Española, NM – The U.S. Department of Education has awarded Northern New Mexico College the High School Equivalency Program (HEP) grant, allowing the College’s program to reopen Fall 2015.
“We really need this program here. We have so many seasonal migrant farmworkers in our community but many of them don’t know the resources available to them,” Adult Basic Education Director Shari Job said. “We will be able to provide them with educational opportunities they would not otherwise have.”
The $2.5 million grant will fund Northern’s program until 2020, which will serve 80 students annually. Instruction in both English and Spanish during days and evenings will be provided in addition to stipends for transportation and meals, college and career placement, and needs-based aid for healthcare and childcare services. Northern’s program will also include skills classes in career exploration, computer technology, and life skills.
The Department of Education also provides incentives for programs that prioritize Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM), which will play a key role in the College’s program through mentorship and tutoring initiatives.
The High School Equivalency Program (HEP) helps migratory and seasonal farmworkers (or children of such workers) who are 16 years of age or older and not currently enrolled in school to obtain the equivalent of a high school diploma and, subsequently, to gain employment or begin postsecondary education or training.
This month’s award marks the second time the College has received HEP funding, and the program had operated at Northern for more than 40 years.
Enrollment opens August 1, 2015. Contact Robin Duran at 747-2195.