September 5, 2017


70 migrant farmworkers earn high school certificates in Cal State Fullerton program


With their families watching, about 70 local agricultural workers crossed the stage of Cal State Fullerton’s Little Theatre Aug. 26 to pick up their high school equivalency certificates. The workers were part of the university’s High School Equivalency Program, housed in the College of Education.

With their certificate, the workers can now apply to college to extend their education. The High School Equivalency Program partners with community colleges, universities, high school districts and the California Office of Migrant Education.

“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 farmworkers 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.”

Cal State Fullerton students studying for their teacher certificates tutor HEP participants at a half-dozen sites in Orange, Riverside, San Diego and San Bernardino counties.

The program, called CSUF-HEP, was born in 2015 when Cal State Fullerton received a $2.4 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Migrant Education.