AHEC Scholars

Oregon AHEC Scholars Program

AHEC Scholars is a national program developed by the U.S. Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA) and state AHECs. The Oregon AHEC Scholars Program consists of health professions students who have declared an interest in rural and/or underserved care. Interprofessional cohorts of students from five different universities in Oregon will join together each year to create the first state-wide multi-institutional rural and underserved focused program for health professions students.

Eligibility Criteria:

Students should have an interest in rural or underserved healthcare, be currently enrolled in a health professions degree/certificate program and be willing to commit to two years of program participation prior to graduation. This includes but is not limited to students in:  medical, dental, pharmacy, nurse practitioner, nursing, physician assistant, social work, physical therapy, occupational therapy, and public/population health programs.

Program Learning Objectives

The Oregon AHEC Scholars program is guided by a list of student learning objectives that can be found here.

Program Outline

AHEC Scholars is a 2-year program and students must commit to be in the program for 2 years.  Entry point into the program is dependent upon each student's school/program with the exit point at graduation/completion of your degree.

The program is delivered in two required components each year:

  • 40 hours of didactic training related to six core topic areas in healthcare.
  • 40 hours of community-based experiential training at rural and underserved clinics in a team based environment across the state of Oregon aimed at developing an understanding of the variety of social and cultural factors influencing overall health and ability to access care.

When possible, students will spend some of their experiential learning at a OHSU Campus for Rural Health site.  All AHEC Scholars rotating through the CRH will be required to participate in an Interprofessional Community-Based Project course, which will meet a significant portion of the AHEC Scholars didactic requirement for the year.  If students are in a community based training sit outside the CRH locations, they may participate via virtual classroom in didactic sessions incorporating case-based learning exercises requiring students from multiple professions to engage in patient care issues relevant to the 6 core topic areas.


  • Participate in a multi-disciplinary team of health care professionals committed to transforming healthcare in Oregon.
  • Meets the eligibility requirements for Primary Healthcare Loan Forgiveness Program (PCLF).
  • Exposure to inter-professional team based training experience.
  • Scholarships and poster presentation opportunities at the Oregon Rural Health Conference.
  • For students awarded funding with a service obligation to the State of Oregon; the ability to rotate at a future practice site (embed in the community, meet peers, connect with other clinicians and the human resources department).
  • Housing support for the community-based experiential training. Housing ProcedureHousing Form.
  • Certificate of completion.
  • Career planning through the Office of Rural Health including: loan forgiveness and repayment programs, resume writting, access to rural job postings through www.3RNet.org, connection to HR departments and hiring managers and much more.
  • Faculty mentorship from those with an interest in rural and/or underserved care.
  • Access to award funds to support conference attendance or other health related interest