Are you ready to change lives through diabetes education? The number of individuals affected with diabetes in the Stockton area is staggering, and continues to grow. Our certificate program in Diabetes Essentials is an excellent opportunity to educate yourself, develop practical skills, and empower our community with knowledge of the debilitating effects of the condition. The program offers critical information such as: the causes of diabetes, lifestyle changes that can prevent or minimize the disease, as well as resources for those living with diabetes.

Educate your community and advance your career with the Diabetes Essential Certificate program. Benerd College offers two pathways-Diabetes Essentials for Clinicians, and Diabetes Essentials for Non-Clinicians. Both paths offer excellent courses. Instructors are local, national and international experts in the field.

View our Diabetes Essentials Brochure

Abbott Fund Scholars Opportunity

If you are currently employed or seeking employment in health care, a community-based organization, education, or an organization that is providing services to Stockton residents living with diabetes, you may be eligible to receive a scholarship. Applicants whose organizations provide services to priority neighborhoods in Stockton are highly encouraged to apply. The scholarship will cover 100% of tuition, requiring students to complete all courses in the specific track for which they've applied (all 3 courses for the Non-Clinical track, or all 5 courses for the Clinical track).

Apply Now for scholarship opportunities!

An Overview of Clinical & Non-clinical Tracks

Next Cohort Dates

Open Enrollment begins April 2021!

Program Description

The certificate in Diabetes Essentials for Non-Clinicians is designed to give students a foundational understanding of diabetes. Through the study of the American Diabetes Association guidelines, the Diabetes Essentials for Non-Clinicians Certificate will help students address barriers to diabetes management in various settings: primary care clinic, workplace, school and home.

The certificate can be obtained by completing all three classes in order over six weeks. It is a fully online program. Upon completion of all three courses, students will be awarded a Certificate of Completion from University of the Pacific.

The certificate consists of three courses priced at $245 individually, or $599 for all three.

UDBM 100: Body Basics and Diabetes: 

Course description: This course will help students understand the basics of prediabetes as well as the three main types of diabetes: Type 1, Type 2, and Gestational. The biological processes of nutrition, different body systems, and possible diabetes complications will also be covered. Finally, students will explore tools used in diabetes screening, how the different types of diabetes are commonly managed in differing, everyday environments, and accessing local diabetes-related resources.

UDBM 101: Teaching and Learning with Cultural Competency: 

Course description: Students will learn practical, age-appropriate teaching and coaching skills that promote knowledge retention and patient empowerment in children, adolescents, adults, and older adults. This course will help students apply various teaching methods, such as gaming, storytelling, demonstration, and visual media. Students will learn to translate common medical terminology into simple language. Upon completion of this course, students will be able to apply verbal and non-verbal skills in one-on-one and group settings on the following topics: meal preparation, addressing anxiety and depression, physical activity, medication organization. Finally, students will learn useful bilingual phrases about diabetes management in English and Spanish.

UDBM 102: Advance Care Planning and Emergency Preparedness:

Course description: This course covers culturally competent communication skills to help prepare for natural disasters and medical emergencies involving diabetes. The course will also cover dialogue on Advance Directives and Advance Care Planning. Finally, students will explore implications for care in a palliative care context.

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Program Overview

Students will learn current and comprehensive practice applications of diabetes care and education for people with type 1 and 2 (both in children and adults). They will also be educated on prediabetes, and gestational diabetes from renowned experts and thought leaders. Students in the program will start with an illustrated review of pathophysiology and landmark studies in order to understand the evidence-based treatment modalities. Upon completion of the program, students will have improved skills in delivering effective, patient-centered diabetes education and care that focuses on strategies to promote wellness through behavior change and reduce barriers for vulnerable populations. Students will gain insights about the lived experience from people with diabetes. Student outcomes include the ability to explain pharmacological options to manage glucose, blood pressure and lipids. Students will also explore basic and advanced technologies used to decrease the burden of living with diabetes while also improving outcomes.

NOTE: Our CME application process is underway, and we hope to offer CMEs in the very near future.


After successful completion of the Foundations course, students will be able to explain how landmark trials drive practice in preventing possible complications via the “legacy effect.” This will demonstrate the impact this has on the person with diabetes through care delivery. Students will learn to identify the target numbers trifecta (glucose/A1C, blood pressure, lipids) based on recent science to promote outcomes.  They will be expected to measure effectiveness of prevention and treatment strategies of diabetes and its related conditions. This foundations course will create a understanding of the benefits of a weight-inclusive approach in diabetes management. Students are expected to demonstrate competence in using person-first, strengths-based, empowering language to enhance communication and enhance motivation, health and well-being of people with diabetes.

Inclusive Care & Special Populations

The Inclusive Care & Special Populations course will allow students to distinguish at least 5 common barriers faced by vulnerable populations with diabetes and how clinical interventions mitigate these challenges and improve outcomes.  Students will analyze how social determinants of health impact people with diabetes, and differentiate treatment approaches for type 1 and 2 in youth. This includes what to teach families of newly diagnosed children and hospital guidelines for diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA). Students will be able to name the 2 main differences in nutrition for pregnant women with diabetes, and explain how low health literacy and food insecurity worsen outcomes. Students will also review the populations hit hardest by diabetes, and how they can improve their experience with the healthcare system and their wellness.


The Pharmacotherapy course will allow students to differentiate the major medication classifications used for diabetes, hypertension, and hypercholesterolemia, and their pathophysiologic target. Students will identify strategies to optimize insulin, including basal, prandial and correctional using case scenarios. The course will review at least 5 of the latest diabetes oral, inhalable, and injectable medications. The course also explains safety considerations of common classifications of medications used for hypertension, dyslipidemia, chronic kidney disease, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), and sexual dysfunction. Students will be able to name at least 1 anti-obesity medication used for type 2 diabetes management and remission, and understand common dietary supplements used for diabetes and related conditions that many people take.

Diabetes Technology

Diabetes Technology will identify types of diabetes technology used, from basic to continuous glucose monitoring, and insulin pens and pumps which includes “looping” or artificial pancreas systems. In this course, students will prepare an argument “for” and “against” using a particular diabetes device based on who would and would not be an ideal candidate for that technology. Students will formulate strategies to maximize engagement with diabetes technology. This is done by selecting, procuring, and educating on the right devices when given 3 case studies. Students will also learn about the latest diabetes wellness apps and how telehealth, text messages and social media initiatives increase user engagement and self-care.

Diabetes Education and Wellness

In the Diabetes Education and Wellness course students will compare several nutrition and physical activity approaches and recommend which style might be best. This course is designed for students to understand several different models for inpatient diabetes education, as well as review several case studies on caring for people hospitalized with hyper or hypoglycemia. Students will select evidenced-based approaches to facilitate behavior change in persons living with diabetes. Students will also evaluate the link between the emotional side to diabetes and self-care behavior.  Students will be expected to describe how many hours of aerobic exercise can increase insulin sensitivity, and what happens to those improvements in insulin action during times of overeating. Finally students will learn how to communicate with encouraging feedback to a person living with diabetes.