Community health workers assist members of the community to maneuver through the health and human services system. Community health workers may go by other titles depending on where they work, for example: outreach worker, lay health advocate, health coach, peer counselor, and patient navigator. The CHW program covers the Maryland core competencies: advocacy and community capacity building skills, effective oral and written communication skills, cultural humility/anti-oppressive practice, knowledge of local resources and system navigation, care coordination support skills, teaching skills to promote healthy behavior change, outreach methods and strategies, and understanding of public health concepts and health literacy.
CHW students will need to be computer literate and have regular access to the internet. They will also need to be able to dedicate time outside of the classroom to study and complete assignments. Additional skills are listed in the program technical standards. To be a successful CHW, individuals must have strong communication skills, empathy, problem-solving skills, work well with the public, and a willingess to learn.
Overall employment of health education specialists and community health workers is projected to grow 12 percent from 2021 to 2031, much faster than the average for all occupations. Learn more about CHW at the US Occupational Outlook Handbook.
This program is accredited by the Maryland Department of Health (Accreditation Number: 009-2021-G). Upon successful completion, students are eligible to apply for CHW certification from the Maryland Department of Health. Additional information on the Maryland CHW certification process is available on the Maryland Department of Health website.
At the completion of this Continuing Education Workforce Certificate, students will be able to:
1. perform entry-level work as a community health worker (CHW) and demonstrate ethical behavior, critical thinking, and problem solving skills;
2. prepare for state certification and professional mobility consistent with recognized standards of medical and professional ethics; and
3. foster a commitment to life-long learning.
Health Professions Pathway. Pathways are designed to help you meet your academic and career goals by aligning related courses and programs. Pathway students participate in a variety of activities that help explore career opportunities in their field of study. You can meet with a CCBC advisor who help align — or realign — your educational plan with the Pathway that best supports you and your goals.
CCBC Credential: Students will be awarded a CCBC Continuing Education Workforce Certificate and have access to a Continuing Education academic record (transcript).
Upon successful completion, students are eligible to apply for CHW certification from the Maryland Department of Health.
Certifying Organization: Maryland Department of Health
Certification Exam/Application Fee: $0
Financial Aid and Payment Options
We offer financial aid by packaging public and private funding options to those who qualify, in select Continuing Education courses and programs. Additional opportunities for financial support include partial payment options through Nelnet Business Solutions and tuition waivers for those who qualify. Resources outside of CCBC may also be available through employer/sponsor paid tuition, the Department of Rehabilitation Services (DORS), and your local office of workforce development.
Length of Training
Prospective students are required to attend an information session prior to beginning AHL233 (Intro to CHW and Contact Tracing). Contact Claire Loeblein at email@example.com or 443-840-1389 to register.
High School Diploma or GED
Must be 18 years or older
Students must submit the following paperwork via CastleBranch before beginning AHL258. Details regarding this paperwork will be presented at the mandatory orientation:
- Negative PPD (six months) or negative chest x-ray less than one year old
- Positive titer or proof of vaccination/immunity for measles, mumps, rubella and varicella
- Current flu vaccine
- Hepatitis B vaccination or declination form
- Tetanus shot (less than ten years)
- Copy of health insurance card
- COVID-19 vaccine (or approved waiver)
Practicum eligibility is, in part, dependent upon a criminal background check and random urine drug testing completed through CastleBranch, CCBC’s only approved vendor. The cost of the test and background check is the responsibility of the student.
To apply, go to www.ccbcmd.edu/apply and complete the CCBC Continuing Education Workforce Certificate application. Then, email CEHealth@ccbcmd.edu for information about upcoming course options.
Open Entry – No screening or documentation required.
Prior Learning Assessment
This program has potential options for waving select courses based on previous coursework or articulated coursework from an approved curriculum, and/or successful completion of a CCBC placement or challenge exam. Maximum number of program hours that may be earned from prior learning: 38.
Program Course Sequence
Note: Medical Terminology may be taken at the same time as AHL233 (corequisite) with permission of the program coordinator.
(approximate cost; subject to change)
Medical Terminology for Administrative Professionals
Medical Terminology for Administrative Professionals Online
Handouts provided online
(approximate cost; subject to change)
Community Health and Contact Tracing
|Foundations for Community Health Workers, 2nd Edition (2016). Timothy Berthold (Editor) ISBN:978-1-119-06081-9. Note: Textbook is provided on the first day of class at no cost for all students.
||Expanded Concepts of Community Health
||Same as Community Health and Contact Tracing
||Community Health Worker Practicum
|Course Series Totals
Course Series & Prerequisite/Corequisite Totals:
AHE 534 Medical Terminology for Health Occupations, AHE 124: Medical Terminology for Health Occupations Online, or AHL 717: Medical Terminology Challenge Exam can be substituted for AHL 149: Medical Terminology for Administrative Professionals.
Career Opportunities: Community health worker, promotores(as) de salud, community outreach specialist, or contact tracer.
Technical Standards for CCBC’s Community Health Worker Program
The primary goal of the Community College of Baltimore County’s Community Health Worker (CHW) is to adequately prepare students for an entry-level position as a frontline public health worker. CHW duties require the ability to sit for long hours and focus on the task at hand. CHWs must also have outstanding communication skills, empathy for others, and strong human relations skills. They must pay attention to detail, be computer literate, and demonstrate problem-solving skills.
The following is a partial listing of the types of skills typically required for adequate job performance:
A. Sufficient strength and mobility to:
- Lift or otherwise maneuver papers/folders/charts/equipment up to 30 pounds
- Stand or sit in one area for long periods of time
- Perform basic keyboarding functions
- Apply infection control techniques (as needed)
B. Coordination sufficient to perform tasks such as:
- Adjust actions in relation to others’ reactions
- Attend community meetings or health fairs to understand community issues and build relationships with community members
- Distribute flyers, brochures or other informational or educational documents to inform members of a specific community
C. Adequate vision and hearing to:
- Read and understand displays on computers/laptops/tablets
- Read and understand forms and communications from all entities
- Hear and understand language in person and over the telephone in a noisy environment
Interpersonal Skills and Professionalism:
A. Have the ability to:
- Work in a professional manner under sometimes extremely stressful situations
- Pay close attention to detail and recordkeeping to maintain accurate client records
- Commitment to learning and understanding new technologies, regulations, and laws
- Commitment to following approved standards, guidelines, policies, and procedures
- Interact in a professional manner with many personalities and attitudes and with people from many different backgrounds
- Respect and protect patient rights and confidentiality without regard to personal beliefs and judgments
- Maintain proper certifications required to perform the duties of the profession
- Accurately utilize all resource material available to remain current in the profession, including attending departmental in-service training
- Willingness to precept (train) others
B. Sufficient communication skills to:
- Give and receive accurate written and verbal instructions
- Carry out all written and verbal instructions
- Follow proper channels of communication
- Communicate in a calm and professional manner
- Communicate clearly and effectively to all team members
C. Intellectual ability and emotional stability to:
- Advise clients or community groups on issues related to improving general health
- Apply critical thinking and problem solving skills
- Exercise independent judgment to properly perform tasks at hand
- Accurately utilize all resource material available to perform the task at hand
- Work calmly and efficiently in a fast-paced, stressful environment
- Maintain calm during emergency situations
- Accept feedback from others
- Ability to work in an environment that may be noisy at times
- Providing proof of recent immunizations against infectious diseases as requested
- Submit to periodic drug screening