Frequently Asked Questions

What is a community health worker? 

Community health workers are frontline public health workers who have an intimate understanding of the community they serve. This relationship enables them to serve as liaisons between health or social services and the community to facilitate access to services and improve the quality and cultural competence of service delivery.

Community health workers also build individual and community capacity by increasing health knowledge and self-sufficiency through a range of activities such as outreach, community education, informal counseling, social support and advocacy (American Public Health Association, 2008).

What jobs can I get with this degree? 

Community health workers and public health workers are employable in a wide variety of settings including local public health departments, social service agencies, non-profit organizations, criminal justice systems, public policy, government, long-term care, schools, research capacities, administration roles and more.

The community health worker serves as a bridge between the community and the health care, government and social service systems.

What types of job duties may I have as a community health worker? 

The community health worker’s responsibilities may include: 

  • Helping individuals, families, groups and communities develop their capacity and access to resources including health insurance, food, housing, quality care and health information 
  • Facilitating communication and client empowerment in interactions with health care and social service systems 
  • Helping health care and social service systems become culturally relevant and responsive to their service population 
  • Educating people so they can understand health condition(s) and develop strategies to improve their health and well being 
  • Building understanding and social capital to support healthier behaviors and lifestyle choices 
  • Delivering health information using culturally appropriate terms and concepts 
  • Linking people to health care and social service resources 
  • Providing informal counseling, support and follow-up 
  • Advocating for local health needs 
  • Making home visits to chronically ill patients, pregnant women, nursing mothers, individuals at high risk of health problems and the elderly 

Why should I consider a degree in Community Health? 

Many people want to help others by making a difference in the lives of people in their community. This degree allows you to do that by teaching you how to form meaningful relationships with clients, families, organizations and larger systems. Due to a growing aging population, there will be an increased demand for community-based services, thus making the community health worker highly valued and marketable. In addition, this is a very versatile degree that allows you to work in a variety of settings. It also prepares students for graduate school as you transition into Master’s degree programs in Public Health, Social Work, Community Counseling, Public Administration and related fields. 

What areas of specialization or concentration do you offer at Clarkson College? 

We offer concentrations in Gerontology, Public Health, Human Services, Women’s Health and Healthcare Business. Each area is available to students working toward a minor, certificate or bachelor’s degree.

Why might a student consider a minor? 

Students often need a certain number of elective credits to complete their program. Our concentrations offer them the opportunity to focus on specific areas and earn a minor in the process. The distinction will appear on your transcript and resume and set you apart from other applicants when applying for future employment opportunities. It also provides another specialized skill set that will allow you to provide the best patient- and client-centered care.

Why might a student consider a certificate? 

There are many reasons someone may want to consider earning a certificate. If you already have a degree, certificates offer you the opportunity to further your knowledge and skills in a specific area. This can help you gain new responsibilities or earn a promotion at your current place of employment or allow you to successfully pursue a new job. Holding a certificate sets you apart from others and promotes your abilities.