Tuition Waivers Available for Southeast’s Community Health Workers Program


Tuition waiver applications are now available for those interested in completing the Community Health Workers Certificate program in southeast Missouri.

The waivers are available thanks to funding recently awarded to the Southeast Missouri State University Partnership for Community Health Workers to increase the number of Certified Community Health Workers (CHWs) in southeast Missouri serving the population.

This partnership between Southeast and the Missouri Department of Health and Human Services Bureau of Cancer and Chronic Disease Control, works to attract, train and retain CHWs interested in serving Missouri’s population.

Twenty tuition waiver applications are now available. Applicants may register online at

The course is comprised of 100 hours of in-class training to be held at Southeast’s main campus in Cape Girardeau and Southeast’s Sikeston Regional Campus. Dr. Debbie Lee-DiStefano, professor of Spanish language and culture, and Laura McVay, executive director of the Southeastern Missouri Area Health Education Center (SEMO AHEC) in Poplar Bluff, Missouri, will conduct the in-class training.

This program provides professional training opportunities to these essential workers who are an important and vital part of our health care system, said Lee-DiStefano.

She added, CHWs serve as a resource, an advocate and a support for the client in a compassionate way that is void of judgment. CHWs are human-centered and work with the client while respecting their needs, language, culture and individual autonomy to provide the best assistance when clients make health decisions and set goals.

“CHWs focus less on cost and symptoms and more on the overall well-being of the client as a fully empowered person,” Lee-DiStefano said.

If selected for the tuition waiver, recipients must agree to complete a satisfactory background check prior to accepting the tuition waiver; successfully complete the CHW training program, including practicum hours; and submit an official high school transcript or GED equivalent.

For more information about Southeast’s Community Health Worker Program, visit