More than 400 students from around the Pacific Northwest will converge on the Washington State University Pullman campus this spring for the Northwest CAMP Consortium.

CAMP, which stands for College Assistance Migrant Program, is a federally-funded initiative designed to support students from migrant and seasonal farmworker backgrounds during their freshman year in college.

The theme of the April 13-15 Consortium is “Uniting and Inspiring CAMP Leaders.” According to Lucila Loera, assistant vice president for Student Affairs and interim director of WSU CAMP, the event will be an interactive and motivational conference where students will participate in workshops, team building exercises, small group discussions, and a college and graduate fair.

“This conference is designed to help first-year students develop leadership skills and build a strong support network,” Loera said.

The participating students will come from CAMP programs located at 14 colleges and universities in Washington, Idaho, Oregon and Montana. The Consortium site rotates every year between the institutions. This is the first time Loera and her team are taking the lead planning it.

“It’s a big commitment for our staff that involves collaboration among all the universities as well as our many partners on campus,” she said. “Many WSU faculty, staff and students are playing significant roles.”

The U.S. Department of Education and Office of Migrant Education created CAMP in 1972. It was established on the Pullman campus in 2006 and serves 50 students each year. WSU CAMP has a long history of success on campus. During the last academic year, 100 percent of students in the program completed their first year and 98 percent enrolled in classes last fall semester.