CBC Receives $2.3 Million from Dept. of Ed to Promote Farmworker Education

PASCO, WA – Columbia Basin College has received a new five year grant from the U.S. Department of Education to continue the High School Equivalency Program (HEP).

The program is designed to assist migrant and seasonal farm workers to earn their General Educational Development (GED®) certificate.

HEP provides, at no cost, academic advising, tutoring, college visits and tours, career planning, and free classes to prepare to earn the GED. People may be eligible for the program if they are sixteen years of age, have not yet earned a high school diploma or GED, and can provide work documentation for themselves or an immediate family member in migrant or seasonal farm work in the past two years.

“They understand right off the bat when they start that, hey, you don’t have to just get your GED, there are opportunities for you to continue your education to continue seeking help in getting assistance,” says Cinthia Alvarez Lucatero, a coordinator of the program at CBC. The grant will serve 107 participants annually for 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 HEP Director 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.” 

The program fills a need locally. In Franklin County, for example, a full quarter of the population above the age of 25 has not earned a high school diploma or equivalent.

For more information, visit CBC’s website or call Cinthia Alvarez Lucatero, 509-430-2164.