About 70 students — all local agricultural workers — will graduate from Cal State Fullerton’s comprehensive High School Equivalency Program (HEP) that assists migrant farm workers and their children. Armed with a high school equivalency certificate, these students can now apply for admission to colleges and universities.
The program, housed in the College of Education, is funded by a $2.4 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education and partners with a network of community colleges, universities, high school districts and the California Office of Migrant Education. Teacher candidates from Cal State Fullerton tutor HEP participants at various host sites where they live and work in Southern California.
“Typically there is limited access to education or higher education in migrant farm communities,” said Pablo Jasis, associate professor of elementary and bilingual education who directs the federal grant program. “Our goal is to help farm workers advance their education and break the cycle of poverty. The program provides support that includes tutoring, career counseling, bilingual instruction — whatever it takes to help them finish their high school education so they can move on to college.”
A graduation ceremony to award certificates will take place in Cal State Fullerton’s Little Theatre from noon-2 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 26.