Participants in the community health worker (CHW) training program at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) are now eligible to receive college credit for completing the training, thanks to a partnership between UAMS and the University of Arkansas Hope-Texarkana (UAHT).

CHWs are trusted members of their community who work within their communities to help people connect to and access health and social services. They help community members navigate their health care, apply for insurance or Medicaid, and access other vital resources.

UAMS Community Health & Research launched its CHW Training & Apprenticeship Program earlier this year to train and engage CHWs in underserved communities across Arkansas. To date, nearly 40 new CHWs have enrolled in the program.

“By offering college credit for the completion of our training program, UAMS and UAHT are creating new pathways for community health workers to further their education and their careers in the health field,” said Krista Langston, executive director of community programs at UAMS Community Health & Research.

The CHW training program includes 160 hours of classroom education — including 80 hours of initial in-person and virtual learning coursework throughout a two-week period — and 2,000 hours of on-the-job training. Participants in the program must have a high school diploma or GED.

Participants in the program are eligible to receive up to seven hours of college credit within the University of Arkansas system. The program is the first in the State of Arkansas to offer college credit for CHW training.

In addition to the college credits, students in the program will also receive a monthly stipend. They will be enrolled at the University of Arkansas Hope-Texarkana, but may transfer the credits to another university after completion of the program.

“We are very excited to partner with UAMS to offer the Certificate of Proficiency in Community Health Worker,” said Laura Clark, UAHT vice chancellor for academics. “This partnership allows students to gain the knowledge and skills necessary to be an essential part of community health. The partnership also will enable students to earn this certificate without the added expense of tuition and fees.”

For more information about the Certificate of Proficiency in Community Health Worker, please call 870-722-8289.