Academic Catalog


Foothill College Course Outline of Record

Foothill College Course Outline of Record
Heading Value
Effective Term: Summer 2022
Units: 5
Hours: 5 lecture per week (60 total per quarter)
Advisory: HLTH 20, HLTH 21.
Degree & Credit Status: Non-Degree-Applicable Credit Course
Foothill GE: Non-GE
Transferable: None
Grade Type: Letter Grade Only
Repeatability: Not Repeatable


This course provides an overview of skills related to the role of a community health worker. Students will learn skills related to effective health promotion/outreach, health interviewing, patient eligibility navigation, pandemic related navigation, and cultural humility practices.

Course Objectives

The student will be able to:

  1. Describe the community health worker's historical role, including current job and confidentiality expectations.
  2. Describe the relationship between morbidity and social determinants of health using ecological principles.
  3. Identify chronic diseases that impact vulnerable populations.
  4. Identify and enroll patients in need-based resources within the county, state, and federal levels to mitigate negative health outcomes.
  5. Evaluate patient needs utilizing a cultural humility and social justice lens related to health education, benefit enrollment, and/or care coordination.
  6. Describe health behavior theories that can be used in health outreach and health education program development.
  7. Describe effective health communication techniques used in group and individual counseling.
  8. Identify clinical and non-clinical community health worker positions and employers within local, county, state, and national agencies.

Course Content

  1. Overview: Community Health Worker (CHW) Profession
    1. History of the CHW profession in the United States/internationally
    2. Spotlight: The value of Promatora/o model
    3. Day-in-the-life/Case studies of CHW worldwide
    4. Ethics in the CHW field
      1. HIPAA
      2. Confidentiality
      3. Drawing boundaries with clients
  2. Public Health Principles
    1. Social determinants of health
    2. Ecological principles
      1. Individual factors
      2. Family factors
      3. Community factors
      4. Societal factors
    3. Health disparities and health inequality/inequity
    4. Systemic racism and the effect on health inequity in the SF Bay Area
    5. Evidence-based research: How to analyze a journal article
    6. Population-based health vs. individual health
  3. Chronic Health Conditions and Management
    1. Diabetes
    2. Heart disease
    3. Cancer
    4. People experiencing homelessness
    5. Addiction: Alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs
    6. Diet: Eating habits, food and water deserts
    7. Pandemics: COVID-19 case study
  4. Accessing Community and Government Resources
    1. Introduction to federal, state, county, and local programs
      1. 211, SNAP, WIC, Daycare, Medicaid, Section 8, etc.
    2. Patient navigation
      1. Enrollment into government benefit programs (SNAP, Medicaid, immigration, etc.)
      2. Navigating difficult forms and websites
      3. Group phone calls: Patient and government representative
  5. Social Justice and Cultural Humility
    1. Understanding and navigating patient trauma
    2. Cultural competency vs. cultural humility
    3. Understanding and responding to various cultural needs
    4. Historic evidence of medical racism in BIPOC and LGBTQ+ communities
  6. Health Promotion and Health Education
    1. Examples of effective and ineffective health campaigns
    2. Health behavioral change theory and practice
    3. Health outreach
    4. Group health education vs. individual health education
    5. Prevention in public health
      1. Primary, secondary, and tertiary prevention
  7. Direct Patient Care: Interpersonal Skills for Community Health Workers
    1. Communication
      1. Communication self-assessments
      2. Active Listening
      3. "Yes, and" approaches to building conversation
      4. De-escalation
      5. Professionalism and courteous behavior
      6. Conflict resolution
    2. Interviewing and Counseling
      1. Client-centered interviewing
      2. Motivational interviewing
      3. Group discussion/facilitation
      4. Client-centered health coaching/counseling
      5. Working in a team environment
      6. Home visits
    3. Case Management
      1. Professionalism in writing, speaking
      2. Documentation skills
  8. Future Employment: Types of Roles for Community Health Workers
    1. Employment sites:
      1. Public health
      2. Health clinics and hospitals
      3. Non-profit and community-based organizations
      4. Social services
      5. Health plans
    2. Building advocacy and capacity in the CHW field
    3. Community organizing
    4. Professional networks and associations in the CHW field

Lab Content

Not applicable.

Special Facilities and/or Equipment

1. Multi-media classroom when taught in person.
2. Computer with internet access when taught online or as a hybrid course online.
3. Canvas LMS with access to Adobe PDF for reading articles.
4. Webcam preferred.
5. Library resources (Foothill OneSearch) or Google Scholar for current public health peer-reviewed journal articles and research.

Method(s) of Evaluation

Methods of Evaluation may include but are not limited to the following:

Weekly evaluation of course readings including short quizzes to check for understanding
Bi-weekly discussion related to issues in community health work
Projects related to peer-reviewed literature, patient navigation practice, and health education/promotion
Final project including case management steps and conducting health assessment interviews

Method(s) of Instruction

Methods of Instruction may include but are not limited to the following:

Online and textbook readings; lecture presentations; video clips; case study analysis
Online collaboration, including case study, discussion, and peer reviews
Online peer practice of techniques related to CHW practice
Written or oral presentations of major course content followed by discussion and evaluation
Guest speaker presentations, including local agency, government leaders, and fellow community health workers

Representative Text(s) and Other Materials

Berthold, T.. Foundations for Community Health Workers. 2016.

Berthold T., and P. DeCarlo. Training Guide to Foundations for Community Health Workers. 2016.

Delgado, M.. Community Health Workers in Action: The Efforts of "Promotores de Salud" in Bringing Health Care to Marginalized Communities. 2020.

St. John, J.A., S.L. Mayfield-Johnson, and W.D. Hernandez-Gordon (Eds.). Promoting the Health of the Community. 2021.

Although the Berthold text and training guide are older than the suggested "5 years or newer" standard, they remain seminal texts in this area of study.

Types and/or Examples of Required Reading, Writing, and Outside of Class Assignments

  1. Web-based research on current issues related to community health work, including those of private and governmental agencies.
  2. Submission of written research report on a public health/chronic disease issue using current evidence based scientific literature.
  3. Health outreach practice project related to public health care issue.
  4. Weekly reading assignments in the textbook and current scientific/public health journals of approximately 35-50 pages.
  5. Patient navigation project showcasing how to help patients navigate governmental documentation needs, including but not limited to immigration, food resources, housing, medical/insurance applications, etc.
  6. Online practice of client interviewing and communication.