Methodist College Awarded $250,000 Apprenticeship PLUS Grant

Methodist College, UnityPoint Health, and CareerLink are the recipients of a $250,000 Apprenticeship PLUS grant from the Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity that will provide education and training in healthcare to youth while also providing them employment opportunities. 

The Apprenticeship PLUS pilots are under the Governor’s Cabinet for Children and Youth. The pilots specifically target both in-school and-out-of-school youth between the ages of 16 and 24, and provide them with specific career education, a chance to earn industry-recognized credentials and do on-the-job training. 

"The Apprenticeship Plus Nursing Assistant to Medical Assistant Scholarship Program provides an unprecedented opportunity for students to earn two healthcare credentials at essentially no cost while earning an income," said Dr. Eileen Setti, Chair of Career Pathways and Continuing Education at Methodist College. "In addition, up to 22 college credits that the students will earn during the program can be transferred to bachelor programs at Methodist College including Nursing, Social Work, or Health Sciences."

The Apprenticeship Plus Nursing Assistant to Medical Assistant Bridge Program is a project supported by Methodist College, UnityPoint Health, and CareerLink.  The program will provide scholarships to low income young adults (high school graduate/GED to age 24) and it includes tuition, fees and many expenses.  Students will benefit from College Readiness training and Professional Development while enrolled in the Nursing Assistant program in the fall 2017 semester.  Upon successful completion of the Nursing Assistant program and certification in December 2017, students are hired by UnityPoint Health and work as CNAs while completing the coursework to become a Medical Assistant.  Successful students will then be hired as Certified Medical Assistants by UnityPoint Health once the Medical Assistant program and certification is completed in the Summer of 2019. 

“This program will help us develop high quality candidates for important clinical positions,” said Courtney Newgard, Regional Manager of Talent Acquisition for UnityPoint Health. “Partnerships like this allow us to serve the community by providing job development resources and identifying talented people to help us deliver outstanding healthcare.” 

The application process for the program is currently underway for classes that will begin August 22. In order to participate, students must meet eligibility requirements and be full-time students.  Interested students should contact Methodist College Director of Recruiting Kyle Bright at (309) 672-5513.  The deadline to apply is August 9, 2017.

Additional information and program requirements can be found at