Students with Migrant Farmworker Backgrounds Receive Aid for Their First Year in College
(Orange, CA)—Recently, Santiago Canyon College (SCC) was awarded a $2.1 million grant from The U.S. Department of Education for the SCC College Assistance Migrant Program (CAMP). The $425,000 annual grant will be awarded over a five-year period to assist students with migrant or seasonal farmworker backgrounds enrolled in their first year of college.
SCC CAMP is among nine programs statewide at six California State University campuses and three community colleges. SCC’s program, which serves 43 students annually, is the only community college program in Southern California. CAMP, a federal program that was established over thirty years ago by the U.S. Department of Education, has helped thousands of students achieve their educational goals. SCC was awarded its first CAMP grant in July 2007 and its second five-year grant in 2012.
“I was very pleased to learn that SCC CAMP was renewed for another five-year funding cycle that will continue the support that SCC has provided to students with farmworker backgrounds for the past decade,” said John Hernandez, Ph.D., SCC president. “Through this funding many more deserving students will be able to realize their dreams and have the opportunity and support necessary to attend college and graduate with a degree.”
To be eligible students must be a migrant or seasonal farmworker or a dependent of a migrant or seasonal farmworker, a legal resident, a college freshman with less than 24 hours completed and a full-time student.
Among the students who have benefited from CAMP at Santiago Canyon College is 23-year-old Santa Ana resident Cristal Peralta. After graduating from SCC in 2015, Peralta transferred to California State University, East Bay, where she majored in sociology. Today, Peralta is working at El Sol Science and Arts Academy of Santa Ana. She has plans to return to college to earn a master’s degree and teaching credentials with the goal of becoming a school principal.
"Being a first generation student trying to leave home, it’s not easy and you need a lot of guidance and a lot of help," said Peralta.
With this grant, SCC CAMP students will be provided English and math tutoring, an assigned counselor, book vouchers, bus passes, financial aid assistance, a laptop loan program, peer mentoring, school supplies, a leadership conference and workshops for both students and parents.
“When I was in the program, I didn't have a car. Thanks to CAMP, I was able to get a bus pass without having to worry about the financial aspect. When you're commuting, it’s a hassle so that definitely helped,” said Peralta.
CAMP also offers a six-week Summer Bridge Program to help prepare students for college. This three-unit, Counseling 101 transferable class introduces college expectations, policies, and support services. The summer program includes a career exploration component, math and reading development and cultural field trips.
“The program taught me the workload we could expect in college. We had to read a lot, we had to meet deadlines, we had to know what would be expected and what professors would want from us,” said Peralta.
Peralta remembers meeting with the CAMP counselor when she was struggling to add one last class she needed to graduate. The counselor’s response helped put her at ease, which she stated was really important because college can be very confusing and stressful, especially when you are trying to graduate. “The help the counselor provided me that day really inspired me and helped me realize that I wanted to work in education when I graduated from college,” said Peralta.
Following the six-week summer program, SCC CAMP provides support during the student’s first year and follow-up services to foster persistence to degree completion and/or transfer.
For more information, contact the CAMP office at (714) 628-5034 or visit www.sccollege.edu/camp.
About Santiago Canyon College
Santiago Canyon College (SCC) serves more than 17,000 credit and noncredit students each semester. In 2017, SCC was ranked #13 among the 50 Best Community Colleges in the U.S. by College Choice, a leading authority in college and university rankings and resources.The college prepares students for transfer to four-year institutions and careers, and provides courses for personal and professional development, as well as customized training for business and industry. The college is recognized for its adult education program which keeps the working adult—and senior—in mind by offering flexible schedules, and community locations. Serving the residents of Anaheim Hills, Orange, Tustin, and Villa Park, SCC is one of two comprehensive colleges under the auspices of the Rancho Santiago Community College District. Visit http://www.sccollege.edu to learn more.
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