Health Certificate (CHC) is a non-credit program offered by Berkshire Community
The program provides rigorous training for public
health workers to serve as advocates and liaisons between
traditionally underserved populations and health/social service providers. Such public
health workers include but are not limited to community
health workers, case coordinators, community coordinators,
community health advisors, community health representatives, community
liaisons, family service coordinators, home visitors, parent aides, patient
navigators, promodoras, promotor(a)s de salud, outreach
advocates, outreach educators, prevention coordinators, street outreach
workers, youth workers, community health assistants, community engagement
specialists, health promoters, etc. The program may be of benefit to those who
are exploring educational and career pathways in community health, human services, health
care, or public health. BCC Community Health certificate program is based on
the standards and regulations for Community Health Worker Education and
Training Programs approved by the Massachusetts Board of Certification of Community Health
Workers (according to 272 CMR 5.00).
The program is based on interactive training and experiential learning in ten core competencies for community health work identified by the Massachusetts Board of Certification of Community Health Workers: (1) outreach methods and strategies, (2) individual and community assessment, (3) effective communication, (4) cultural responsiveness and mediation, (5) education to promote healthy behavior change, (6) care coordination and system navigation, (7) use of public health concepts and approaches, (8) advocacy and community capacity building, (9) documentation, and (10) professional skills and conduct.
The program addresses essential health topics relevant to community health work in Berkshire County such as chronic diseases (asthma, diabetes, heart disease, etc.), sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), substance abuse (alcohol, tobacco, opioids, etc.), physical and mental disabilities, reproductive health issues, domestic violence, mental health, trauma. The program also focuses on community health work in emergency and disaster situations. The program participants will learn the basics of contact tracing for preventing the spread of infectious diseases.
The program includes 42 hours of face-to-face instruction, 42 hours of online instruction through a learning management system (Moodle), and 10 hours of fieldwork at a local non-profit organization. The program uses teaching methods appropriate for adult learning: experiential learning, interactive discussions, project-based assignments, group work, solution-centered activities, etc. The program relies on local experts in community health to present and explain health issues and existing community resources to the program participants. The content is designed by public health professionals and delivered by specialists directly involved in community health work in Berkshire County. Each of the core competencies for community health work will be evaluated through assessment tools and a final project. Participants who pass the course at least at 80% rate (based on attendance and assessment results) will receive a certificate of completion from Berkshire Community College.
High School Seniors may apply with parental permission.