CORVALLIS - Oregon State University has received a five-year, $1.75 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education to re-establish the College Assistance Migrant Program, or CAMP, which helps the children of migrant families attend college.

OSU had the CAMP program on campus for several years until the late 1990s when it was eliminated because the funding cycle ran out, according to Janet Nishihara, academic coordinator with the Educational Opportunities Program at OSU.

"This is a wonderful program to serve students from migrant families," Nishihara said. "Many of them are the first in their families to attend college, so having a support system in place is critical to their success. When the program was here in the 1990s, we had a lot of compelling success stories and we look forward to more of those in the next few years."

The program will allow OSU to work with 170 migrant students during the next five years. To be eligible for the program, the students or their parents must have worked 75 days during the previous 24 months doing migrant or seasonal farm work. They also must be in their first year of college when entering CAMP.

Nishihara said CAMP is designed to provide outreach to migrant families and communities around the state. Through the program, OSU faculty and staff assist students in applying for financial aid, college admissions and scholarships, and provide a special summer orientation program.

Mentoring is established pairing new CAMP students with continuing students from similar backgrounds, and the university provides ample tutoring, advising and developmental courses designed to increase chances for success.

"There is also a program to provide access to health services, to provide multicultural internships through University Housing and Dining Services, and to encourage access to leadership and cultural opportunities," Nishihara said. "There are a lot of departments, programs and individuals at Oregon State University who made this grant happen and we are committed to providing a quality experience for the students."

Information on the CAMP program is available by calling 541-737-3628.

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Janet Nishihara, 541-737-3928