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Community Health Worker Certificate

Bridge the gap between cultures and healthcare systems.

Are you looking to start a career in healthcare? Our online Community Health Worker certificate program is for anyone with a high school diploma or GED wanting to help diverse populations navigate the healthcare system and community services. You’ll be prepared to work with healthcare organizations to increase cultural competence, improve access to healthcare for racial and ethnic minorities, and educate families about access to and use of healthcare coverage.

The demand for healthcare professionals is accelerating at a staggering rate, with a projected 2.6 million healthcare job openings by 2030 — the most of any sector. 1 New job prospects emerge every day. Now is the time to start a career in healthcare.

Take the first step by enrolling in our program, and go even farther with your career. This stand-alone program also offers a pathway for continued academic studies and advanced degrees in other health- and social service-related fields such as community health, nursing, medical assistant, and more.

At Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota, you’ll learn how to make a difference in the lives of others in your community through leadership, compassion, and integrity. Pursue a career that transforms lives — including your own. Start at Saint Mary’s and see how far you’ll go.

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cost per credit


start date

2 semesters

completion time





cost per credit


start date

2 semesters

completion time


Program Highlights

  • The Minnesota Community Health Worker Alliance, in partnership with the Minnesota Department of Health, is currently offering 90 scholarships for the Community Health Worker (CHW) Certificate program. Scholarships cover tuition and some related costs for up to one year of the program, allowing you to pursue your aspirations without financial barriers. Once you’ve been accepted to Saint Mary’s, your admissions counselor will help you navigate this scholarship opportunity.
  • Complete the certificate in  2 semesters, or 1 school year.
  • Blend of coursework and field-based learning with 80 hours of community service work.
  • Use this certificate as a stepping stone toward a bachelor’s degree program and other healthcare careers.
  • Discover scholarships available through our partnerships with several regional and national employers. See if your employer is part of our Trusted Partnership Program. Learn more.

What You'll Learn

  • Understand the role, responsibilities, and limitations of a community health worker.
  • Explain the legal/ethical guidelines around confidentiality, documenting and reporting, and agency policies.
  • Navigate complex medical and social service systems.
  • Analyze resources to help individuals access needed support.
  • Advocate for individual, community and capacity building needs.
  • Develop skills to communicate with individuals, communities, and providers.

Join us for an information session to learn more about programs, how to apply, transferring your credits, and more. We offer live information sessions where you can meet other prospective learners and faculty, as well as an archive you can view on your own time.

Apply for Admission

Ready to apply? Take the next steps here.

  • The Community Health Worker certificate is open to all current and prospective students. Students currently enrolled in a Saint Mary’s University are eligible to enroll in the certificate through the change/add program process. Students interested should contact their Program Director.

  • Students with transcripts from universities outside the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, New Zealand, Australia, and Canada (except for the Quebec Province) must take and pass English proficiency testing.

    Saint Mary’s accepts:

    •  Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) with a minimum score of 72
    • International English Language Testing System (IELTS) with a minimum score of 6.0
    • International Test of English Proficiency (ITEP) with a minimum score of 4.0 or Pearson Test of English with a score of 51
    • Duolingo with a minimum score of 100. Please see our academic catalog for a list of all approved waiver countries.

    Please see our academic catalog for a list of all approved waiver countries.

    1. An official high school or GED transcript issued to Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota. (waived if you have earned 14 transferable college-level credits or more.)
    2. An official high school or GED transcript issued to Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota. (waived if you have earned 14 transferable college-level credits or more.) Official transcripts from all post-high school coursework including technical and community colleges. (refer to other document link regarding transcript language)
    3. Official transcripts from all post-high school coursework including technical and community colleges are required.
      • Transcripts from countries other than the U.S. must be evaluated on a course by course basis by a university accepted evaluation service, such as World Education Services, Educational Credential Evaluators, Educational Perspectives, One Earth International Credential Evaluators or any approved member of the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services ( and be deemed equivalent to accredited U.S. university standards. 
      • Saint Mary’s can order and cover the cost of transcripts from institutions that allow third-party requests for eligible degree-seeking applicants. Contact your transfer counselor for more information.
      • Official transcripts should be sent directly to the Office of Admission from the credit granting institution.
        • Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota
          2500 Park Avenue
          Minneapolis, MN 55404
        • Or electronically:

  • (Fall Only)

    • Fall 2024: August 2nd
    • Fall 2025: August 1st

  • August 28, 2023

  • You can expect to be notified about your acceptance approximately two weeks following your application completion date.

Tuition and Fees

We help you find ways to finance your education. Talk to your Enrollment Counselor about scholarships, loans, and other ways to make education affordable.

Course Catalog

You’ll take courses such as:

  • The Community Health Worker Role: Role, Advocacy, Outreach, and Resources
  • Health Communication, Teaching, and Capacity Building
  • Documentation, Legal, and Ethical Issues in Community Health Work

The course catalog provides complete information about course requirements.

Careers & Salary

Help at-risk and underserved communities in community health clinics, advocacy organizations, nutrition and wellness programs, and public health offices.

Community Health Worker

$47,780 per year*

Mental Health Advocate

$46,098 per year*

Healthcare Liaison

$40,086 per year*

Related Programs

Go even farther at Saint Mary’s. Apply all 16 completed credits to our bachelor’s completion programs.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • At Saint Mary’s, we want you to succeed, and we help you do so, inside and outside of the classroom:

    Student Central: Your one stop for student services

     Library: Resources and services are available 24/7 to all students.

    Writing Center: Offers virtual and face-to-face services to support students.

    Career Services: Can help you develop your career-readiness skills at any point in your education.

  • The only thing virtual about your online experience is the classroom. Our flexible online programs offer the rigor and reputation you expect from Saint Mary’s.

    Explore more here.

  • If you are in a degree-granting program and enrolled at least half time, you may be eligible for financial aid.

    Learn more here.

  • Life gets busy. Whether you’re raising a family, pursuing your career, or playing an active role in your community, we know you want to keep up with what you love while you take the next step in your career. That’s why Saint Mary’s online programs are flexible and designed to fit your demanding life.

    Learn more here.

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Sources and Disclaimer

  1. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Employment Projections at (visited April 13, 2023).
  2. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment and Wages, Community Health Workers at (visited April 13, 2023).
  3. ZipRecruiter, Mental Health Advocate at,MN#:~:text=As%20of%20Apr%206%2C%202023,Minneapolis%20is%20%2446%2C098%20a%20year. (visited April 20, 2023).
  4. ZipRecruiter, Healthcare Lisason Salary at (visited April 20, 2023).