Website header for Workforce Education Services Department

New to WES Students

Current WES Students

Meet the WES Team

SSEH - Supporting Students Experiencing Homelessness

VFP - Viking Food Pantry

Resource Navigator (coming soon)

The WES department can assist qualifying students with additional funds such as tuition, books, transportation costs, and emergency financial support depending on which grant(s) you may qualify for.

You may qualify for WES funding based on but not limited to:

  • Low-income status
  • If you receive or are eligible for SNAP/EBT
  • If you are receiving TANF
  • If you are pursuing a certificate/degree in Early Childhood Education and are currently employed at an Early Achievers Site
  • If you are unemployed, underemployed or receiving unemployment benefits
  • If you have Military service within the last 48 months

Fill out a WES Funding Application to have someone from our team reach out to you for possible qualifications.

Additional WES requirements

1. FAFSA/WASFA

  • What is FAFSA? FAFSA, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, is a government form that current and future college students can fill out to determine if they are eligible for financial aid from the federal government. It is available for students to apply each year.
  • The application takes various factors and assets into account, such as income, scholarships, and any other resources currently available to the student. From there, the FAFSA form is filed, and the government will determine students’ eligibility to receive federal aid.
  • What is WAFSA? The WASFA is a financial aid application for student’s ineligible to file a FAFSA. Washington State offers financial aid programs to students who are not eligible for federal financial aid because of immigration status. These students still need to meet other program requirements. To find out if you qualify, complete the free WASFA to apply for state financial aid.
    The WASFA provides Washington State Need Grants to low-income, non-citizen students who meet the program’s eligibility requirements and satisfy the residency criteria below:
  1.  Graduated from a Washington high school with a diploma, earned a GED, or earned a diploma equivalent. High school graduates must have finished their full senior year at a Washington high school.
  2. Lived in Washington for at least three consecutive years (36 consecutive months) immediately before the date you earned a high school diploma, GED, or equivalent.
  3. Continuously lived in Washington after the date you earned a high school diploma, GED, or equivalent.
WES consists of the following programs

Basic Food Employment and Training

The Basic Food Employment and Training (BFET) program provides assistance with tuition, fees, books, transportation, and other support services to students who receive food benefits from DSHS. Participation in the BFET program will allow a student to keep food benefits while attending college, as well as access child care assistance through Working Connections Child Care. Students must be in a short-term workforce education program of study in order to qualify. 

Early Achievers Grant

The Early Achievers Grant is for students who are working toward a certificate or degree in Early Childhood Education and are employed in a childcare center or family home that is participating in Washington Early Achievers for a minimum of 40 hours per month or 10 hours per week. (See the Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges website for more information on the Early Achievers Grant). The program will cover tuition, fees, books, and other support services for eligible students. Must be a Washington resident in order to qualify. 

Opportunity Grant

The Opportunity Grant is for Washington State residents who meet the income criteria of 200% of poverty level. (The chart under the eligibility determination section shows the income criteria.) The program provides 45 credits of tuition and fee assistance, up to $1000 per year for books and tools, and other support services for students in approved workforce programs.

WorkFirst

WorkFirst is Washington State’s welfare reform program for individuals who receive Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). DSHS administers TANF, which provides temporary cash for families in need. The WorkFirst program helps participants access education and training in order to find and keep jobs. Enrolling in Adult Education classes, including GED, High School Diploma, and ESL as well as Workforce Education, qualify as WorkFirst participation. Through Workforce Education Services, participants may receive tuition and textbook assistance as well as advising and mentoring to ensure graduation and completion.

Worker Retraining

The Worker Retraining funding is a program which provides options for unemployed or underemployed workers to access education and training to maintain employment or to re-enter the workforce. The eligibility criteria includes:

  • Currently receiving unemployment benefits
  • Eligible to receive unemployment benefits
  • Exhausted unemployment benefits within the past 48 months
  • Displaced homemaker (loss of primary income due to becoming widowed, separated or divorced within the past 48 months)
  • Military veteran discharged within the past 48 months. Students may be eligible to receive unemployment benefits while attending school and not participate in job search activities if the training meets the Commissioner Approved Training criteria approved by the Employment Security Department. The Worker Retraining program at Big Bend provides assistance with tuition and books for one quarter of attendance. Funding for subsequent quarters depends on availability of funds.

SSEH

Supporting Students Experiencing Homelessness (SSEH) is a grant that aims to assist students experiencing homelessness, housing insecurities, or students who have aged out of foster care. Any current BBCC student (regardless of their program path) who meets the eligibility requirements or who has aged out of the foster care system may be able to receive support services such as emergency housing, rental assistance, eviction prevention, utilities assistance, access to laundry facilities, access to technology, community resources and referrals and more. To be eligible you must be a current BBCC student and fall into one of the below categories:

  • Currently experiencing homelessness
    • Meaning you are couch surfing, sleeping in your vehicle, staying with friends or family. Or it could also mean that you have a place right now, but it is not permanent.
  • Currently experiencing housing insecurities
    • Meaning you may be unable to pay rent or have an eviction notice. You may be worried about losing your current housing and/or concerned about becoming homeless.
  • You aged out or were in foster care at the time you graduated high school or completed your high school equivalency.

Funds are limited and are available until all funds are exhausted. After completing the online SSEH intake process a program coordinator will reach out to you via email or phone for further information and assistance.

Please scan the QR code or click the link to access the SSEH Intake Application.

Summer Quarter Hours
July 1-August 30

Mon-Thurs07:30-5:00PM
Friday (3700-WEC)08:00-2:00PM
Friday's located in 3700 Building, Office-237S Ph 509-793-2313
Sat-SunClosed
WES Contact Info
WES Staff

Ibarra, Yolanda

Director of WES
yolandai@bigbend.edu
(509) 793-2052

Gudino, Giselle

WES Program Coordinator
giselleg@bigbend.edu
(509) 793-2309

White, Tara

Program Coordinator WES
taraw@bigbend.edu
509-793-2312

Alva, Karla

BEdA/WES Program Assistant
karlaa@bigbend.edu
509-793-2313

Razo, Cynthia

WES Program Assistant
cynthiar@bigbend.edu
509-793-2049

Pelayo, Veronica

WES Program Assistant
veronicape@bigbend.edu
509-793-2051
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