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High School Equivalency Program Receives Funding

August 1, 2017 - Dorene DiNaro

UNM Student Affairs logoThe University of New Mexico and El Centro de la Raza is pleased to announce the High School Equivalency Program (HEP) was selected to receive funding once more for a period of 5 years (2017-2022). The award total of $2,375,000 over the next five years is funded by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Migrant Education (OME). UNM was awarded its 1st HEP grant in 2002 where it has served over 1,000 students.

UNM HEP, working on under El Centro de la Raza, will recruit 70 students per year who have the desire to obtain their High School equivalency diploma. HEP provides this unique opportunity for individuals and their families with migratory or seasonal farm working backgrounds. Many of our rural communities are the ones with the greatest disparities when it comes to education. Therefore UNM HEP is vital to help our fellow New Mexicans that work in agriculture.  Farmworkers in these communities are the ones that are the most marginalized and have not finished their high school education.

UNM HEP provides convenient and flexible HSE instruction by working around the schedules of the program participants.  The program includes intensive classroom instruction, individualized tutoring, stipends, child-care assistance, HSE testing fees, career and academic advisement, and much more.  Upon successful completion of the program, HEP provides assistance for placement into a post-secondary institution, career position, or military service.

Recent HEP graduate, Ramon Gambino says he would recommend this program to anyone looking to further their higher education goals.  “HEP has made a tremendous difference in my life.  It is thanks to this program that this past semester I graduated with my Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and plan to continue with a Master’s degree," he says.  

UNM and El Centro understand there is a need to assist this population attain their HSE diploma in order to have more opportunities at their reach to progress to in accomplishing their life goals of career advancement, economic stability and happiness. For more information on the program, please visit https://unmhep.wordpress.com/about/ or call the UNM HEP recruiter, Pablo Cabrera at 505 277 3020.