Community Health Worker Training

Start Your Career on the Front Lines of Public Health

What is a Community Health Worker (CHW)?

Front-line public health worker who is a trusted member of and/or has a close understanding of the community served. In Oregon, CHWs are eligible for Medicaid reimbursement. 

Community Health Workers work in health departments, medical clinics, community organizations, and social service agencies.

CHW Student Interest Form

CHW Spring Class 2023


What you will learn:

  • Effective patient education and group facilitation strategies
  • Relationship building and strategies for supporting behavior change
  • Community advocacy: community needs assessments & community organizing
  • Case Management - assist patients with accessing community resources and navigating the health care system
  • How to manage home visits
  • Recovery, resilience, and wellness models
  • Public health essential knowledge: social determinants of health, disease prevention, health across the lifespan, cultural competency, and trauma informed care

If you have any questions regarding the class, please contact Sarah Baron at

Health Careers Center


Course Registration:

We offer a few different ways to register for this course to meet the academic and professional needs of our students (see detailed registration instructions and links below in the drop-down menu). 

  • Two options for registration:
    • If you are interested in only taking this class only and not earning a degree, please click here for Non-Degree Enrollment Steps. You do not need placement test for non-degree for this class. 
    • If you are already a COCC student, please enroll using the CRN#25303 for Spring 2024

For more information, please contact Jill Ridling at 

Scholarships are available for those who are enrolled in the class and full participation in the training. 

Course Offered Spring Term in a Hybrid Format:

  • Spring CRN#25303 Community Health Worker Class 
  • 11-week class that is both online and in-person formats.
  • There will be in-person classes held on the Madras COCC campus on the following Fridays: 4/5, 4/19, 5/10, 5/17 and 5/31 from 12:45 p.m. to 4:45 p.m. 
  • Note: There will be a class in Fall 2024, times will be posted here. 
  • See registration options at the bottom of the page.

Course Requirements:

  • Attendance for in-person classes is required for successful completion of the course
  • No academic prerequisites
  • High school diploma or GED not required
  • Must have reliable access to internet & computer (computer labs available on all COCC campuses)

Oregon Health Authority Community Health Worker Certification Requirements:

At the end of the COCC Community Health Worker training course, you will be eligible to apply for certification as a Community Health Worker through the Oregon Health Authority (OHA). Application instructions will be provided at the end of the course.

OHA requirements for Traditional Health Worker Registry certification:

  • Completion of an OHA-approved COCC CHW course totaling 80 hours 
  • Must be 18 years old
  • Criminal background check required
  • Government issued identification required (state IDs, driver license, or passport)
  • Certification valid for 3 years; 20 hours of continuing education is required to renew

Oregon Health Authority Community Health Worker Certification Website