CAMP on campus

By Bill Knief

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Spring is returning to Taos and Rio Arriba counties, and just in time for eligible students from northern New Mexico to enroll for CAMP, a student success program at UNM-Taos. CAMP provides support to first year college students at UNM-Taos with tuition assistance, academic advising, tutoring, opportunities for career-related internships and social/cultural activities. CAMP also purchases books and provides courses for CAMP participants that allows for increased communication between students, instructors and CAMP advisors due to smaller class sizes.

Currently, CAMP is funding and providing services to 30 participants and is actively recruiting. CAMP participants in the Fall 2012 semester earned an average GPA of 3.15. During the 1st year of CAMP, participants have had the opportunity to attend a national conference in South Padre Islands, Texas as well as a leadership conference in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Students also attended a major theatre production at Popejoy Hall at the University of New Mexico and visited both UNM and Central New Mexico programs. This next academic year CAMP is preparing for an even more productive year than the first. CAMP is debuting a Summer CAMP initiative that will provide 3 academic courses and a paid career-related internship. The 8-week program starts June 3rd and ends July 26th. Students will attend class and their internship 4 days a week, Monday-Thursday, 9am-5pm and participate in fieldtrips every Friday. CAMP will cover the cost of tuition and pay the internship wages. CAMP will also cover the cost of travel, food and entrance fees for all field trips. The Summer CAMP initiative enables students to get ahead in their college course work and gain experience through an internship.

To qualify for the CAMP program students need to be first year college students. Students or their parents need to have been employed in seasonal or migrant farm work for at least 75 days in the past 24 months. Farm work is defined as any agricultural activity performed for either wages or personal subsistence (did not get paid but received produce for the work) on a farm, ranch, or similar establishment. Qualifying farm work cannot be performed for parents but can be performed for other relatives such as uncle, grandfather, cousin, etc. Some examples of farm work activities are: production of crops (vegetables, fruits) including planting, cultivating, weeding, thinning, fertilizing, and harvesting (picking) any type of crop; producing chickens or other poultry; raising cattle, sheep or other livestock; bailing hay; working in fish hatcheries or fish farms. Raising horses as livestock on a ranch would qualify, but activities like training and grooming horses for show or race track or riding stable do not qualify. Other qualifying farm work is cultivation or harvesting of trees (hauling wood, working in sawmills, Christmas trees, forestry); also work in a nursery for either cultivation or raising trees or the cultivation of flowers for commercial sale. Commercial landscaping is not a qualifying activity.

The College Assistance Migrant Program (CAMP) is a Department of Education, Office of Migrant Education 5-year grant, which has been awarded to UNM-Taos. Each year CAMP serves and funds 35 eligible students from Rio Arriba and Taos counties in northern New Mexico to attend UNM-Taos. CAMP’s goal is to address the lack of services in the UNM-Taos service area for seasonal/migrant farm worker students through assisting students in applying to UNM-Taos, financial assistance to participants, and academic support as well as follow up services throughout the first year of attendance. CAMP can fund each student until the student earns 24 credit hours.

Applications are now being accepted for the Summer CAMP initiative and upcoming Fall semester. If you would like more information please call 575-737-3720 or stop by the CAMP office, located in town at 114 Civic Plaza Drive, El Pueblo Hall (across the parking lot from Coronado Hall).

A CAMP application can also be found at

About The Bill Knief