The CPASS Foundation builds upon the successes of the Chicago Area Health and Medical Careers Program (CAHMCP, known as “Champs”). Founded in 1979 at the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT), this was a pipeline program for underrepresented high school and college students. CAHMCP prepared motivated students for careers in healthcare and medicine by showing them that they could succeed in these fields. The instruction included hands-on activities and field trips, as well as counseling for graduate school and medical college admission tests.
What We Learned
What we learned from CAHMCP is that underrepresented students should start preparing for STEM careers much earlier. We needed to begin our program in middle school, so that students would be motivated to form good study habits. We also needed to take a broader view of technology-based medical careers for underrepresented students.
Looking to the Future
Established in 2018, the CPASS Foundation is the second chapter in our story. The CPASS Foundation exposes underrepresented students to the wide range of career paths open to them. Mentoring and hands-on instruction help students prepare for a great future in STEM. We invite alumni of the CAHMCP program to work with us, as mentors, donors, and shining examples of career success for underrepresented students.