Community Health Worker

Program Type: Face-to-Face, Fully Online, Hybrid
Program Level: Degrees, Certificates, Online
Department: Computer Science, Technology & Business
Institute: Health & Biosciences
College: NVC

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About the Program

This program prepares students to work as Texas State certified Community Health Workers (CHWs) for local/state public health agencies, non-profit and commercial individual and family services and outpatient/inpatient health care organizations. Emphasis is on health education, health promotion, community health research, advocacy, nutrition and developing relationships with vulnerable individuals, families, and communities. Course work in this program is intended to develop and enhance the skills of community health workers, provide state certification as a CHW, and provide a pathway to the Associate of Applied Science in Community Health.

What will I learn?

The program will train students to develop positive relationships with individuals who need assistance and support in developing healthy behaviors, utilizing health/social resources, and gaining educational support to prevent or alleviate the effects of chronic disease.

What can I do with this course of study?

This program prepares students to work in public health, private health care delivery systems, community-based social service agencies, and healthcare insurance organizations. Community Health Workers provide services to increase wellness and improve access to health services through outreach activities to target populations.

The Community Health Worker program prepares and trains the students to assist individuals and families to lead more fulfilling and satisfying lives by providing education, increased access to resources and advocacy.

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Community Health Worker Action Form

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Two Pathways Toward CHW Certification

  1. Students enter as academic credit students meeting all the eligibility required for enrollment in academic credit courses at Northwest Vista College.
  2. Students enter as continuing education credit students and are enrolled in the identical courses resulting in the identical CHW certification, but a HS diploma or GED is not required. All CE credit courses can be converted to academic courses in the future by completing six hours of academic credit at any Alamo College.

Community Engagement Activities (Photos)

CHW Advisory Board

Program Brochure


Degrees and Certificates 

♦ This symbol indicates the offering is also available fully online.

Transfer Advising Guides 



What will I learn in the Community Health Worker Program?

Students will learn the principles and practices of community health with emphasis on providing nutritional education, reducing the risk of chronic diseases, maintaining wellness, understanding how to navigate state/federal individual and family assistance programs, developing mutually trusting relationships with vulnerable populations, understanding the role of CHWs in conducting research and collecting data, and understanding the health care systems in Bexar County.

Job Outlook

This program prepares students to promote health within a community by assisting individuals and families to adopt healthy behaviors. Serve as an advocate for the health needs of individuals by assisting community residents in effectively communicating with healthcare providers or social service agencies. Function as a liaison or advocate and implement programs that promote, maintain, and improve individual and overall community health. Students will learn how to provide health education material and deliver health-related preventive services such as blood pressure, glaucoma, and eye screenings. Students will also learn how to collect data to help identify community health needs and provide data for community health research projects.

The job outlook as published by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Standards predicts a 21% growth in employment from 2020 to 2030. The average wage for a CHW in 2021 located in the San Antonio-New Braunfels region is $21.04 per hour or $42,300 annually.

What Jobs Are Available to a Community Health Worker

Nearly 95% of our graduates are finding jobs in Bexar County. Jobs available include CHW, Community Engagement Specialist, Health Program Specialist, Vaccine Outreach Specialist, Health Promotion Worker, Case Management Aide, Patient Navigator, Outreach Worker, and Social Work Assistant.


Available Courses:

Course Descriptions

CHW Certificate

CHLT 1301 - Introduction to Community Health

CHLT 1340 - Community Health Advocacy

CHLT 1305 - Community Nutrition

CHLT 1342 - Community Health Field Methods

CHLT 1302 - Wellness and Health Promotion

CHLT 1342 - Community Health Field Methods

CHLT 2260 - Clinical - Community Health Services/Liaison/Counseling (Internship)

AAS Community Health

All courses in the CHW certificate plus the following courses. 

ENGL 1301 - Composition I

ENGL 1302 - Composition II

MATH 1442 - Elementary Statistical Methods or

MATH 1314 - College Algebra

PSYC 2301 - General Psychology

SOCI 1301 - Introductory Sociology

BIOL 2401 - Human Anatomy and Physiology I

HIST 1301 - United States History I

PHIL 2306 - Introduction to Ethics

SPCH 1315 - Public Speaking

SOCI 1306 - Social Problems

BIOL 2402 - Human Anatomy and Physiology II

SPAN 1411 - Elementary Spanish

CHLT 2260 - Clinical - Community Health Services/Liaison/Counseling

SPAN 1412 - Elementary Spanish II

NOTE: EDUC 1300 is not required for the AAS in Community Health

About the Program Coordinator: Dr. Fernando Martinez

Professor Fernando Martinez, Ph.D. is the Community Health Program coordinator at Northwest Vista College. He has an extensive educational and career experience in hospital administration, community outreach programs, CHW educational programs, and adult education.

Professor Martinez completed a military career in the U.S. Army before joining Santa Rosa Healthcare (Christus Health) as an administrator where he designed and implemented a community wellness and outreach program focusing on the most vulnerable Zip Codes in San Antonio. The outreach program consisted of a mobile health clinic, neighborhood CHWs, community health nurse educators, lay case workers, a pediatric primary care clinic, inner-city physician recruitment, patient transportation, geriatric resource center, and a patient information system. This was the first hospital system-based outreach program in San Antonio.

Professor Martinez also developed a CHW program for the Nicaraguan Scholarship for Peace Program which was later expanded to train CHWs from the entire Caribbean basin.


Dr. Martinez has earned a Bachelor of Science in Biology, University of New Mexico, Master of Science in Environmental Management, University of Texas at San Antonio, Master of Healthcare Administration, Baylor University, and Ph.D., in Education Leadership, University of Texas, Austin


Faculty and Staff


Fernando Martinez, Ph.D

Guadalupe Cornejo
Assistant Professor:


Dr. John Grillo

Emily Coppin


Contact Us

Emily Coppin
Admin. Specialist



John Grillo
Academic Chair



Dr. Fernando Martinez, Ph.D

Community Health Worker Program Coordinator



Guadalupe Cornejo
Assistant Professor

Community Health Worker Program