Want to help those in the community? This certification program can assist

The certification program prepares individuals to work as Texas State-certified Community Health Workers.

Community Health Workers assist individuals and families adopt healthy behaviors. They also help improve access to health services for people in their community.

Alamo Colleges and Metro Health are partnering together to offer a certification program that prepares individuals to work as Texas State-certified Community Health Workers (CHWs).

According to Alamo Colleges, the program prepares students to work in public health, private health care delivery systems, community-based social service agencies, and health care insurance organizations.

Gabriel Aguilar, Metro Health manager, says most people 16 or older can apply, even if they do not have a high school diploma.

There are two different paths students can take:

  1. Students can take an academic path that counts as credit. Students would need to meet all the eligibility requirements for enrollment in academic credit courses at Alamo Colleges.
  2. Students can enroll in a continuing education track. These students are enrolled in identical courses resulting in the identical CHW certification, but a high school diploma or GED is not required. All continuing education credit courses can be converted to academic courses in the future by completing six hours of academic credit at any Alamo College.

Aguilar says skills can be learned within the program, but those who are most successful in the program are those who are passionate about community change, connecting people and resources and people who are hard-working and self-motivated.

“Our community health workers were really the ones who were there at the beginning of the pandemic and even now, out on the front lines bringing life-saving information to people. Somebody with that type of passion, on top of the skills they can learn in the program, they can excel as a community health worker,” Aguilar said.

Nearly 95% of the graduates find jobs in Bexar County, according to Alamo Colleges. Some of the jobs available include CHW, Community Engagement Specialist, Health Program Specialist, Vaccine Outreach Specialist, Health Promotion Worker, Case Management Aide, Patient Navigator, Outreach Worker, and Social Work Assistant.

Aguilar says Metro Health has 60+ health worker positions, and there’s lots of room for opportunity.

You can find more information about the program and how to register on the Alamo Colleges website.