A r c h i v e d  I n f o r m a t i o n

Biennial Evaluation Report - FY 93-94

Chapter 126

Migrant Education--High School Equivalency Program (HEP) and College Assistance Migrant Program (CAMP)

(CFDA Nos. 84.141 and 84.149)

I. Program Profile

Legislation: Higher Education Act (HEA) of 1965, Section 418A, P.L. 89-329, as amended by P.L. 102-325 (20 U.S.C. 1070d-2 (6)) (expires September 30, 1997).

Purpose: The High School Equivalency Program (HEP) helps persons 16 years of age or older who are not currently enrolled in school to obtain the equivalent of a secondary school diploma and subsequently to gain employment or to begin postsecondary education or training. The College Assistance Migrant Program (CAMP) assists students enrolled in the first undergraduate year at an institution of higher education to complete their program of study for that year. Grants for both HEP and CAMP are made to institutions of higher education (IHEs) or to other nonprofit private agencies that cooperate with such institutions.

Funding History: 1

Fiscal Year Appropriation Fiscal Year Appropriation
1975 $5,396,665 2 1987 $6,300,000 1,200,000
1980 6,160,000 $1,173,000 1988 7,276,000 1,340,000
1981 6,095,000 1,208,000 1989 7,410,000 1,482,000
1982 5,851,200 1,160,000 1990 7,858,000 1,720,000
1983 6,300,000 1,200,000 1991 7,807,000 1,952,000
1984 6,300,000 1,950,000 3 1992 8,310,000 2,265,000
1985 6,300,000 1,200,000 1993 8,161,184 2,224,064
1986 6,029,000 $1,148,000 1994 8,161,184 2,224,064

1/ The Department of Labor began funding HEP and CAMP in 1967, but funding information before 1975 is not available.

2/ This figure represents total funding for both HEP and CAMP in FY 1975.

3/ Includes a $750,000 supplemental appropriation for CAMP.

[graph omitted]

II. Program Information and Analysis

Population Targeting

The National Commission on Migrant Education reported in 1992 that the HEP/CAMP National Evaluation Project Study found that more than 75 percent of recent program participants reported total annual family (with an average of seven members) incomes of under $10,000 (III.1).

According to a longitudinal evaluation of the programs, the two programs have, over the last 20 years, served approximately 45,000 students out of an estimated 1.4 million persons whose migratory employment patterns make it difficult for them to complete high school and college educational objectives. Eighty-three percent of HEP students and 93 percent of CAMP students were Hispanics between the ages of 17 and 20 (III.2). The HEP program will serve an estimated 2,963 persons, and the CAMP program an estimated 355 persons in school year 1993-94 (III.3).

Funding for CAMP has remained relatively constant since 1984 in current dollars, but the cost of higher education has increased rapidly. As a consequence, the number of students served through CAMP funding has decreased by approximately one-half since 1984.


HEP participants receive developmental instruction and counseling services intended to prepare them (1) to complete the requirements for high school graduation or the general education development (GED) certificate; (2) to pass a standardized test of high school equivalency; and (3) to participate in subsequent postsecondary educational or career activities (III.2). The major services offered through HEP are counseling, placement services, healthcare, financial aid, stipends, housing for residential students, and attendance at cultural and academic programs. HEP serves an average of 3000 students annually. Grants are given to institutions of higher education and nonprofit organizations. Currently, neither geographical location nor the size and proximity of the migrant population is considered when awarding grants, so some areas of high migrant concentrations do not have HEP services. In 1992, the National Commission on Migrant Education asked consideration of recommendations to expand the program cycle from 3 to 5 years, include geographic distribution as a criterion in future funding, and reject the concept of capacity building as an inappropriate constraint on these programs (III.1).

The College Assistance Migrant Program (CAMP) is the only national support program directed solely toward migrant college students. CAMP is a full-service program helping first-year migrant college students (who usually work, in addition to taking courses) to make the transition from high school to college and to complete a college education. CAMP's services include counseling, tutoring, skills workshops, financial aid, stipends, and housing assistance to first-year college students and limited follow-up services to participants after their first year. This small program selects its participants competitively; on average, sites receive 200 applications for every 40 slots (III.2 and III.5).

