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Community Health Worker (Entry-Level) Course - Remote

Access this exclusive on-demand OSU webinar: "Better Healthcare. For Less. How Community Health Workers Are the New Antidote"!

Oregon State University's Professional and Continuing Education is pleased to partner with Oregon State University College of Health and Eastern Oregon Coordinated Care Organization (EOCCO) to offer an innovative online Community Health Worker (CHW) training.

Offered through a multi-year partnership, this course is specifically designed to support progress in public health outcomes and provide meaningful career pathways for health care staff serving in the region.

Our upcoming course is offered in a flexible online format.

Spring 2024 Schedule

  •  April 8th Class starts - access to online course content is available
  • April 11th, 1st mandatory live remote class (full day: 8:30am-4:30pm)
  • May 16th, 2nd mandatory live remote class (full day: 8:30am-4:30pm)
  • May 30th, 1st mandatory virtual session (2 hours; time tbd)
  • June 6th, 2nd mandatory virtual session (2 hours; time tbd)
  • June 20th, 3rd mandatory live remote class (full day: 8:30am-4:30pm)
  • June 23rd, Class ends

Community Health Worker Roles and Careers

The primary role of the Community Health Worker is to serve as a link between a community and its health and social service systems in order to improve access to and delivery of services, and build capacity for individuals/families/communities to promote their own health and well-being.

Though roles vary from one organization to another, CHW roles typically include the following responsibilities:

  • Assist members of the community to improve their health and increases the capacity of the community to meet the health care needs of its residents and achieve wellness.
  • Provide health education and information that is culturally appropriate to the individuals being served.
  • Assist community residents in receiving the care they need.
  • Offer peer counseling and guidance on health behaviors.
  • Provide direct services such as first aid or blood pressure screening.

Community Health Workers provide a wide range of services on behalf of organizations, connecting community members with appropriate medical and social resources.

Community Health Worker Training

By the end of this eleven week CHW training, you will learn how to:

  • Identify and describe Interpersonal Skills relevant for CHWs including organization; communication; cultural competence; and skills relevant to group facilitation, crisis identification, and de-escalation.
  • Identify and describe your personal preferred and other common learning styles.
  • Identify and describe strategies for self-efficacy and self-care to prevent burn-out as a CHW.
  • List and explain core elements of the CHW profession, including history, professional roles, scope of practice, code of ethics, and legal responsibilities.
  • Define and illustrate knowledge of factors related to Determinants of Health and Health Promotion including disease, social determinants of health, health disparities among diverse populations, health across the lifespan, trauma-informed approaches to care, stages of change for behavior change, best practices in health promotion, and health literacy.
  • Identify and describe key components of Assessment, including types of data and their implementation; individual assessment; community needs assessment; resource identification and mapping; and documentation of contacts including within systems.
  • List and compare Capacity Building skills and techniques such as community engagement, empowerment, and advocacy.
  • Define and illustrate knowledge of adult learning principles, popular education methods, and motivational interviewing techniques.
  • Identify and describe Service Coordination skills and techniques related to navigating systems; working with families, support systems, and community groups; working with supervisors and multidisciplinary teams; building partnerships and managing conflict; and organizing communities.
  • Demonstrate the capacity to integrate and apply organization, communication, and cultural sensitivity knowledge and skills relevant to CHWs.

CHW Overview

This course is designed to prepare the student for work as an entry-level Community Health Worker (CHW), while also equipping health care staff serving in other roles with a community health perspective.

This program addresses all competencies required for approval as a CHW training program in Oregon: Students who complete and pass the course are eligible to apply to become certified CHWs in Oregon.

This program is offered in a flexible blended format. Students complete a series of online learning modules (58.5 contact hours), 2 live virtual 2-hour sessions (4 contact hours), and attend 3 live virtual full-day class sessions (22.5 contact hours).


  • High school diploma or GED
  • Reading and writing proficiency in English language

Create new opportunities to serve Oregon community members within your organization!

This innovative course equips you to think big picture about improving the region’s health - by considering each community member’s unique health, cultural and social needs.

If you plan to work in rural Oregon as a CHW or in a related field, you may qualify for scholarships through the Healthy Rural Oregon program. Please complete this online interest form to learn more.

New dates coming soon!
Eleven weeks | Asynchronous
price (2)
Additional Information:
Add yourself to the Waitlist to be notified of future available course dates.

Download Community Health Worker Syllabus

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Ask us about Team Training. We can customize this program to fit your organization's specific needs.


Oralia Mendez

Oralia Mendez holds a Bachelor of Science and Master of Public Health with a concentration in health management and policy from Oregon State University. She has worked professionally in the health field since 2014 as a Community Health Worker in Benton County. She currently serves as the CHW Training Coordinator and Instructor in the College of Health at Oregon State University, where she oversees the Community Health Worker Training Program.

Araceli Mendez

Araceli Mendez holds a Master of Public Health with a concentration in health systems and policy from Oregon State University. Prior to her involvement with OSU, Araceli worked professionally as a Community Health Worker for Benton County. She now has 9+ years of professional Community Health Worker experience and continues to enjoy serving her community. She currently serves as a Program Coordinator with the OSU Center for Health Innovation and is a co-instructor for the CHW Training at Oregon State University.


Past Students' Work

Take a look at some recent projects our students have created.