STEP Program

The STEP Program removes financial barriers and provides counseling and academic support so you can succeed in the steps toward completing a degree program or qualifying for a healthcare training program that will accelerate your movement up the career ladder.

The STEP Program offers several levels of support depending on what type of classes you are taking.


The STEP program supports you in completing the following classes at local Community Colleges:

  • College Readiness
  • ESL
  • GED
  • Prerequisites
  • General Education (GEs)


STEP Core is the next level of support within the STEP program which pays tuition, required fees, and textbooks, every semester for your Healthcare Training programs at Community Colleges.

Students must be accepted and attending classes in a degree or training program at a Community College to be eligible for STEP CORE. The STEP CORE program is now available across all Education Fund regions (California, Colorado, Nevada, and Northwest.) Space is limited in each region.


STEP Accelerated offers support for Prerequisites, General Education classes, and Certificate or Degrees Programs such as:

  1. Allied Health Care Careers
  2. Human Services
  3. Information Technology
  4. More to come!



Applications are now closed

Winter/Spring 2021 application and more details to come in September 2020.

Types Of Support

  • Tuition, Mandatory Fees & Required Books paid for every quarter/semester at local community colleges.
  • Work with an Ed Fund Career Counselor who will guide and support you through the process.
  • Receive free one on one online tutoring for difficult subjects like math, English and science.
  • Get on track to reach your education goals and upgrade your career!

Am I Eligible?

Yes, if you:

  • Are working in a bargaining unit position for which an Employer has agreed to make contributions to the Fund;
  • Have completed your probationary period;
  • Are a regular benefited full-time or part-time employee. In addition, on-call or per diem employees working, at minimum, 2 shifts per month over the most recent 6 month period;
  • Meet the college’s prerequisites for your class; and
  • Enrolled in the community college and able to register for your classes.

Please Note: If you are an on-call or per diem applicant, you MUST submit documentation to verify that you have worked a minimum of two (2) shifts per month for the last six (6) months. Please be prepared with the required documents when applying.

What Classes Are Covered?

  • Basic Computers
  • ESL (English as a Second Language)
  • English
  • Math
  • Science
  • Microsoft Word & Excel
  • Foreign Language
  • Prerequisites
  • All GE (General Education) Classes required to graduate

What Colleges Are Covered?

Local Community Colleges in these regions:

  • Southern California
  • Central CA/Coast
  • Northern California
  • Oregon/Washington
  • Colorado
  • Nevada

If your local community college is not listed in the STEP online application please contact us at 1-888-872-4606.

Online Options?

Online Classes through your local community college – Many of the colleges provide online or hybrid versions of their classes. The STEP Program will support any semester/quarter online or hybrid college credit classes at the community college.

See the STEP Accelerated page for additional online options.

How Do I Get Accepted Into STEP Program?

Application Process For New Students:

  • Apply for the STEP program. You will receive a provisionally accepted email within 10 business days to let you know your application was successfully processed. The provisionally accepted email will give you the next steps and a links to the New Student Online Orientation and Student Guidelines. If you do not receive a provisionally accepted email please contact the Education Fund:
  • Watch the New student orientation and complete the student guidelines. This is a mandatory step that must be completed to be officially accepted.
  • Speak with your assigned Ed Fund Career Counselor to review your application and discuss the next steps of the process. It is very helpful if you can send unofficial transcripts or assessment scores to your assigned Ed Fund Career Counselor. If you need help with this, please ask your Ed Fund Career Counselor for assistance. They are here to support you.
  • Register for your class through the community college’s registration process at the earliest opportunity.

What If I’m Not Sure I’m Ready To Start College?

We suggest that you first meet with a Career Counselor to review your goals, develop a plan, and help you decide if the STEP Program is the next best step for you. Call 1.888.872.4606 to talk to an Education Fund Career Counselor.

If you want to prepare yourself to take a college-level course, we recommend that you first consider completing one of our non-credit  online classes (Intro to Medical Terminology, Intro to Anatomy & Physiology, and Biology) through our Healthcare Career Basics program.

How Can I Get More Information?

Contact the Education Fund at 1.888.872.4606 or contact the Ed Fund Career Counselor in your area directly.