Having this new physical space in the Mattawa community will help Big Bend serve as bridge to education to HEP students in the Mattawa community. Removing the transportation barrier and bringing Big Bend resources directly into the area is a pivotal step in providing equitable opportunities for growth through education.
MOSES LAKE — Big Bend Community College is excited to announce the opening of a physical office space soon in Mattawa to focus on serving the educational needs of the community and surrounding areas. The new location is being made possible through a partnership with the Port of Mattawa who is leasing the space to the college.
The Big Bend High School Equivalency Program (HEP) Office will be a dynamic space where students can enroll, apply for financial aid, and receive assistance with navigating the high school equivalency or college process. It will be a physical space to connect students to campus services without the need to travel to BBCC’s main campus in Moses Lake.
“We are thrilled to have Big Bend Community College open a physical location in our region,” said Executive Director, Port of Mattawa, Lars Leland. “This will be a valuable resource, providing educational support to our community.”
The office will be open to anyone interested in applying to the college, or is already enrolled as a student, but will primarily focus on serving and expanding high school equivalency education to the communities of the most southern parts of Big Bend’s service district.
“BBCC’s High School Equivalency Program (HEP) helps close the educational gap experienced by migrant and seasonal farmworkers,” said Diana Villafaña, HEP Project Director. “Having a presence in the community will ensure easier access to academic supports and ongoing college navigation services. This type of support will help participants feel like they belong in college, can navigate higher education and have the confidence, and skills needed to succeed academically.”
Big Bend currently offers select in-person classes in Mattawa through a partnership with the Wahluke School District. The addition of the new office will not change the current arrangement with the school district and no classes will be offered at the office.
BBCC President Dr. Sara Thompson Tweedy said the new space supports the college’s vision, mission and guiding principles.
“Having this new physical space in the Mattawa community will help Big Bend serve as bridge to education to HEP students in the Mattawa community,” said Tweedy. “Removing the transportation barrier and bringing Big Bend resources directly into the area is a pivotal step in providing equitable opportunities for growth through education.”
The space is being funded through carryover funds from the college’s HEP Grant and aims to open this fall. Renovations of the building will begin soon.
The HEP serves migrant/seasonal farmworkers (MSFWs), including their spouses and dependents, with supplemental support and resources in an effort wot assist them in earning their GED® or high school diploma.
Potential HEP program participants must qualify as an MSFW, be 18 and older without a high school diploma, can take classes and/or demonstrate competency to complete Washington State High School Diploma Requirements and earn a Big Bend Community College High School Diploma.
The address of the Big Bend High School Equivalency Program Office will be located at the Port of Mattawa, 20140 Road 24 SW Suite E, Mattawa, WA 99349.