Program Description

Diabetes paraprofessionals1 are in a prime position to help improve patients’ behaviors related to prediabetes, diabetes, and the risk for its associated conditions. This Diabetes Essentials for Paraprofessionals Certificate program follows national guidelines in providing the paraprofessional with the knowledge, guidance, and resources necessary for facilitating culturally competent care with diabetes prevention and diabetes management within their scope of practice. First, students will learn about the American Diabetes Association’s Standards of Care. Then, through interactive assignments, apply this knowledge to address barriers to diabetes self-care behaviors (such as healthy eating, being active, monitoring, and taking medications) that face several minority populations. Students will receive a Certificate of Completion upon completing all three courses.

1 Diabetes paraprofessionals have various roles in facilitating self-care. They may include lay health workers, community health workers, peer counselors, health navigators, coaches, assistive school personnel, dental hygienists, certified nursing assistants, medical assistants, dietetic technicians, registered pharmacy technicians, physical therapy assistants, and licensed vocational nurses. Course length is 30 hours. Since this course is self-paced, students are expected to budget an average of 2 hours per week to complete the entire program within 4 months of enrollment.

The certificate consists of three courses priced at $99 individually, or $249 for all three.


Upon completion of this first course, Introduction to Diabetes Basics, the student will be able to describe clinical practice guidelines for the prevention and management of diabetes and what part their role plays in addressing these standards of care. This includes learning about the basic types of diabetes, how to minimize modifiable risk factors and possible complications, and communication strategies to foster patient advocacy, empowerment, and resolve team conflict. Students will also learn how to educate about the A1C, blood pressure, and cholesterol, the benefits of a weight-inclusive approach in diabetes management, and advocate for the needs of individuals with diabetes.


Upon completion of this second course, Facilitating Self-Care, the student will demonstrate familiarity with core self-care behaviors necessary for diabetes wellness (such as healthy eating, being active, healthy coping, and problem-solving situations like hypoglycemia). This includes providing diabetes-related information consistent with the care team, understanding how common medications, injectables, and supplements work to manage diabetes and related conditions, describing how to prepare the technology for an in-person or telehealth visit, setting realistic goals, and referring to local resources.

  1. Association of Diabetes Care and Education Specialists 7 Self-Care Behaviors™

Upon completion of this third course, Cultural Competency in Diabetes Care, the student will demonstrate diabetes support and care from youth through elderly populations in a culturally competent manner. In addition, the student will learn how to remove barriers to common health equity disparities experienced in several minority populations. This includes reviewing foods specific to several cultures, learning about how food insecurity and social determinants of health impact diverse communities with diabetes and promoting health in a manner that matches the individual's unique needs.



Connect with us
Take the Next Step

Contact Theresa Garnero, APRN, BC-ADM, MSN, CDCES

Assistant Professor and Director of Diabetes Management Certificate Programs

Program Director Theresa Garnero, APRN, BC-ADM, MSN, CDCES, and former Program Director Lawrence (Larry) Chang, PharmD, BCPS, BCGP  have stated they have no relationships to disclose.