LEWISTON, Idaho – The College Assistance Migrant Program is returning to Lewis-Clark State College for the next five years, school officials recently learned.
CAMP is a federally funded educational support and scholarship program which helps students from migrant and seasonal farm working backgrounds to reach and succeed in college. Eligible participants receive financial support during their freshman year of college and ongoing support until graduation.
LCSC had CAMP during 2002-08 and college officials were notified early this month that LC was one of a handful of institutions to receive a five-year grant for the program. The grant is worth $2,054,203, which will be divided over the five-year period. Because of the late notification before the fall semester, which started Monday, LCSC currently anticipates having a cohort of 8-10 students for the fall but has the capability of having 30 students each semester.
The CAMP students will receive support through exploring college/career options as well as financial assistance. They will have access to academic advising, computers, computer instruction if needed, faculty/peer/alumni mentoring, tutorial labs, skill workshops, connections to residence halls/residence life, and cultural/social activities.
Each CAMP student receives a $5,000 stipend to assist with education expenses, and qualified students will be eligible to apply for the college’s Work Scholars Program or for institutional scholarships after their freshman year.
To be eligible for the program, a student must be admitted or enrolled at LCSC, be a United States citizen or permanent resident, and qualify to receive financial aid. A student also must meet one of the following requirements: Have an immediate family member (or the student) that has worked as a migrant or seasonal farm worker in the areas of agriculture, dairy, fisheries or forestry for at least 75 days within the past 24 months; participated in or be eligible to participate in a Chapter I Migrant Education Program; or be qualified or eligible to qualify for the Workforce Investment Act 167 Program.
The grant also covers four new positions, which will be under Andy Hanson, vice president of Student Affairs, and work closely with Bob Sobotta, the director of Native American/Minority Student Services, as well as Soo Lee Bruce-Smith, director of Admissions. The positions are for a CAMP director, recruiter, retention specialist and administrative assistant. Information on those openings can be found at https://lcsc.applicantpro.com/jobs/
Hanson said LCSC pursued the grant for two key reasons.
“When we previously had CAMP on our campus, we had one of the largest per capita Hispanic student populations,” he said. “And in the larger picture is the state of Idaho. Idaho is projected to be a growth state and one of the largest growth areas is the high school to college population, which is largely projected to be from the Hispanic community. There is both a current need and a growing need for LCSC to build these services.”
To serve the growing Hispanic population in Idaho, LCSC recently hired a bilingual recruiter who will work out of the college’s office in Boise.
Sobotta said the program is attractive to students from smaller schools and communities because the friendly LCSC campus environment may not seem as intimidating as a larger school.
“We are the champions of college access and this grant certainly helps students who qualify gain access,” Hanson said.