The residential College Assistance Migrant Program (CAMP) was established to identify, recruit, admit, and enroll migrant and seasonal farm worker students and provide them with academic, social, and financial support to enable the completion of their first year of college. A half-decade and several success stories later, UNM announced that the Department of Education has refunded the program— extending its campus presence through 2021. 

“As a first generation college student, the College Assistance Migrant Program has been key to my success at The University of New Mexico,” says Maria Concepcion Anchondo, a business major. “CAMP has helped me financially, academically, and socially. Coming from a small town high school, attending UNM sounded scary, but with encouragement and help of the CAMP staff I was able to finish my first year successfully.”

CAMP undertakes activities designed to strengthen students’ academic and social skills.

UNM implemented CAMP in 2001. Over the last 15 years, over 371 students have successfully completed the program. Among its accolades are 155 college graduates—22 of whom received their master’s degree and seven who have received a Ph.D.

Given the University’s commitment of support and resources to CAMP, UNM is in the best position to reach and serve the migrant and seasonal farm working student population in New Mexico. 

UNM CAMP, working under El Centro de la Raza, recruits around 30 graduating CAMP-eligible high school students annually. Throughout the scholars’ first year, CAMP guides them in the development of their academic skills. CAMP also provides a scholarship to assist participants with their school-related expenses and offers referrals to resources through inter-agency coordination and collaboration for future years.

“As Director of El Centro it gives me great pleasure that we can offer these impactful programs that give access to marginalized students that otherwise find it difficult to navigate the higher education system,” said Rosa Isela Cervantes. “El Centro offers guidance to all students entering The University of New Mexico and this is a great example of another key component that El Centro has brought to UNM to further our mission of creating positive impact for all New Mexicans including our rural and farm-working families. We are deeply humbled and proud to count CAMP as part of our familia!”

Students in class
CAMP is committed to providing eligible students with the opportunity to attend and succeed at UNM. Program success is due to recruiting students early in the college enrollment process, building relationships with parents, and providing both with a comprehensive orientation so that they are aware of available university resources.

Once enrolled, CAMP scholars learn the University’s academic system through CAMP’s holistic approach. The program hosts monthly workshops and bi-weekly meetings with academic advisors. Students in CAMP are assigned a tutor and mentor who assist with academics and serve as a role models.

CAMP is expected to meet Government Performance Results Modernization Act (GPRA) measures set forth by the Office of Migrant Education. UNM CAMP expects 86 percent of the scholars to successfully complete their freshman year and 85 percent to continue postsecondary education, resulting in a post-secondary degree.