CAMP grant

WVC receives $2 million grant
for College Assistance Migrant Program

A federal grant of more than $2 million to Wenatchee Valley College (WVC) will help migrant and seasonal farmworkers on the Wenatchee and Omak campuses obtain a college education.

The College Assistance Migrant Program (CAMP) will provide academic, career and support services, financial assistance, and community and follow-up services to migrant and seasonal farmworkers or members of their immediate families during their first year of college.

"This is wonderful news for our region," said WVC President Jim Richardson. "Although it doesn't replace programs and services that have been cut or reduced because of fewer state dollars, it does provide a way to help some of the people in our district overcome academic and personal barriers to be successful in college."

The $2,062,089 grant from the U.S. Department of Education will provide services to 40 eligible students in the first year, 50 in the second year, and 60 in years three through five. The program is supported entirely through federal funds.

Project activities will include outreach and recruitment; admissions and academic support; academic counseling, career advising and personal counseling; financial aid, stipends and scholarship assistance; and community and follow-up services at both campuses.

An individual plan will be developed for each CAMP student, with each connected to a student mentor for guidance through the college process. Weekly college success workshops will provide academic skill building. On-campus housing options will be available in Wenatchee.

Four full-time staff members will be hired, including a program director, a retention specialist, a recruiter/retention specialist and a program assistant. Six part-time mentors/tutors will also assist students. A seven-member CAMP advisory committee will be formed, with representatives sought from the community, students, faculty and parents.

To maximize the resources available for the CAMP students, the college will coordinate with other community, state and federal programs. Letters of support for the grant were given by Secondary Education for Migrant Youth, Columbia Valley Community Health, North Central Educational Service District/Migrant Education Regional Office, WorkSource-Wenatchee Affiliate, Migrant Student Data and Recruitment Office, Omak United Methodist Campus Ministries, Washington State University, SkillSource, Inc., Colville Confederated Tribes-Higher Education, Colville Confederated Tribes-Employment and Training, Colville Indian Housing Authority, Mid-Valley Hospital in Omak, the Chelan-Douglas Community Action Council, and the Washington State Commission on Hispanic Affairs.

"The community partnerships are a major reason why we scored so many points on our application for the grant," said Richardson. "The program is an excellent fit for our district, which contains nearly 20 percent of the migrant and seasonal farmworkers in our state."

The WVC service district includes Chelan, Douglas and Okanogan counties.

CAMP has been in existence since 1972, serving approximately 2,400 students each year in 24 programs, six of them in Washington state, including Washington State University, Eastern Washington University, Central Washington University, Heritage University and Columbia Basin College.