PULLMAN, Wash. — To celebrate 30 years of providing education to adult students from migrant farmworker backgrounds, the High School Equivalency Program (HEP) at Washington State University’s College of Education is hosting a party on Friday, April 24.
The occasion is the graduation of latest group of 28 students, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., reception included, at the formal lounge on the 12th floor of Orton Hall on the WSU campus.
WSU President Samuel H. Smith and Raul de la Rosa, director of migrant education for Washington state, will speak and the public is invited, said Associate Professor James Shoemaker, program director.
Since 1967, WSU HEP has prepared about 3,000 migrant workers to earn a high school equivalency degree. The WSU HEP is the oldest continuously-operating and most successful migrant education equivalency program in the nation, Shoemaker said. No other similar program has achieved this program’s rate of 80 percent student success, he explained.
Support for the program comes from the U.S. Department of Education, which now provides about $475,000 annually to the program. Shoemaker estimated that a total of $12 million in support has come to WSU since the program’s inception.
Following graduation with an equivalency degree, the students can enter the workforce, join the armed forces, or attend community colleges or universities. Three WSU HEP graduates are presently enrolled at WSU.

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NOTE TO MEDIA REPRESENTATIVES: Media representatives are encouraged to attend. There will be opportunities to interview and photograph students or speaker Raul de la Rosa during the reception following the ceremony at approximately 12:30 p.m., Friday, April 24, Orton Hall, 12th floor lounge. Contact James Shoemaker for more information.