Eastern awarded competitive CAMP grant by US Department of Education

Funding will be utilized by the Chicano Education Program starting July 1

Chicano Education Program students at the campus mall.

Photo contributed by EWU

Chicano Education Program students at the campus mall.

By Nicole Ruse, Editor-in-Chief

For the third time since 2002, Eastern was awarded a $2.125 million federal grant from the U.S. Department of Education on June 23 that supports freshmen undergraduates who come from migrant or seasonal farmworker backgrounds, either as workers or as children from migrant parents.

According to the U.S. Department of Education, the College Assistance Migrant Program is a five-year grant that helps financially assist and support students with health services, counseling, skills workshops, financial aid stipends, tutoring and housing assistance.

“Each student in the program will receive $425 per quarter to offset their education expenses,” said Ruth Galm, executive director of grant and research development at Eastern. “There are also paid internships for CAMP students as well as the university will waive the $50 admissions fee, and [EWU] Housing has agreed to defer each student’s damage deposit until after they receive their financial aid.”

The goal of the grant by the Department of Education is preparing students to continue their education beyond their freshman year. The funding, started as of July 1, will be utilized by Eastern’s Chicano Education program, which will receive $425,000 annually through 2019. Each year, 45 eligible migrant students will be selected to participate in CAMP at Eastern.

“Since most, if not all, of the students will be Latino or Latina, we will be hiring a number of peer mentors and tutors, likely students who are already part of the Chicano Education Program, to assist the CAMP students,” said Galm.

The grant has served about 300 students at Eastern since 2002. According to the U.S. Department of Education, the program serves approximately 2,000 CAMP participants annually.

“Securing the CAMP grant speaks volumes for the confidence level the Department of Education has in EWU to best serve migrant students in our region,” said Vickie Rutledge Shields, dean of the College of Social & Behavioral Science and Social Work, in an EWU press release. “Eastern continues to be a leader in diversifying our student population by offering the support systems and financial resources students need to succeed.”

The CAMP is created by the Office of Migrant Education through the U.S. Department of Education.

According to the department, the mission of the office is to “provide excellent leadership, technical assistance, and financial support to improve the educational opportunities and academic success of migrant children, youth, agricultural workers, fishers, and their families.”