farm workers in Washington state,” added Enrique Morales, OMA&D Associate Vice President for Access, Policy and Planning.
Funding for the program began July 8, 2010, and will continue through June 30, 2015.
Students and parents wishing to learn more about the program should contact Dr. Gabriel Gallardo at firstname.lastname@example.org or 206-221-2834.