Arizona State University (ASU) is proposing to launch a new, high-impact training program to recruit, educate, and match 200 community health workers (CHWs) to local internships and apprenticeships to prepare for CHW certification. ASU will partner with community organizations serving medically underserved populations, including Hispanic, American Indian, African American, and rural communities throughout Arizona. ASU has well-developed training infrastructure and a history of successful collaborations with community partners to deliver high quality, standardized, and impactful training to CHWs in underserved areas. ASU will achieve project outcomes that are aligned with the four HRSA program objectives spanning program expansion, extension, employment, and health equity. Existing health services curriculum will be adapted to address the specific training needs of CHWs. The resulting two-semester curriculum will include 6 courses along with an internship (480 hours) or apprenticeship placement (2000 hours) on site with a community partner. Graduates will complete training in the ten core competency areas required for CHW certification which will also include interpersonal skill development, digital literacy, job readiness, and quality improvement principles. Training will be delivered via ASU’s Learning Enterprise ecosystem which offers a robust, well-developed student/faculty digital interface leveraging multiple platforms that incorporate the latest teaching innovations for online pedagogy to engage students and facilitate transformational learning. ASU will implement a robust evaluation program to build a body of evidence to support the broader use of CHWs and advocate for sustainable payment mechanisms for CHW services. Our program is designed to closely engage with CHWs and community partners to develop and evaluate the program based on the needs and preferences of the workers and communities being served. Existing ASU systems will be u
sed to collect both qualitative and quantitative data to inform program progress, health-related outcomes, and trainee satisfaction. Our community partners are committed to the development and implementation of ASU’s standardized, certified CHW training program (CHWTP). The program will equip trainees with a solid foundation of core competencies necessary for providing care in their communities and addressing barriers to health equity. Combining the training curriculum with high-quality work experience through supervised, structured internships and apprenticeships, and access to long-term employment opportunities will provide a comprehensive approach to ensuring trainee success and strengthening the CHW workforce in Arizona.