AHEC Scholars

AHEC Scholars is a nationally recognized certificate program for health professions students interested in supplementing their education by gaining additional knowledge and experience in rural and/or underserved settings. The program emphasizes a team-based approach for healthcare and focuses on strengthening the healthcare workforce.

AHEC Scholars is a two-year program with interdisciplinary curricula to implement a defined set of clinical, didactic, and community-based activities. Each of the two years includes the following for a total of 160 hours:

  • 40 hours/year community-based, experiential, or clinical training in rural and/or underserved area
  • 40 hours/year interprofessional education focused on the six Core Topic Areas below (may be continuing education modules or college credit)

The requirements should complement your existing coursework.

Core Topic Areas

  • Interprofessional Education

    (also known as interdisciplinary training) supports a coordinated, patient-centered model of healthcare that involves an understanding of the contributions of multiple healthcare professionals.
  • Behavioral Health Integration

    promotes the development of integrated primary and behavioral health services to better address the needs of individuals with mental health and substances use conditions.
  • Social Determinants of Health

    includes the five key areas (determinants) of economic stability, education, social and community context, health and healthcare, and neighborhood and built environment and their impacts on health.
  • Cultural Competency

    seeks to improve individual health and build health communities by training healthcare providers to recognize and address the unique culture, language, and health literacy of diverse consumers and communities.
  • Practice Transformation

    aims to fully support quality improvement and patient-centered care through goal-setting, leadership, practice facilitation, workflow changes, measuring outcomes, and adapting organizational tools and processes to support new team-based models of care delivery. AHEC programs are expected to develop and implement educational and training activities and build and strengthen strategic partnerships. Educational and training activities under practice transformation must target the specific skills and competencies needed to prepare students and practicing health professionals to effectively practice in a transforming healthcare system.
  • Current and emerging health issues

    , such as the Zika virus and opioid abuse, should be proposed before implementation.

The AHEC Scholars Program Will Help You

  • Earn recognition as a student leader in the health community
  • Inspire and improve health status and outcomes through your improved command of leadership
  • Be better positioned to join or lead a diverse and culturally competent health workforce
  • Gain practical skills and experience in practice transformation collaboration in underserved settings in North Dakota
  • Gain practical didactic/civic engagement opportunities
  • Enhance your resume
  • Meet leaders in healthcare and interact with healthcare professionals creating an invaluable network for your future career

Eligibility Criteria

Students should have a current interest in rural or underserved healthcare; be currently enrolled in a health professions degree or certificate program; and be two years from program or degree completion. This includes but is not limited to students in medical, dental, pharmacy, nurse practitioner, nursing, physician assistant, social work, physical therapy, occupational therapy, and public/population health programs. For a list of approved didactic courses please email Brittany.

The AHEC Scholars program is for health profession students wishing to enhance their education by gaining additional leadership knowledge and experience in rural and/or underserved areas.

How to Apply

To apply for the AHEC Scholars program, complete the online application.