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TAMIU Gets $1.7 Million Grant Supporting College Assistance Migrant Program

Texas A&M International University will receive a five-year grant from the U.S. Department of Education totaling $1.7 million in support of a new program, the College Assistance Migrant Program (CAMP).

Francisco Garcia, director of the DOE's Office of Migrant Education, notified the University of the award, which will provide $340,000 annually to support the effort. Dr. Julio F. Madrigal, professor and director of Special Programs, will head the CAMP program.

The program is one of only three new CAMP projects funded nationwide.

University president Dr. Ray Keck said the project funding further underscores the University's commitment to making higher education accessible.

"Our fundamental mission at the University is to make higher education accessible to all. This program provides incentives and opportunities to enhance that accessibility for bright students traditionally inhibited by their family's migrant work schedule. We are looking forward to working with these students to realize their higher education dreams," Dr. Keck said.

CAMP will identify and provide services to approximately 40 eligible participants from low-income, migrant and seasonal farm worker backgrounds. The program goal is to enable students to successfully complete their first academic year of college and acquire the motivation necessary for success at TAMIU.

Dr. Madrigal said students will be recruited from targeted high schools in the South Texas border region, home to a large migrant population and an agricultural center.

"Our research shows that some 522 students in our targeted high schools will be eligible for project services. We will welcome them with a coordinated community response that will include academic, financial and social support they need to be successful in their pursuit of higher education," Dr. Madrigal explained.

Madrigal said the program will conduct diagnostic needs assessments of program participants and develop a customized plan of action specific to the needs of each migrant student.

Among components of the CAMP program are a freshman seminar class for selected participants, recruitment and outreach activities; personal, academic and career counseling; tutoring; academic instruction, academic skill-building activities; financial aid and life-skills exploration.

Assisting Madrigal in delivering the CAMP program will be CAMP director Efrain Sánchez and Martha S. Treviño, outreach/ retention specialist.

The grant application was prepared with the assistance of the University's Office of Grant Resources, headed by Cristina Hernandez.

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