CAMP program helps students

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By Ricardo Vargas
Reporter (Fall 2012)

Crowder’s College Assistance Migrant Program (CAMP) has just entered its second year of its third five-year grant. With over 50 applicants, Crowder’s CAMP was among the top three nationwide.

In the words of CAMP director Alicia Irsik, “CAMP is a federally funded grant program and it is funded to serve 45 eligible students each academic year.” CAMP helps these students with all their academic expenses.

To be eligible for the CAMP program students must be U.S. citizens or qualified resident aliens and have a high school diploma or GED. Another important qualification is that the student or their parent or legal guardian must have done agricultural work for a minimum of 75 days within the past two years.

In addition to financial assistance, CAMP also provides other services to help their students succeed. Students receive academic, personal and career advising.

CAMP also provides free tutoring services, cultural experiences and college visits. All of this is done to help prepare students continue their studies after receiving their associates degree at Crowder.

CAMP is a national program, but Crowder is the only school in the state of Missouri to incorporate it. The first CAMP program at Crowder began in 2001. Last year Crowder’s CAMP got a new five-year grant.

The CAMP staff is made up of Mayra Garcia who is the recruiter as well as the academic advisor for about half of the students in the program. Anita Botello-Samson is the academic counselor and serves as academic advisor for the rest of the program’s students. Jose Gomez is the administrative assistant and does the record keeping.

The director of CAMP is Alicia Irsik. She is in charge of overseeing the other positions as well as hiring for said positions. She also does the academic and budgetary reporting to the board of education. In addition, she makes sure that CAMP meets all their goals so they will keep getting funded.

Besides benefiting student’s academic lives, CAMP has also affected other aspects of Crowder. In the 2009 spring semester, CAMP staff and students revived the Crowder College Latino Union which now does many things to help out around campus, including fund raising and volunteer work.

Additionally, in the fall of 2007 former CAMP recruiter Roel Quiroz, along with Dr. Sonya Pearson, who was the dean of students at the time, initiated the Crowder soccer club which was made up mainly of CAMP students.