Rural Human Services


The rural human services program is designed to develop strong and healthy rural Alaska Native individuals, families and communities. The RHS program provides entry-level training for students preparing for careers as natural helpers/healers in village-based public, private and volunteer human service organizations. The curriculum draws extensively from Indigenous knowledge and wisdom about health and well-being and reflects a strong multicultural orientation that validates, incorporates and builds on Indigenous values and principles.

The certificate program is a concentrated course of study focused on rural behavioral health services. Both the Alaska Division of Behavioral Health and the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium have designated many of the credits earned through the RHS program as satisfying credentialing training requirements.

The certificate program provides additional credentials for service providers who work in related fields and would like additional training in rural behavioral health services. Providers who may want such training could include health aides, family service workers, correctional workers and teachers. The RHS program is offered as a closed cohort with monthly, week-long intensives for two academic years.

Admission is open to anyone employed by a regional Native health corporation or local entity providing village-based human services, or to individuals recognized by their communities as natural helpers/healers. A high school diploma or GED and/or previous training or work experience in the delivery of village-based human services are recommended but not required.

This degree program is delivered collaboratively within the UA system.

Minimum Requirements for Rural Human Services Certificate: 32 credits

College of Rural and Community Development
Rural Human Services