Community Health Worker Training

Start Your Career on the Front Lines of Public Health

What is a Community Health Worker (CHW)?

Frontline 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.

Health Careers Center

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

Course Offered Spring & Fall Terms in a Hybrid Format:

  • 10-week class
  • Weekly online content delivered virtually (no specific class times)
  • In-person classes held six Friday afternoons during the term on a COCC campus (campus location varies by term).
  • See COCC Class Schedule for specific course details (search under HHP - Health & Human Performance).

Course Requirements:

  • Attendance for in-person classes is required for successful completion of the course
  • No academic pre-requisites
  • 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 certification:

  • Completion of an OHA-approved COCC CHW course
  • 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

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). 

  • College credit option: Students interested in earning college credit for this 6-credit course, need to complete the COCC admissions steps and register for the for-credit class. College credit is valuable if students plan to continue their education at COCC or beyond anytime in the future.
  • Non-college credit option: Students interested in taking the class as professional development can register as a non-credit student through the COCC Center for Business, Industry and Professional Development. 

Click here if the class is full and/or would like to be put on notification for future classes.

Scholarships are available for those who are enrolled in the class. Upon successfully enrollment and completion of the application, participants will be notified.