According to a descriptive review of HEP and CAMP, academic instruction accounted for 57 percent of the average service hours at 12 HEP sites providing services. Instructional support services such as tutoring accounted for 17 percent of the total services provided by HEP projects, job training accounted for 14 percent, counseling services for 7 percent, and cultural or social activities accounted for 5 percent. CAMP projects, on the other hand, emphasize such support services as tutoring and academic and personal counseling rather than direct academic instruction (III.4).

Program Administration

In FY 1993, 20 HEP programs were funded in 13 States, with grants ranging from $300,661 to $499,597. Six CAMP programs were funded in 5 States, with grants ranging from $306,440 to $410,576 (III.3).

The average cost of supporting one HEP participant for the 1993-94 school year was $2,752; the average cost for one CAMP participant was $6,192 (III.3).

According to the 1989 descriptive review of 16 HEP projects, there were differences in expenditures per participant at commuter, residential, and mixed residential/commuter projects. Commuter HEP projects spent, on the average, $2,160 per participant in 1986-87; residential projects spent $2,287 per participant; and mixed residential/ commuter projects spent $2,797 per participant. The cost per participant was $2,340 at IHE-operated projects and $2,308 at HEP projects operated by private, nonprofit agencies (III.4).


While evaluations from the mid- to late 1980s showed strongly positive outcomes for these programs, there has been no recent evaluation. According to the longitudinal study of the programs, 85 percent of the students enrolled in HEP programs between 1980 and 1984 have passed the GED. Approximately 81 percent of all HEP participants passed the high school equivalency test while they were enrolled in the program, and the remainder did so at a later time (III.2). For high school graduates in the year sampled, 60 percent enrolled in two- or four-year college (III.1).

Another study showed that the average rate of GED completion was 70 percent according to data from an evaluation of the program. Of the HEP graduates, 40 percent enrolled in technical\vocational schools, 37 percent in 2 year colleges and 23 percent at 4 year schools (III.4).

HEP programs that were directly affiliated with colleges and universities had GED completion rates of 85 percent while programs lacking a direct university affiliation had GED completion rates of 71 percent. Thirteen percent of the participants in college-based programs earned associate or baccalaureate degrees as compared to five percent of the participants in programs without a university affiliation. Programs that specified anticipated outcomes in observable and measurable terms had a success rate 20 to 30 percent higher than those that did not (III.2).

A longitudinal study found that a total of 92 percent of CAMP participants successfully completed their first year of college (much higher than the national norm of about 50 percent among all first-time entering freshmen) and about 56 percent remained in school and completed college (III.1). Fifteen percent of CAMP students completed a 4 year degree program, and 13 percent completed a 2 year degree program. About one percent of HEP students completed a 4 year degree program and 5 percent completed a 2 year degree program (III.2).

According to the descriptive review of HEP and CAMP, 70 percent of HEP participants completed the GED during the school year. Seventy-three percent of participants at IHE-operated projects completed the GED, as compared with 53 percent of participants at private, nonprofit projects. At residential HEP projects, 83 percent of participants received the GED; at commuter HEP projects, 68 percent of participants received the GED; and at mixed residential/commuter HEP projects, 67 percent of participants received the GED (III.4).

Upon completing the HEP program, 29 percent of the participants were enrolled at a postsecondary institution and 18 percent were employed in nonmigratory work. Eighty-one percent of CAMP participants completed their first year of college (III.4).

III. Sources of Information

  1. National Commission on Migrant Education, Invisible Children: A Portrait of Migrant Education in the United States (Washington, D.C.: September 23, 1992).

  2. HEP/CAMP National Evaluation Project, Research Report No. 3: A Comprehensive Analysis of HEP/CAMP Program Participation (Fresno, CA: California State University, October 1985).

  3. Program files.

  4. Descriptive Review of Data on the High School Equivalency Program (HEP) and College Assistance Migrant Program (CAMP) (Washington, DC: Pelavin Associates, April 1989).

  5. Services to Migrant Children: A Supplemental Volume to The National Assessment of the Chapter 1 Program (Washington, D.C.: Westat, Inc. 1993).

IV. Planned Studies


V. Contacts for Further Information

Program Operations:
Francis V. Corrigan, (202) 260-1124

Program Studies:
Jeffery Rodamar, (202) 401-1958

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