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2023-2024 Benefits Navigator and Strategic Campus Plan Guidance

Benefits Navigator

The Washington State Legislature passed into law Second Substitute House Bill 1559 (2023). Sponsored by Representative Debra Entenman, this legislation requires, by law, all community and technical colleges to implement a Benefits Navigator position at a minimum of .75 FTE not to be divided between two or more staff. The Benefits Navigator creates a single point of contact for students to access resources such as public benefits (working connections childcare, basic food enrollment), emergency assistance grants, housing supports, and Basic Food Employment and Training. 

Hunger-Free and Basic Needs Strategic Campus Plan

Additionally, the legislation requires colleges to develop a Hunger-Free & Basic Needs Strategic Campus Plan by April 2024. The intent of the strategic plan is to formulate a plan of action that has significant impacts on the lives of students. By addressing food insecurity, housing instability, and other basic needs, students are able to stay focused on their education and achieve their full potential. Strategic plans should have a comprehensive and holistic approach, including utilization of a variety of strategies to meet the unique needs of diverse student populations. Additionally, plans should define and support the building of partnerships with community organizations, increased resources and support services, and a campus-wide culture of caring, to ensure college students have access to supports that meet their most basic of needs while they are engaged in classes. 

Basic Needs

Student basic needs consist of food, water, shelter, clothing, physical health, mental health, childcare, or similar needs that students enrolled at an institution of higher education, tribal college, or community or technical college may face difficulty with, and that hinders their ability to begin or continue their enrollment.

Milestones and Deadlines

Milestone Dates (subject to change)
Allocations available for Benefits Navigator position July 2023
Campus Hunger-Free & Basic Needs Strategic Plan development April 2024
Legislative report due December 1, 2025


Jennifer Dellinger
Policy Associate, Student Services


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Last Modified: 3/12/24, 12:13 PM

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