The undergraduate certificate in Health Occupations provides foundational knowledge and experience in a chosen health occupation, featuring a registered apprenticeship program. The certificate provides students with core professional skills in the health care professions, in order to contribute and grow capacity particularly in Alaska’s and Tribal health care organizations. The certificate prepares students to take national certification exams in their chosen concentrations and to work in skilled clinical or administrative support positions in a variety of healthcare settings.
In this certificate program, the student completes an approved and registered apprenticeship program as a concentration. Students must be employed through an approved apprenticeship program to undertake the certificate. Currently approved and registered apprenticeships in conjunction with Alaska Primary Care Association include: Community Health Worker; Billing and Coding Specialist; Medical Administrative Assistant; Electronic Health Record Specialist; and Clinical Medical Assistant. Apprenticeships involve required numbers of hours of instruction and mentoring in the job or position (across 1 or 2 years as determined by the apprenticeship requirements) as well as a coordinated didactic component which includes a synchronous online class session each week. Upon completion of the program, students will take a national certification exam, administered by the National Healthcareer Association, related to their area of concentration; this certification is not required for employment, but it is a required component of the academic program.
Students completing the AAS degree can apply for admission to related bachelor’s level degree programs at APU (check with Admissions or the Registrar’s Office for details regarding readmission upon completion of the certificate). Courses completed for the certificate can apply to associate’s or bachelor’s level requirements.
The certificate is designed to meet the following Professional Competencies with foundation-to-integrated proficiency:
- Cultural Competency: Synthesize and integrate knowledge from the natural and behavioral sciences; prioritize relationship-centered care [CH, EC, CT, EE]
- Professional Communication and Collaboration: Integrate principles of communication and collaboration in health care teams and professional settings to promote movement toward optimal levels of health for patients [EC, CH]
- Professional Care: Integrate and synthesize the concepts and principles of critical thinking into the health science professions to facilitate participation in effecting change in the delivery of health care to society; utilize holistic knowledge and refined critical thinking abilities in the provision of safe, effective, evidence-based professional care of communities, families and individuals [CT, SI]
- Evidence-Based Assessment: Integrate leadership and management skills utilizing ethical decision making and evidence-based practice; utilize evidence-based methods, assessments, technologies, and management systems to guide decisions that promote optimal outcomes [SI, CT]
- Personal and Social Responsibility: Develop individualized plan for personal continued learning and professional growth as a method for adjusting to changes occurring within the health care system; apply knowledge of health disparities to lead initiatives that optimize the health of communities, families and individuals; utilize both traditional and academic knowledge to advance the health of Alaska Native, indigenous, and underserved populations [EE, SI, CH]
The general requirements for admission to undergraduate professional studies at APU are found in the Admissions section of the catalog. In addition, the following is required for admission to the Health Occupations Undergraduate Certificate:
- The applicant must provide documentation of employment showing she/he is currently employed in an approved apprenticeship program.