Identification & Recruitment

Man picking apples

ESCORT provides support to State Education Agencies and Local Education Agencies regarding the identification and recruitment (ID&R) of eligible migratory children into the Migrant Education Program (MEP), which is an essential component of the MEP.

According to the   Non-Regulatory Guidance, issued by the U.S. Department of Education (ED), Office of Migrant Education (OME), Identification and recruitment are critical activities because:

  • The children who are most in need of program services are often those who are the most difficult to find.
  • Many migrant children would not fully benefit from school, and in some cases would not attend school at all, if SEAs did not identify and recruit them into the MEP. This is particularly true of the most mobile migrant children who may be more difficult to identify than those who have settled in a community.
  • Children cannot receive MEP services without a record of eligibility.

The OME goes on to say, "The [State Education Agency] SEA is responsible for the proper and timely identification and recruitment of all eligible migrant children in the State."

With such importance placed on ID&R, SEAs and Local Education Agencies (LEAs) must do all they can to ensure they are identifying and recruiting all eligible migratory children in their state. ESCORT staff has extensive experience in conducting productive and purposeful ID&R activities for many client states and LEAs. Considered as a subject matter expert for more than 30 years, ESCORT continues to provide ID&R guidance and assistance at the national, state, and local levels.


To effectively identify all migratory children and youth, an MEP needs to be informed about the agricultural and fishing trends and any other factors that might affect their migratory communities. ESCORT staff research these industries by providing MEPs with:


ESCORT provides training to ID&R staff through national and state conferences, professional development events, webinars, and other training-delivery methods for the following topics.

  • Identification Strategies for Potentially Eligible Children and Youth
  • Recruitment Strategies
  • MEP Eligibility Curriculum for Consistent and Uniform ID&R
  • ID&R Action Plan Development

On-site ID&R efforts

Experienced ESCORT ID&R staff is sent to both MEP-funded and non-funded areas to assist in the recruitment of eligible migratory children and youth using multifaceted efforts.

  • Preparation: ESCORT works with the SEA or LEA to determine the type of on-site ID&R effort necessary.
  • Research: ESCORT's research team conducts thorough research of the agreed-upon area to use during planning and implementation.
  • Implementation & Documentation: ESCORT ID&R staff keeps thorough notes for the SEA or LEA to follow along with the team's progress.
  • Report: Every ESCORT ID&R initiative comes with a report that includes a summary of the efforts, immediate next steps, and recommendations for future ID&R practices. ESCORT and SEAs/LEAs use the report to debrief after the team's efforts

Quality Control Processes and Systems

The U.S. Department of Education, Office of Migrant Education requires State Education Agencies to implement quality control procedures to ensure the timely and proper identification of migrant children and youth. These efforts include:

  • Re-interviews: federally required efforts to validate eligibility determinations through an annual re-interview of currently eligible families.
  • COE reviews: implementing a thorough review of completed COE to ensure every eligibility determination is properly documented

ID&R Planning

The MEP needs to have a thorough ID&R Plan that details ID&R activities and reasoning in order to effectively identify and recruit every eligible migratory child or youth in the state.

  • ID&R Plan: An ID&R Plan is an all-encompassing document that details how the SEA or LEA will identify and recruit all of the eligible migrant children and youth in their area. ESCORT creates and assists in the creation of ID&R Plans for SEAs and LEAs across the country.
  • ID&R Data: Several data points can be useful to the identification and recruitment of migratory children and youth. These include the qualifying arrival date (QAD), the qualifying work, and individual student data and demographics. ESCORT ID&R staff is trained to analyze these informative data points and create informed action plans.

Figure 1: ID&R Planning Cycle

Our projects & partnerships

ESCORT hosts the annual National ID&R Forum. The National ID&R Forum is the only conference that focuses explicitly on the Identification and Recruitment (ID&R) of migratory children and youth for Migrant Education Programs (MEPs) to enhance their capacity to appropriately identify and serve all eligible migratory students. More information is available on the  National ID&R Forum page.

ESCORT assists the Alabama Migrant Education Program with ID&R across the state. In addition, ESCORT staff provide training for Alabama MEP staff to improve their ID&R efforts and conducts quality control re-interviews.

ESCORT coordinates the identification and recruitment processes of all eligible migratory children and youth into the Florida MEP. You can read more about our program implementation services  here. ESCORT serves as the ID&R Office for the state of Florida and the local MEPs across the country. The ID&R Office coordinates the re-interview process for the state of Florida, conducts thorough COE review for accuracy and eligibility, and provides technical assistance to local MEPs related to ID&R. external linkVisit In addition to these efforts, ESCORT assists in the state's continuous improvement cycle (Comprehensive Needs Assessment, Service Delivery Plan, and Evaluation) of the MEP.

ESCORT coordinates the identification and recruitment processes of all eligible migratory children and youth into the Louisiana MEP. You can read more about our program implementation services  here. We provide thorough COE review for accuracy and eligibility, provide technical assistance to the local parishes related to ID&R, coordinate a yearly ID&R planning and quarterly ID&R reporting processes, and conduct quality control re-interviews.

ESCORT is supporting the Mississippi Migrant Education Program's (MS MEP) ID&R efforts through professional development and collaboration. Recently, ESCORT conducted periodic reviews of the Certificates of Eligibility (COEs) completed by the MS MEP for eligibility, accuracy and consistency. ESCORT also conducted external re-interviews for the MS MEP and provided subsequent professional development and training related to the findings.

ESCORT implements the identification and recruitment of all eligible migratory children and youth into the Missouri MEP. You can read more about our program implementation services  here. These efforts include all aspects related to ID&R - reviewing COEs for accuracy and eligibility, creating and executing a thorough ID&R yearly plan, monthly plan and documentation process, and conducting quality control re-interviews. In addition to the ID&R implementation, ESCORT also conducts Parent Advisory Council (PAC) meetings to inform the Comprehensive Needs Assessment (CNA) and Service Delivery Plan (SDP) processes.

ESCORT was contracted by the Texas Education Agency to conduct ID&R sweeps and professional development to numerous regions and districts throughout the state. Sweep initiatives involve all of the preparation, research, implementation, documentation, and reporting that creates a successful onsite recruitment effort. In addition to the recruitment sweep, ESCORT staff worked with local MEP staff to determine their unique needs and provide them with appropriate resources to improve their ID&R efforts.