TVCC receives $2.3 million grant

image of hep logo

A $2,375,000 grant from the Federal U.S. Department of Education will allow Treasure Valley Community College to continue its High School Equivalency Program (HEP). This grant provides $475,000 over five years, beginning in the 2021-22 academic year, and is a renewal grant for TVCC.

HEP has been in existence since 1967 and is an educational program which serves migrant or seasonal agricultural working families. 

“We are thrilled to have this grant renewed. HEP has been an important program for students in our community and has assisted so many students build confidence and a new relationship with education,” said TVCC president Dr. Dana Young.  “The continuation of this federal grant will help us provide additional support and enable TVCC to expand services to students in our community.”

The TVCC HEP mission is to assist migrant seasonal agricultural workers and their immediate family members in the local region to obtain a High School Equivalency Certificate, and subsequently, gain improved employment, begin post-secondary studies or enlist in military services. TVCC HEP provides academic support such as preparation classes, personalized tutoring, support with testing fees, transportation assistance, books and supplies as well as transitional services such as career exploration and financial literacy.

“Completing a high school equivalency program is a critical first step to a better paying job and quality of life for families who never had the opportunity to complete high school,” TVCC HEP Director Hector Aguirre said. “Earning a GED, or high school equivalency, leads to a better quality of life for these hard-working families and supports regional prosperity.”

“We are excited about the opportunity to continue HEP at TVCC and to serve more students in the coming years,” Aguirre added. “I’d like to especially extend appreciation to our local partners, including federal and state legislators from both Oregon and Idaho, for their letters of support which were instrumental in demonstrating the need for the TVCC HEP.” 

The application process for the HEP grant renewal took several months of hard work by many members of the college community including TVCC Vice President Edward Alves, Dean of CTE David Koehler, Chief Development Officer Cathy Yasuda and the entire HEP staff who dedicated their time and effort to achieve this outcome.

“We are grateful to continue serving our migrant community who resiliently adapted despite the challenges of this year, and we have faith and confidence that the best is yet to come,” Aguirre added. 

To be eligible to participate in HEP, you must be at least 16 years of age, not currently enrolled in school, have not earned a high school diploma, want to obtain the General Education Development (GED) diploma, and either must have been employed in migrant or seasonal farm work, or be an immediate family member of a migrant or seasonal farm worker who worked at least 75 days in the past 24 months in migrant/seasonal farm work (including crop, dairy, poultry or livestock production, the cultivation or harvest of trees, or on a fish farm), OR are eligible or have participated in a Migrant Education Program (MEP) or have participated in the Department of Labor's Workforce Investment Act 167 or are eligible to participate. Check stubs or other employment verification must be received to be eligible under the migrant or seasonal farm work requirement.

For more information about TVCC HEP, visit www.tvcc.cc/hep.