Spring 2021 classes will be remote/online, and college offices are also available remotely.| COVID-19 information

Courses & Programs

Liv Anna Homstead

Special Program Coord/Health Sciences, Culinary Arts

Health Sciences & Culinary Arts

Frost 138

413.552.2865 (Tel)

Free Community Health Worker Classes

Interested in helping others, supporting the health of people in our community, and building your professional skills? HCC is offering two free classes in community health worker (CHW) training! These are funded through a federal grant by the Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA). All tuition, course fees, and books are covered by the grant. 

The goal of these courses is to train paraprofessionals as community health workers, building foundational skills and practices with a focus on integrating behavioral health and addiction/substance use into health and human service settings. For more information about CHWs and what they do, check out the videos at the bottom of this page!

start dates for remaining grant period

January 2021

Each start date includes two classes and a practicum (internship) across two consecutive semesters. See more information in the Timeline & Courses section below.

how to apply & enroll

For those interested in starting the program, please complete this form and you'll receive more information from staff about next steps!

what will you gain?
  • 64 hours core competency training which aligns with training requirements for State Certification for CHWs through the MA Department of Public Health (DPH)
  • Health topics training (in behavioral health and substance use/addiction) which aligns with training requirements for State Certification for CHWs through DPH
  • 125 hours of field experience towards the 2000 hours required for state certification for CHWS through DPH, with documented supervision in core competencies
  • Training and skills sought by many employers
  • Dedicated academic support and advising for degree advancement
  • A professional group of peers and instructors, which offers a great networking opportunity for professional advancement
eligibility requirements
  • High school diploma or GED/HiSET
  • Application and acceptance into HCC
  • Eligibility for college-level English (ENG 101). This can be done through completion of placement test or copy of transcripts of college-level English coursework.
  • Complete HCC's CORI/SORI process prior to class registration
  • Commitment to completing two classes over a nine-month period
  • Passion for CHW role in health and human services
timeline & courses

These two courses were designed to meet the criteria for state certification via pending regulations through the MA Department of Public Health.

January 2021 Start

Spring 2021

HTH 124: Core Competencies & Health Topics for CHWs

  • 6 credits
  • Saturdays 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. OR two weeknights 6 p.m. – 9 p.m. 

Summer 2021

HTH 209: Practicum Class for CHWs

  • 3 credits
  • Class is held on campus and/or online
  • 125-hour practicum placement required at an assigned local service provider/health center (approx. 10 hours/week)
  • **Drug testing, CORI/SORI, and immunizations are required for all practicums.

upcoming information sessions

As part of the enrollment process, everyone MUST attend an information session. Please complete this form to sign up for a date.

Friday Oct. 16 2 p.m.
Thursday  Oct. 29  6 p.m.
Friday Nov. 13 2 p.m.
Tuesday Nov. 24 6 p.m.
Friday Dec. 4 2 p.m.
Tuesday Dec. 15 5:30 p.m. 
Tuesday Dec. 29 2:30 p.m.


Kelly Lamas
HRSA Project Director


This project was supported by the Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA) of the US Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) under M01HP31268 Behavioral Health Workforce Education & Training (BHWET) Program. This information or content and conclusions are those of the author and should not be construed as the official position or policy of, nor should any endorsements be inferred by HRSA, HHS, or the US Government.

CHWs make a difference

Community health workers make a real difference in the lives of their clients. 

read more

$1.6 million to train CHWs

HCC and area health centers received a $1.6 million HRSA award to train community health workers.

Community Health

Are you curious about a career as a Community Health Worker?

learn more

Welcome to FOH

Welcome to Foundations of Health at Holyoke Community College! Here's everything you need to know.

Career or Transfer?

Career or transfer – where do you want to go?

What's FOH Really Like?

Hear about the FOH program from recent grad Marielys.

CHW Careers

What kind of careers can you look for as a CHW?

Become a CHW

Are you looking for a job in healthcare helping others? 

Learn More

Liv Anna Homstead

Special Program Coord/Health Sciences, Culinary Arts

Health Sciences & Culinary Arts

Frost 138

413.552.2865 (Tel)