AHEC Scholars

The AHEC Scholars program is a highly sought after program that offers health professional students an enriching two-year journey aimed at augmenting their education and broadening their healthcare training. Participants engage in a blend of didactic and community-based experiential training, focusing on Wisconsin’s rural communities and underserved populations.

Program Components:

  • 1

    Orientation – attend virtual orientation each year.

  • 2

    AHEC Connect – choose and attend three of seven virtual AHEC Connect sessions focused on current health topics.

  • 3

    Community Health Immersion – participate in a community health immersion experience to understand health challenges and cultural considerations.

  • 4

    Skills Advancement – select from a number of certification options.

  • 5

    Field Placement – 40 hours of community based clinical field placement.

  • 6

    Program Evaluation – participate in end of program evaluation.


  • 2 year program.

  • 40 hours of didactic learning, each year.

  • 40 hours of community-based field placement, each year.

  • Be enrolled in an acceptable degree program and concurrently working toward graduating.

Dentistry (DDS, DMD)
Medicine (DO, MD)
Mental Health Counseling/Psychology (MA, MS, PhD)
Nurse Practitioner (DNP)
Advanced Practice Nursing (MSN, PhD, DNP)
Occupational Therapy (MOT, OTD)
Occupational Therapy Assistant (OTA)
Pharmacy (PharmD)
Physical Therapy (DPT)
Physical Therapy Assistant (PTA)
Physician Assistant (MPAS)
Public Health (BPH, MPH, PhD)
Registered Dietitian (RDN)
Registered Nurse (ADN, BSN)
Social Work (BSW, MSW, PhD)
Substance Use Disorder Counselor (AAS)

Program Contact

Why participate in AHEC Scholars

The AHEC Scholars program takes students on a transformative journey to become exceptional healthcare professionals. Through diverse learning activities, participants develop invaluable skills, knowledge, and experiences. AHEC Scholars cultivate a deep understanding of serving diverse populations with compassion. This comprehensive program empowers students to confidently address complex healthcare needs across Eight Core Topics:


“The AHEC Scholars is an incredible opportunity for students. It’s really a no-brainer. It allowed me the opportunity to better understand the communities I want to be serving, as well as just further my education on all health related topics. Being in Public Health, social determinants of health really shape my work, so AHEC Scholars and the content we focused on really helped to solidify my career path. I love the work I do in public health so much.”

Kim Mehlberg, past employee and AHEC Scholar


“My journey to medicine began upon immigrating to the United States. Throughout the lengthy immigration process, my family members and I had to meet with numerous medical professionals. Throughout all of it, I felt very disconnected and lacking knowledge as to what was going on around me. This sparked an interest within me for medical education and, specifically, serving the immigrant population. I decided to apply to become an AHEC Scholar because the mission included a focus on social determinants of health as well as connecting communities and supporting health professionals. Working and attending to the immigration and underserved populations is something that fuels my future practice in medicine. I have now completed one year as an AHEC scholar, and I can say my experience has definitely met my expectations. I was able to participate in the Substance Use and Recovery Immersion in Manitowoc and Sheboygan Counties to hear valuable information about how to best become a resource and a helping hand to our patients who struggle with substance use. I truly value my time as an AHEC Scholar, and I look forward to my second year.”

Gabriela Perez, MD Candidate | Class of 2026

Overall, participation in the AHEC Scholars program is a rewarding investment in one’s professional development, offering a pathway to making a meaningful difference in the health and well-being of individuals and communities.