CCHE Director Updates

Message from Karen Blackburn, Executive Director 6/17/2020

Hello Everyone,

As businesses are opening, we are all facing the challenge of keeping employees and visitors safe while continuing to provide services.  At Cook County Higher Education, we have put the following policies in place to meet current safety recommendations.

  • Face Coverings are required at all times. A limited number of face coverings are available for you as you enter the building. Please keep the face covering once you’ve used it.
  • Physical distancing of 6 feet required at all times.
  • Hands must be sanitized with available hand sanitizer when entering the building.
  • Disinfectant cleaner/wipes and hand sanitizer are available near all student computers. All users should sanitize their hands and disinfect keyboards and computer area before and after use.
  • The Cook County Higher Education building is being deep cleaned and sanitized once a week.
  • All programming has been moved to an on-line platform. Please contact us for customized training. We have some computers available to accommodate training from home.
  • We have limited access to two bathrooms in the building: one upstairs and one downstairs.
  • CCHE has created a COVID-19 Preparedness Plan as required by Governor Walz.
  • Most staff continue to work from home.
Read More

CCHE’s YouTube Channel


Free Help for Students

For education and college related questions, please contact:
Lenna Stever

Student Support Coordinator
Make An Appointment

Lenna is keeping up to date on the effects of COVID-19 regarding our educational system. For a series of CCHE videos regarding these issues, check out our COVID-19 playlist on Youtube:

College, Fall 2020

Wondering about your college’s plans for the Fall? Check out this article, which contains a spreadsheet that is being continually updated:

Student Loans

The CARES Act, passed on 3/27/2020, offers additional relief to student loan borrowers. If you have qualifying student loans, your interest rate will automatically drop to 0% and your payments will be automatically put on a Pandemic Forbearance. Click for more detailed information.

Student Loan Payments Suspended


Get help with your FAFSA – by text! The FAFSA chatbot, which is available by text message & available 24/7, addresses common FAFSA issues, like:

  • troubleshooting the FSA ID & login
  • deciding whose income to report
  • and more

Through August, all students can access the chatbot by texting “2020” to 267-578-3373. Students can find out more about the service and how to opt in at

Virtual Mentoring

If you are having trouble understanding a subject or need help with a class contact our Outreach Coordinator, Carly Puch, at

You can meet virtually up to 10 times per semester with your mentor for FREE (mentors are compensated by CCHE). If you’re nervous about the technology aspects let us know and we’ll help find the best program and assist you in how to use it. Click here to request a mentor.

Lifelong Learning and Training & Development

CCHE has adapted to this new learning landscape. We are adding new, fresh, and timely online programming!  Check out our Events Calendar for more info on upcoming learning opportunities.

Unable to attend? Access our Recorded Events when it’s convenient for you!

If you are interested in instructing or have an instruction topic suggestion, contact our Program Director, Kelsey Kennedy, at

During Covid-19 we are offering much of CCHE’s online learning opportunities for FREE.



As the COVID-19 outbreak continues to impact the workforce, the federal government is expanding unemployment benefit eligibility.

Small Business Assistance

This toolkit will continue to be updated daily as new information and resources become available.

Cook County  Coronavirus Response Hub 

The Cook County Coronavirus Response Hub website seeks to provide current and accurate information, maps and resources about the community wide response to the coronavirus. This website includes up-to-date information on local Food Resources & Other Necessities, Community Information, and more.

Apply for a Refurbished Reduced Cost Laptop 

CCHE is working with PCs for People to purchase additional refurbished laptops for you to purchase.

To be placed on a wait list, complete a CCHE’s PCs for People Application and we will contact you once the laptops are available.

Hot Spots – Internet Access Using Your Phone

At its essence, a hotspot is a blend of software, hardware and network data services that combine to transform a phone into the equivalent of a broadband modem and router. In other words, it can distribute a web connection to nearby systems via Wi-Fi. This lets you get your laptop and tablet online using your phone data plan.