The WNY Rural AHEC Scholars Program is a unique opportunity for students in healthcare professions studies!

Students from various health and allied health disciplines will experience community-based training activities. Participants experience hands-on and online training on topics designed to enhance patient -centered care, such as cultural competency, social determinants of health, behavioral health integration, and interprofessional care coordination.

Experiential training will be conducted in medically disadvantaged settings, both rural and urban that work for each individual student’s schedule. AHEC Scholars also focuses on underserved populations in these medically underserved areas as well. 

Note:  This program is part of the NYS AHEC Scholars Program, whose overarching goal is for students to gain a valuable understanding about social and cultural factors that influence an individual’s overall health and their ability to access quality care.  By exposing students to social, financial, and cultural issues of care, the program supports the development of future professionals who are able to provide high-quality care to all members of their community.

Click here to apply for the Rural AHEC Scholars Program

Why Participate?

  • Rare opportunity to gain practical, culturally relevant learning experiences
  • Stipend available for qualified students
  • Unique way to begin professional networking and gain healthcare team collaboration experience
  • Access to current, research-based, non-clinical online learning materials
  • NYS AHEC Scholars Program and WNY Rural AHEC Scholars Certificates of Completion and recommendation/reference resources


  • Be currently matriculated into an accredited allied health or health professional degree/certificate program and in last 2 years of study;
  • Be able to devote time to 40 hours of experiential and didactic learning each year;
  • Be interested in improving healthcare quality for all individuals, regardless of background


  • Rural AHEC Scholars will be part of an interprofessional team of approximately 3 – 5 students.  Each Rural AHEC Scholar is required to complete 40 hours of community-based experiential training.  School clinical requirements and/or a health profession workplace can be used for AHEC Scholars to complete experiential requirements.  
  • Additionally, Rural AHEC Scholars will be required to complete an online curriculum that address topics designed to augment patient care, including cultural competency, practice transformation, behavioral health integration, and interprofessional care coordination.  Each Rural AHEC Scholar will be required to complete the 40 hours of didactic education each year within the AHEC Scholar timeframe from September until August.
  • Scholars must participate in at least once case study-or collaborative session that addresses a Scholar topic and have two hours of supplemental outside learning related to AHEC Scholar topics, or choose to participate in 2 case studies. 

Counties Served: Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Genesee, Livingston, Monroe, Ontario, Orleans, Steuben, Wayne, Wyoming, and Yates