A grant of more than $2 million from the U.S. Department of Education was recently renewed that will allow Mendocino College to continue a program that provides much-needed assistance to students who are from a migrant/seasonal farm worker background.
“Mendocino College prides itself in providing educational opportunities for migrant and seasonal farm workers in our community,” said Vice President of Student Services, Ulises Velasco. “The renewal of this grant goes a long way in helping all students, particularly those that work in our community’s farms, vineyards, and fisheries, gain the support they need to successfully complete a college degree or certificate.”
The five-year grant will fund the Mendocino College Assistance Migrant Program (CAMP), which was first awarded in 2002 and has now been selected for refunding every cycle since its inception. The program goal is to identify, recruit, admit, and enroll at least 50 migrant and seasonal farm worker students annually and provide them with targeted support services. This support will promote student success and retention after the first year of college, continued college enrollment, and university transfer and degree completion. Students in the program will be provided with mentoring and tutoring, an assigned counselor, book vouchers, financial aid assistance, and opportunities to participate in cultural and academic enrichment activities. Students are recruited throughout Lake and Mendocino Counties and Mendocino College CAMP is among only nine programs in California at six state university campuses and three community colleges. It is the only program of its kind in California north of Sacramento.
“CAMP was a great experience that I would recommend to all first year college students. It helped me go through my first two semesters successfully, not only by offering me extensive support, but also by making me feel welcomed and comfortable in a new environment,” stated recent CAMP graduate, Vanessa Hernandez, who will be beginning her second year at Mendocino College this fall as she prepares to transfer to a 4-year university in 2020.
“We are determined to ensure our students are up to par in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) professions and this grant’s focus will be on supporting students interested in these fields. For the last few years, about 30 percent of CAMP students have majored or earned an AS/certificate in STEM fields, so we have already established momentum as we shift our focus. The new Physical Therapy Assistant program, which begins in the spring 2020 semester, will help us maintain and even increase our CAMP scholars interest in STEM,” says CAMP Director Mariana Martinez.
CAMP is still accepting applications for the fall 2019 semester, which begins August 19. Interested students can learn more and complete the application by visiting www.mendocino.edu/camp, or contacting the CAMP office by phone at (707) 467-1026 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.