Chicago State University

Building Pathways to a Brighter Future

The Partnership to STEP UP in Health Careers (STEP UP) is an exciting career laddering program that provides educational training for Temporary Assistance for Needy Family (TANF) recipients and low income eligible individuals in high demand healthcare fields. This program is funded by Health Profession Opportunity Grant (HPOG) from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families.

The Partnership to STEP UP in Health Careers (STEP UP) program is operated by Chicago State University in partnership with South Suburban Community College, Metropolitan Family Services- Calumet and Proactive Community Services. Together, we offer the opportunity for training and career laddering in the rewarding fields of Community Health, Health Information Administration, Nursing and Occupational Therapy.

Who is eligible to participate?

  1. Individuals over the age of 18 years old.
  2. U.S. Citizens or permanent residents.
  3. Individuals who meet household income requirements:
    • Receive Temporary Assistance for needy Families (TANF) or
    • Meet the 200% federal poverty guidelines.
  4. Individuals who have not been enrolled in post-secondary for over a year.
  5. Interest in a career in the healthcare.

Applicants need to be aware that a felony conviction may affect a graduate’s ability to sit for a certification examination or obtain a state license. The STEP UP program will assist individuals with such backgrounds to determine their options.

HPOG is a study funded by the federal government which is being conducted to determine how these training opportunities help people improve their skills and find better jobs. During the study, all new eligible applicants will be selected by lottery to participate in these training opportunities. Not all eligible applicants will be selected to participate in these opportunities.

Health Care Educational Opportunities

Certified nursing Assistant Occupational Therapy Aide
Medical Coding Specialist Community Health Worker
Medical Assistant Associate Registered Nurse
Occupational Therapy Assistant B.S. in Nursing
RN to BSN completion B.S. in Community Health *
B.S. in Health Information Administration  B.S. in Pre- Occupational Therapy

All educational programs are accredited by their professional associations or in candidacy* and meet the requirements necessary for program completers to apply for relevant certification and/or licensure.

STEP UP Program Benefits
  • Personalized Assessment
  • Individualized Academic and Career Planning
  • Pre-College Basic Skills Development
  • Scholarships
  • Financial Aid
  • Tutoring and Academic Success Programs
  • Internships or Clinical Placements
  • Assistance with Support Services
  • Job Readiness and Placement Services
  • Job Shadowing and Mentoring
  • Peer Support and Learning Communities
  • Childcare Referrals
For more information or to enroll, please contact CSU or one of the partners: 

Chicago State University

9501S King Drive BHS 231

Chicago, IL. 60628 

Telephone: 773-995-3882

South Suburban College

15800 S State Street

South Holland, IL. 60473

Telephone: 708-596-2000 ext 2356


Metropolitan Family Services- Calumet

235 East 103rd Street

Chicago, Illinois, 60628

Telephone: 773-371-3642

Metropolitan Family Services - Southwest 

13136 South Western Avenue

Blue Island , Illinois 60406

Telephone: 708-974-5811

This document was supported by Grant 90FX0052 from the Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS). Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of HHS.