The Community Health Worker (CHW)
The CHW Program trains and certifies students to work in the fields of public health, health care and social services. Community Health Workers (CHWs) provide a wide range of services, including health outreach and education, client-centered counseling and case management, and client and community-based advocacy. They work to reduce unequal rates of illness and death between different communities and to promote health equity or justice, prioritizing communities with the greatest health risks.
The CHW Certificate Program was established in 1994 and now offers 5 Certificate Options.
All 5 Certificates share the following requirements:
- Enrollment policies
- 14 units of core courses (Health 201, 202 & 203)
- A 128-hour internship placement
- A final Performance-Based Exam (PBE) administered by local
public health experts
The Five Certificates are:
- The CHW Certificate: 20 units of study that includes Health 64 and 66.
- The Elder Advocate Specialist Certificate: 21 units of study that includes Health 10, 87 and 91H. CHWs are trained to provide services to seniors in diverse settings. *Pending state-approval (anticipated fall 2018)
- The HIV and Hepatitis Navigation Specialist Certificate: 22 units of study that includes Health 66, 67, 91c and 95. CHWs are trained to address local HIV, Hepatitis and related epidemics in diverse settings. *Pending state-approval (anticipated fall 2018)
- The Reentry Specialist Certificate: 20 units of study that includes Health 66 and 110. CHWs are trained to work with incarcerated and formerly-incarcerated clients and their communities.
- The Youth Advocate Specialist Certificate: 20 units of study that includes Health 64 and 65. CHWs are trained to work with youth and young adults in diverse settings.
NOTE: Students who enrolled in the CHW Program before the Fall of 2018 have Catalog Rights, and may choose to complete the courses that were required for a certificate at the time of their enrollment. If you have questions about Catalog Rights, please contact the CHW Program Coordinator or Health Education Department Chair.
The five CHW Certificates are designed to prepare students for employment and professional success. Learning outcomes are based on input from local employers, program graduates who are working in the field, and research and emerging standards for the CHW profession.
Upon successful completion of any of the certificate programs, students will be able to demonstrate the following learning outcomes:
- Analyze and evaluate public health concepts and information for health promotion.
- Assess and integrate professional skills necessary for employment in the CHW field.
- Evaluate and implement entry-level proficiency in CHW core competencies for working effectively with diverse individuals, groups and communities.
There are additional Learning Outcomes for each Specialty
Elder Advocate Specialist:
- Analyze and apply key concepts and skills for working with older adults.
HIV and Hepatitis Navigation Specialist:
- Analyze and apply key concepts and skills for working with clients and communities impacted by HIV and Hepatitis.
Additional Reentry Specialist:
- Analyze and apply key concepts and skills for working with
incarcerated and formerly-incarcerated clients and communities.
Additional Youth Advocate Specialist:
- Analyze and apply key concepts and skills for working with youth and young adults.
The goal of the Community Health Worker Certificate Program is to prepare and train individuals for positions in community-oriented health and social services agencies and programs, provide health education, information and referrals, and client advocacy in both clinic and community settings. The program emphasizes health education and promotion as well as specific competencies for work in underserved and/or linguistically isolated communities. We are also committed to increasing workforce diversity in public health and primary care in order to better serve people of color who now represent the majority in California.