Direct Care Worker (DCW)

Why Choose NPC's Direct Care Worker (DCW)?

"Direct Care Worker" is an umbrella term that includes certified nursing assistants, home health aides, personal care assistants, direct support professionals, home care workers and other similar occupational titles. Direct care workers help care for older adults and individuals with disabilities by providing assistance with activities of daily living (such as eating, bathing, going to the bathroom, dressing, etc.) and certain health care and rehabilitation services. As our population ages, more and more family members are putting aside their own careers to provide assistance with daily living activities for older family members. Receiving DCW training may qualify you for positions with Arizona Long Term Care System (ALTCS)-approved agencies or Native American healthcare services.

About Our Program

The eight-week Direct Care Worker (DCW) course prepares caregivers to provide assistance in a home setting with the focus on skills development in performing personal care tasks and home management. Completion of the course helps you meet minimum qualifications for hire by an agency to provide services to individuals covered by the Arizona Long Term Care System (ALTCS), a part of Arizona's Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS). Job opportunities for Direct Care Workers also exist with local home care and Medicare agencies, as well as Native American home healthcare services.

  • Prerequisite: ASSET reading score of 35 or COMPASS reading score of 61
  • Co-requisite, EMT 104 (CPR & First Aid) or current CPR card.
  • Must be 18 or older.

Degree/Certificate Options

This is a short-term direct-to-work Health Services course (HES 103) with national certification upon successful completion.

It is not a component of any current NPC degree or certificate program.

Career Opportunities

Today's direct care workforce includes more than 4 million individuals and is expected to grow 26 percent by 2024, when, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Direct Care Workforce will be the largest occupational group in the country. Today, direct care workers provide care, services and support to more than 13 million Americans, and that number is expected to grow to 27 million by 2050.

According to the Institute of Medicine, direct care workers are "the linchpin of the formal health care delivery system for older adults." Without this linchpin, America's health care system would quickly grind to a halt.                  

Median annual earnings:
  (May 2015) North Arizona Nonmetropolitan Area
(US Bureau of Labor Statistics SOC 39.9021)

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Contact Us

Cathy Reed, Secretary to the Dean

White Mountain Campus - Show Low
Ponderosa Center, Rm. 111

(800) 266-7845 ext. 6136
(928) 532-6790

Gainful Employment

The U.S. Department of Education requires all colleges to disclose a variety of information for any financial aid eligible program that "prepares students for gainful employment in a recognized occupation."  Gainful employment disclosure information can be found for specific programs regarding tuition and fees and median loan debt, completion and job placement rates, and jobs related to the program on the web page for each program area.

We hope this information is helpful to our current and prospective students as you make your career and educational choices. For more information on Gainful Employment requirements, please read this letter from the U.S. Department of Education (7-page PDF).


    Information on all eligible NPC programs can be found in the Gainful Employment Data Archives.