The Curriculum

The City College CHW curriculum teaches core competencies common to 70 CHW job titles. Courses address a wide variety of topics including public health, social justice, and strategies for reducing and eliminating persistent inequalities among communities in rates of illness and death. CHW students develop and enhance skills for client-centered practice including how to provide health education, coaching/counseling, motivational interviewing, and case management services informed by cultural humility. CHWs are prepared to provide trauma-informed practice and to demonstrate professional skills including ethics, the scope of practice, team-work, internet research, resume development and job interviewing. Finally, students also learn how to facilitate educational and support groups and study models for community organizing and advocacy.

Our Approach to Teaching & Learning

Classes and internships are led by a teaching team with professional experience working in public health. Teaching methods combine performance-based and popular education, which taps the power of student’s own life experiences, knowledge, and skills. Core courses incorporate collaborative learning, group projects, role-play practice, case studies, and individual writing assignments. Materials are presented in a variety of ways, including written materials, the use of role-plays or skits, presentations from guest speakers and class members, the use of video and film.

As on the job, CHW students are expected to be able to conduct online research, discuss assigned readings, and to clearly write professional notes, reports and correspondence. Written class assignments include taking client case notes, responding to case study questions, and writing short reflective papers.

The Program Textbook: Foundations for CHWs

Most of CHW Program courses – including Health 64, 66, 110, 201, 202, and 203 – use the same textbook: Foundations for Community Health Workers, Second Edition. This textbook was written by CCSF CHW Program faculty, students, and graduates along with local and national public health experts, and is based on the CCSF curriculum.

You can purchase the textbook at the CCSF bookstore or online with Amazon and other book vendors. Note that online sites often offer used and discounted copies. You can also find the textbook on reserve at the Health Education Department’s LINK Center located in MUB 301, and at the Rosenberg Library.

Video Resources

The CHW Certificate Program Curriculum and Textbook include hundreds of short videos highlighting key concepts and skills for working CHWs.

CCSF Community Health Worker students have developed short 2-4 minute videos about their pathway to becoming CHWs (with the support of the Center for Digital Storytelling). To watch their videos, please click on the links provided below:

Online Learning System: Canvas

Many of the CHW Program courses use Canvas, the CCSF online learning platform. Most CHW Courses are taught through a blend of in-person classroom learning and online assignments. Students must log in to the online Canvas course website each week to find assigned readings and videos, and to participate in short discussion forums (online discussions), take quizzes, and complete other assignments.

Online learning provides an opportunity for students to enhance computer, internet, and writing skills that are essential for long-term professional success. Increasingly, employers require CHWs to enter client progress notes and other data into online records, to be able to conduct online research to find resources to share with and guide their work with clients and communities.

Learn More About Online Learning