News at CBC

Columbia Basin College HEP

$2.3M Grant Will Support Families of Migrant and Seasonal Farmworkers Studying at Columbia Basin College

Posted Date: November 25, 2020
Columbia Basin College
By: Jay Frank

Pasco, Wash. – Columbia Basin College has secured a 5-year grant from the U.S. Department of Education in the amount of $2,375,000 to continue support for the High School Equivalency Program (HEP).

HEP is designed to assist migrant and seasonal farm workers to earn their General Educational Development (GED) certificate and enroll in college, the military, or upgrade their employment. Many are able to earn their GED certificate for free. The program is for those who have worked on an agricultural farm, warehouse, orchard or vineyard in the past two years, or the immediate family members of those workers.

The program is free to participants. Participants receive GED classes in English or Spanish, personalized college and career advising, tutoring, visits to college campuses, cultural enrichment opportunities, and financial support to pay for GED practice tests and official GED exams.

The HEP program has been at CBC since 2000, and has served more than 3,000 migrant and seasonal farmworkers in our community since its inception. The grant will serve 107 participants annually over the next five years.

“I am very proud of our HEP program because it provides real opportunities for people in our community who have traditionally been left out our economic and educational system,” says CBC Director for High School Equivalency Program Fernando Morado. “Our program provides individuals with the resources and personalized support needed to fulfill their dreams, and create a better life for themselves and their families.”

CBC student Kalid Hussain says the program encourages success. “The services such as the academic and career advising, the educational and cultural trips we took really motivated me to continue my education,” Hussain says. “Our trip to WSU Tri-Cities really helped me to pick my future career as a mechanical engineer”

For more information students can call Cinthia Alvarez Lucatero at 509-430-2164.


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