Oakton and Northwestern Medicine Launch Medical Assistant Apprenticeship

L-R standing: Oakton College President Joianne L. Smith, Ph.D.; Oakton’s Assistant Vice President of Workforce Innovation and College Partnership Jesse Ivory, Ed.D.; Northwestern Medicine Cardiology and Associate Chief Medical Officer Dr. Micah Eimer; and Oakton’s Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Ileo Lott, Ed.D. L-R seated: Future apprentices Godelive Bahombwa, Kimberly Hill, Mariah Gladden and Antonnette Rucker.

Des Plaines, Ill. (May 23, 2024) – In an effort to support local students interested in pursuing a career in healthcare, Oakton College and Northwestern Medicine have joined forces to create the Medical Assistant Apprenticeship program. This education and occupational support opportunity offers students a path to a Medical Assistant Certificate from Oakton College in addition to providing on-site experience as a compensated clinical assistant at Northwestern Medicine. Upon program completion, they can continue their professional journey at Northwestern Medicine as a certified medical assistant.

“We are proud to partner with Northwestern Medicine to create an opportunity that not only prepares students for immediate employment but also sets them on a path to long-term career growth,” said Jesse Ivory, Ed.D., Assistant Vice President of Workforce Innovation and College Partnership. “This collaboration addresses critical staffing needs in the healthcare industry while providing a pathway to economic mobility and career advancement for our students.”

Next year, Evanston Township High School graduates who earned a Basic Nurse Assistant Training Certificate through Oakton's Dual Credit program will also feed into the program for those interested in a healthcare career.

“Our need for talented, qualified healthcare professionals has increased tremendously, so we are thrilled to partner with Oakton College to help bridge the gap for students who are considering a profession in healthcare,” said Micah Eimer, MD, cardiology and associate Chief Medical Officer at Northwestern Medicine. “We created a unique program where a significant portion of the curriculum includes conducting clinical assistant work on-site at Northwestern Medicine in Evanston. This offers students hands-on experience while they study, and an opportunity to join the staff full-time at Northwestern Medicine upon program completion.”

Students who have committed to the apprenticeship attended a kick-off event at Northwestern Medicine in Evanston, where Oakton College and Northwestern Medicine staff offered program overview information and provided an opportunity for the students to ask questions.
“I'm very excited about this program and ready to work and start my studies. This program is a perfect fit for me because of the work and clinic schedule. I want to become a registered nurse eventually,” said Mariah Gladden of Evanston, a new medical assistant apprentice.

Students participating in the program will earn $20 per hour while working at Northwestern Medicine. Concurrently, they will take classes at Oakton College to complete their Medical Assistant Certificate. In addition to their hourly wage, students will receive living wage and educational stipends throughout the duration of the program.

“I think this is a opportunity of a lifetime, especially for me. I took a break to raise my children. Now that my children are grown, I found this opportunity and walked through the door to take it. It is never too late to go back to school,” said Kimberly Hill of Northbrook, a new medical assistant apprentice.

For questions about the program, please email workforceinnovation@oakton.edu or www.nm.org.