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Training future healthcare workers through cost-free college

by Public Relations and Marketing | Published Nov 30, 2022

Students looking to get into the healthcare field can do so without a financial barrier thanks to the Pipeline for the Advancement of Healthcare Workforce (PATH) grant from the Illinois Community College Board (ICCB). 

A nursing student in the classroomWith currently high workforce needs in the healthcare field, and an even bigger worker deficit on the horizon, the state of Illinois turned to community colleges to quickly get trained workers into the field. Community colleges were chosen because they can get students into the workforce much faster than four-year institutions.  

Students enrolled in eligible healthcare program courses can receive grant funding for tuition, fees, books and uniforms used in clinical education, plus a stipend for childcare, technology and other essential costs.   

“If there was a financial barrier for anyone to pursue these programs, it's no longer there,” said the Biological and Health Sciences Dean Jeet Saini. “This program gives a generous, all-around financial package to somebody who wants to get a job in healthcare.”   

The pandemic created tough working conditions in the healthcare industry, causing the positions, though generally well-paying, to become less attractive. The conditions also pushed a lot of older workers toward retirement and created a mass exodus. 

Lake County has a vast healthcare system, so it will be easy for students to find jobs close to home. The programs included in the grant have potential for career growth. These programs include:  

The grant also has funds for improving the education students receive through enhancing access to personal laptops and purchasing modern supplies and equipment for use in healthcare labs.   

About College of Lake County

College of Lake County is a comprehensive community college committed to equitable high-quality education, cultural enrichment and partnerships to advance the diverse communities it serves in northeastern Illinois. Offered at three campuses in Grayslake, Vernon Hills and Waukegan or online, college classes are affordable and accessible to help each student achieve academic, career and personal goals. More than 70,000 students graduated with degrees and certificates since the college opened in 1969. College of Lake County is the only higher-education institution ranked among the top 15 best places to work in Illinois by Forbes in 2019 and is a national leader in many areas, including campus internationalization, sustainability and conservation.