Columbia Basin College acquires grant to support families of migrant workers

A $2.3 million grant will supplement pivotal programs at Columbia Basin College.
Columbia Basin College
The Lee R. Thornton Center for Science, Technology, and Diversity at Columbia Basin College in Pasco, WA is pictured.

PASCO, Wash. —  Columbia Basin College was approved for a $2.3 million grant by the U.S. Department of Education. This funding will be used to supplement the High School Equivalency Program (HEP), which enables members of the community to obtain their General Educational Development (GED) certificate.

The HEP is designed specifically to help migrant or seasonal farmworkers earn crucial educational documentation. Upon completion of the program, participants are expected to enroll in college, the military or find employment in a field of their choice.

Not only does the program assist the Tri-Cities’ farmworkers, but it also aids their immediate family members. To become eligible, prospective students must have personally worked or had a family member work at an orchard, vineyard, agricultural farm or warehouse in the past two years.

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Most eligible participants do not have to pay to take part in the program, hence the need for supplemental funding. Classes in the HEP program are available in both English or Spanish. Additional perks of the program include college/career advising, tutoring and cultural enrichment opportunities.

“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.”

Accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, Columbia Basin College is a staple of the Tri-Cities community.

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You can learn more about the HEP program at Columbia Basin College by visiting their website.