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College Students

AHEC Scholars Program

AHEC Scholar Program

AHEC Scholars is a nationally recognized certificate program that can set you apart.


AHEC Scholars is a program for health professions students interested in supplementing their education by gaining additional knowledge and experience in rural and/or underserved urban settings. This is a longitudinal program with interdisciplinary curricula to implement a defined set of clinical, didactic, and community-based activities. All experiential or clinical training will be conducted in rural and/or underserved urban settings.


This program is designed to increase the number of skilled and culturally competent health professions students in rural and underserved areas. AHEC Scholars will practice interprofessional collaboration to join a well-prepared, diverse, and culturally competent primary care workforce demonstrating team-based care to improve patient outcomes.

Scholar Benefits

  • The program emphasizes an interdisciplinary team-based approach to address health disparities in your communities

  • Enhance healthcare knowledge in clinical and community settings

  • Participate in enhanced training experiences related to health care delivery impacting underserved communities

  • Some of your current clinical coursework may qualify for AHEC Scholars credit

  • AHEC Scholars curriculum can be completed at no cost and complements your existing coursework

  • Train on topics of leadership, communication, and critical thinking

  • Improved employability skills

    • Resume review

    • Resume building opportunities

    • Job interview preparation

    • Introduction to area health organizations

  • Receive an official AHEC Scholars certificate and letter of completion


Who is eligible to participate?

  • Currently interest in rural or underserved healthcare

  • Be currently enrolled in a college-level health professions education training program in Oklahoma, maintain a 2.5 GPA, and be two years from program or degree completion


The program is open to students in disciplines that support primary health care services delivery in both clinical and non-clinical roles.  Applicable majors include but are not limited to: medicine; community and public health; nutrition and dietetics; pharmacy; nursing; dental; optometry; communication sciences and disorders; social work; and counseling.  The program has a special interest in students from underserved, under-represented populations, and/or disadvantaged backgrounds.


What are the commitments?

Program duration is two years and each year includes the following, for a total of 160 hours:


  • Must attend the online orientation

  • 40 hours annually of community-based, experiential, or clinical training in rural and/or underserved area

  • 40 hours annually of didactic education (focused on eight Core Topic Areas)

Core Topic Areas

  • Connecting Communities and Supporting Health Professionals 

  • Virtual Learning and Telehealth 

  • Interprofessional Education

  • Behavioral Health Integration

  • Social Determinants of Health

  • Cultural Competency

  • Practice Transformation

  • Current and Emerging Health Issues

Complete a follow-up evaluation one (1) year after exiting the program

Center Locations:

NE AHEC at Northeastern Health Systems in Tahlequah, OK 

SE AHEC at McAlester Regional Hospital in McAlester, OK 

SW AHEC at Comanche County Memorial Hospital in Lawton, OK 

NW AHEC at Rural Health Projects Inc. in Enid, OK 

National AHEC Scholars Website

Comanche County Memorial Hospital

AHEC Advantage Business Partner Opportunities

This project is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under U77HP31121 Point of Service Maintenance and Enhancement, with an annual award amount of $383,407 and a 100% non-federal match. This information or content and conclusions are those of the author and should not be construed as the official position or policy of, nor should any endorsements be inferred by HRSA, HHS or the U.S. Government.

The Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences prohibits discrimination against qualified individuals based on their status as protected veterans or individuals with disabilities, and prohibits discrimination against all individuals based on their age, race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, national origin or ethnicity.

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