AHEC Scholars is a two-year program designed to supplement and broaden a student’s healthcare training. Any student enrolled in their final two years of an Alaskan healthcare program (see more details on eligibility below) can apply. An abbreviated form of the program, requiring half as many hours, is available to students enrolled in a degree or certificate program taking two years or less. 

Each year, students are required to complete 40 hours of classroom or online training and another 40 hours of community-based learning out in the field. The classroom training covers six topic areas related to the practice of healthcare to supplement students' knowledge of behavioral health, interprofessional education, social determinants of health, cultural competency, practice transformation, and other current or emerging issues. Students will have the opportunity to complete their community-based learning in an Alaskan rural community or with urban underserved populations.

In addition to the opportunity for more hands-on learning, helpful health-related training, and networking opportunities, AHEC Scholars also receive stipends and travel support.  


Acceptance into AHEC Scholars is happening year round! Complete the online application to verify eligibility!

  • Student Handbook

    Click here to view the current AHEC Scholars Handbook for more details about the program. 

  • Curriculum Requirements

    Basic Curriculum Requirements

    AHEC Scholars is a two-year program, including 40 hours in classroom or online training plus 40 hours of community-based learning each year. Before the student graduates from the AHEC Scholars program, they must have completed at least 5 hours in each of the core topic areas: behavioral health, interprofessional education, social determinants of health, cultural competency, practice transformation, and other current or emerging issues

    Students in a 4-year Bachelor or Graduate program: Apply to become a Scholar for your final 2 years of study. 

    Students in a degree or certificate program that takes 2 years or less: Apply to become a Scholar for your final year of study. You will only complete 1 year of requirements. 

    AHEC Scholars is set up with a modular format, so different students can complete different coursework to satisfy the curriculum requirements. Students can assemble any collection of modules they choose so long as they meet all the criteria below. Most of the curriculum offerings are available online but some may require face-to-face interaction. Not all courses will be accessible in all places. Contact the nearest AHEC regional office for the most up-to-date list of courses available in your area.

  • Community-Based Learning Opportunities

    Map of AHEC Scholars sites across Alaska

    This map shows communities that potentially host AHEC Scholars' rural experiences. Not all communities will participate in any given year. Communities are added or removed from the available list depending on staffing, finances, student capabilities, and community demand.

    Community-Based Learning

    “Community-based learning” provides students with real-life health field experience. Students will spend 40 hours per year in a clinic, hospital, community organization, government agency, etc., learning how healthcare is provided in the real world outside the classroom. AHEC Scholars provides two tracks for the community-based learning.

    The rural track sends students out to small towns and villages across Alaska. Small communities may have no more than one or two healthcare providers, so the scope of the job is very wide. AHEC will cover the costs for students’ round-trip transportation and seven days of housing expenses on a reimbursement basis.

    The urban underserved track addresses city populations which suffer from lack of access to affordable or effective care. These populations include the elderly, the homeless, Alaska Natives, and others. The urban underserved community-based learning takes place in Anchorage, the Matanuska Valley or Fairbanks. 

    AHEC Scholars enrolled in the program for 2 years will have an urban underserved community-based experience for their first year, and will go out to a rural community in their second year. Timing and location is flexible and the AHEC staff will work with the Scholar to place them. (Those students based outside of Anchorage and Fairbanks will work with AHEC staff for a more customized plan.)

  • Requirements for Admission

    Students must meet all the following requirements for admission to the AHEC Scholars program:

    • Students must be currently enrolled in a degree or certificate program related to healthcare. (In other words, a nursing student must be accepted into the School of Nursing; someone completing pre-requisites would not qualify.) As of September 2018, AHEC recognizes all the following programs: 

    • Behavioral Health Aide
    • Certified Nursing Assistant
    • Children's Mental Health
    • Clinical Mental Health Counseling (M.Ed.)
    • Clinical-Community Psychology
    • Community Health Aide/Practitioner
    • Community Health Worker
    • Dental Assisting
    • Dental Health Aide/Therapist
    • Dental Hygiene (BS)
    • Diagnostic Medical Sonography
    • Dietetics (BS, MS, Internship)
    • Emergency Medical Technician
    • Health Sciences
    • Human Services (AAS, BHS)
    • Justice
    • Justice Administration
    • Kinesiology


    • Medical Assisting
    • Medical Coding
    • Medical Lab Science (AAS, BS)
    • Medicine
    • Nursing (AAS, BS, MS)
    • Nursing Practice (Doctorate)
    • Occupational Therapy
    • Outdoor Leadership (AAS)
    • Paramedicine (Certificate, AAS)
    • Pharmacy
    • Physical Education
    • Physical Therapy Assistant
    • Physician Assistant
    • Public Health
    • Radiologic Technology
    • Social Work (BS, MS)
    • Speech-Language Pathology
    • Surgical Technology
  • Rising AHEC Scholars
    The Rising AHEC Scholars program is a 1 or 2-year program designed to support students who are interested in healthcare careers throughout their academic journey. Unlike the AHEC Scholars program, the Rising AHEC Scholars are students who are not admitted into a specific health major, but rather who are awaiting admission into their program or who are pursuing a non-traditional program in hopes of pursuing postgraduate school.
    Through the Rising AHEC Scholars program, students will be given opportunities to earn industry-recognized certifications for things like First Aid/CPR, Mental Health First Aid, and more! Additionally, students will be provided with academic support and resources to help them advance through difficult courses in the pursuit of their healthcare career. Students involved with this program will also be connected to extracurricular opportunities such as job shadowing in rural and underserved areas, as well as volunteering with local organizations. Lastly, as a part of the program, students will be involved in carrying out a community-based project which will allow them to apply the knowledge learned throughout their participation in the Rising AHEC Scholars program. 
    In addition to all of the resources and opportunities afforded to students, the main goal of the Rising AHEC Scholars program is to provide a community for students. Each year's cohort will attend sessions together and be involved in the same program opportunities to foster a connection with like-minded peers. Rising AHEC Scholars are encouraged to become AHEC Scholars once they are admitted to a health career academic program. For more information, view the Rising AHEC Scholars student manual.

For more information about AHEC Scholars, please contact: