In 2002, the Department of Education awarded New Mexico State University a College Assistance Migrant Program (NMSU-CAMP) grant to serve the educational needs of migrant and seasonal farm workers. Currently in its sixth year, the program serves 134 Latino students. CAMP is a residential program based in a centralized dormitory to facilitate access to university resources and to CAMP offices, study halls and computer labs. First-year mechanisms to retain students include: support from staff, peers and CAMP alumni; family involvement; learning community residential living system; a special course section of University 150 exclusively for CAMP students; educationally tailored workshops; and art and cultural activities. The program also provides financial assistance for housing, meal plans, comprehensive health exams and stipends for textbooks and training during freshman year.
The mission of NMSU-CAMP is to retain students at the end of the freshman year and enroll them into their second academic year. The long-term goal is to graduate CAMP alumni with Bachelor's degrees from NMSU.
One of CAMP's greatest accomplishments is the recruitment of Latino students to post-secondary education who otherwise would not have entered a college setting. 95% of the students who enter NMSU via CAMP finish their first full year of college. Since 2002, NMSU-CAMP has served 410 students with an average overall retention rate (freshman to senior) of 73%, higher than NMSU’s overall freshman retention rate of 70%. CAMP's freshman retention rate for 2016 was 85.2%, with 91% of freshmen entering their third semester of College after their freshman year. With a total of 145 graduates, CAMP’s average graduating GPA is 3.17. 23 CAMP students have completed a Master’s degree, and one has completed a Ph.D program. CAMP students have been degree recipients in various disciplines including: Biology, Accounting, Chemical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Criminal Justice, Government and Social Work. Today, CAMP is very proud to say that 73% of their graduates are currently working across New Mexico’s professional workforce.