AHEC Scholars Program

Join our AHEC Scholars Program!

Application window for our 2021 Cohort 4 is August 2 – October 15, 2021

Application Link will appear here on August 2, 2021

AHEC Wisconsin is using Survey Monkey, a secure application service that we are using to collect applications for our 2021 Scholars cohort #4. Survey Monkey requires applicants to create a FREE account where they can start an application, save their progress as they work and leave the application to complete at a later time. If you already have an account with Survey Monkey, you may log in with your existing account information. If you do not have an account with Survey Monkey, you will need to “Register” for a FREE account before proceeding to the application.

Explore Beyond the Classroom, Gain Real World Experience Across Wisconsin with AHEC Scholars

Wisconsin AHEC Scholars is a two-year program designed to enhance and broaden a student’s healthcare training. Each year as an AHEC Scholar, you’ll participate in a combination of didactic and community-based experiential training in a Wisconsin rural community and/or with underserved populations.

Educational and training activities support the following six (6) Core Topics:

  • Interprofessional Education
  • Behavioral Health Integration
  • Social Determinants of Health
  • Cultural Competency
  • Practice Transformation
  • Current and Emerging Health Issues

We offer flexible pathways for students to complete their didactic and community-based experiential training each year.

AHEC Scholars Cohort 4 students earn a $1,500 stipend over the course of their experience. Stipends amounts are distributed throughout the 2-year commitment at regular intervals, upon successful achievement of program milestones.

Eligibility Criteria

WI AHEC Scholars is a competitive program. You must meet all the following requirements for admission in our 2021 Cohort 4:

  • At the time of application, be currently enrolled or accepted to any of the following degree programs that are a minimum 2-years in length:
    • Dentistry
    • Medicine
    • Mental Health Counseling (or similar program; graduate-level)
    • Nursing
    • Occupational Therapy
    • Pharmacy
    • Physical Therapy
    • Physician Assistant
    • Public Health
    • Registered Dietician (or similar program; graduate-level only)
    • Social Work
  • Expected graduation in Spring, Summer, Fall, or Winter of 2023
  • Able to commit to active participation as an AHEC Scholar for two consecutive years while concurrently working towards your degree program. Participating in alumni surveys after you finish the program.
  • Interest in working in a rural and/or under served area within Wisconsin upon earning your degree.

About Wisconsin AHEC Scholars Program

Scholars Cohort

Each fall, WI AHEC accepts a new Scholars Cohort ranging in size from 105-145 students. The Cohort will complete their first and second years on the same timeline and are referred to by the academic year of their start (e.g. 2021 Scholars Cohort 4).

Scholars Academic Year

First-year AHEC Scholars will begin in the program in November 2021 with an Orientation. Returning second-year AHEC Scholars will begin in August with an Orientation for their final year in the program. The AHEC Scholars Academic Year ends in May for both first-year and second-year students. The full program lasts for a duration of two years, ensuring Scholars will complete 40 hours of online didactic training and 40 hours of community-based experiential training before the end of each Scholars Year (for a total of 160 hours over two years).

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Community-based Experiential Training (40 hours/year)

Each year, AHEC Scholars students participate in team-based experiential training experiences, supported by one of the seven AHEC Regional Centers (of about 15-20 students) throughout Wisconsin, where you will get to interact with the local community and learn to transform your healthcare practices to suit the needs of rural and underserved communities.

Didactic Curriculum (40 hours/year)

Each year, AHEC Scholars students engage in didactic coursework. Scholars receive online access to coursework towards the start of each Scholar Year and work alongside their Regional Center group peers under the facilitation of their Regional Center Scholars faculty team.

Regional Center Assignment & Groups

Each accepted Scholar will be matched to one of Seven Regional Centers: Milwaukee, Northeast, Northern Highland, Northwest, North Central, Scenic Rivers, or South Central. Regional Center assignment takes into account many factors including community need, Regional Center resources, and Scholar preferences reported during the application process.

Regional Centers support their group of Scholars to ensure successful completion of annual requirements and coordination of community-based experiential training. In many cases, a Scholars’ Regional Center Assignment corresponds to the anticipated location of their community-based experiential training (e.g. a Scholar anticipating completing their community-based experiential training in Rhinelander, WI would be assigned to our Northern Highland Regional Center). Scholars will work with their assigned Regional Center to customize their community-based experiential training each year, which may or may not physically take place within that Regional Center’s geographic area.


The program is administered by the Wisconsin AHEC Program and the University of Wisconsin-Madison – School of Medicine and Public Health.

2021 Application window: August 2 – October 15, 2021

To apply:

  • Make sure you meet our eligibility criteria listed above.
  • Prepare your response to the following prompt: In 500 words or less, please describe your background and career goals. How do you feel the WI AHEC Scholars Program will benefit you in reaching your goals?
  • Complete our easy online application where you’ll provide us with demographic information, your career and interests, and your response to the question above.


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I'm currently working on fulfilling prerequisite courses for entry into a qualified health professions program and want to apply and become an AHEC Scholar now. Can I?

Unfortunately, no. Student completing prerequisites for entry into a qualified certificate or degree program are not eligible to apply for WI AHEC Scholars until fully accepted in their academic program.

What are the benefits of becoming an AHEC Scholar?

Not only will you gain valuable experience working in team-based environments, as an AHEC Scholar, you will also have access to build relationships and networks with health care professionals, explore career opportunities, and obtain a certificate of completion to include with your resume.

Do my two years as an AHEC Scholar need to be consecutive years?

Yes. You need to be enrolled in the program for two continuous academic years. You need to be enrolled in an academic program of study for the entire time you are also enrolled in AHEC Scholars, with some exceptions for Year 2. Students who cannot complete their first year or their second year must officially withdraw from the program. Please be sure to connect with your Regional Center prior to withdrawing to discuss flexible options to support your continued participation as a Scholar.

I'm a part-time student doing a two-year degree in a four-year schedule. Can I divide my AHEC Scholars requirements into smaller chunks so I don't have to do as much each year?

Unfortunately, no.  AHEC Scholars requires a minimum of 40 hours didactic coursework and 40 hours of community-based experiential training each year. You can be enrolled in the program for more than two years, but you’ll have to do 40/40 hours each and every year.

What happens if I start AHEC Scholars but can't finish?

Our goal is to offer as much flexibility as we can for students to support successful completion of our two-year program. We understand that personal compelling circumstances happen that may make completing the program challenging. Please reach out to your Regional Center for support. If you drop out of your academic program, you must withdraw from AHEC Scholars.

Will I work with a team?

Yes! You will join a cohort of 15-20 students in your region, coming from a variety of academic disciplines.

Do I need any prior experience?

No! Health innovation relies on interdisciplinary collaboration, so students from all health profession disciplines are welcome. Skills from your peers can help your work stand out from the crowd.

How much does it cost?

There is no tuition for the AHEC Scholars Program. There may be costs related to some of the optional experiential learning opportunities.

Where can I find more information?

The seven regional AHEC Centers provide the clinical/community-based learning activities. To learn more about the centers, see here

Contact Us: ebush2@wisc.edu

This project is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). This information or content and conclusions are those of the author and should not be construed as the official position or policy of, nor should any endorsements be inferred by HRSA, HHS or the U.S. Government.