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, much like many areas across the United States. 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.


Advance your career in diabetes education and care

Educate and care for your community with the Diabetes Essential Certificate programs. Benerd College offers two pathways: Diabetes Essentials for Clinicians, and Diabetes Essentials for Non-Clinicians. Both paths offer excellent courses and can help to advance your career and skills in providing diabetes education and care to those you serve. Instructors are local, national and international experts in the field.

Diabetes Essentials for Clinicians

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. 

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

Diabetes Essentials Cerificate

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. Course length is 100 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 a year of enrollment. May complete sooner based on availability of time to dedicate to the course.

The certificate consists of five courses priced at $299 individually, or $995 for all five.

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.

Diabetes Essentials for Non-Clinicians
Diabetes Essentials for Non-Clinicians

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.

Program Description

Diabetes paraprofessionals* 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 Non-Clinicians 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. Students will learn about the American Diabetes Association’s Standards of Care, and through interactive assignments, apply this knowledge to address barriers to diabetes self-care behaviors (such as health eating, being active, monitoring and taking medications) that face several minority populations. Students will receive a Certificate of Completion upon completing all three courses. 
*Diabetes paraprofessionals have various roles in facilitating self-care and may include lay health workers, community health workers, peer counselors, health navigators, health 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.



Course Description

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, as well as 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 how to advocate for the needs of individuals with diabetes. 



Course Description 2 

Upon completion of this second course, Facilitating Self-Care, the student will be able to demonstrate familiarity with core self-care behaviors1 necessary for diabetes wellness (such as healthy eating, being active, healthy coping and problem-solving situations like hypoglycemia).  This includes being able to provide 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 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 TM 



Course Description 3 

Upon completion of this third course, Cultural Competency in Diabetes Care, the student will be able to demonstrate diabetes support and care from youth through elderly populations in a culturally-competent manner. The student will learn how to remove barriers to common health equity disparities in 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 unique needs of the individual.


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 or San Joaquin County residents living with diabetes, you may be eligible to receive a scholarship. Applicants whose organizations provide services to priority neighborhoods in Stockton or San Joaquin County 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).

Abbot Scholars Opportunity
Annie Thor, Certified Nurse Midwife
Testimonial: Diabetes Essentials for Clinicians
Annie, Certified Nurse Midwife

I work as a Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM) and see many patients with a history of gestational diabetes (GDM) and in the community I serve, many of them tend to get T2D later on in life. After learning from these lectures, I plan to change my practice and offer a discussion of Metformin for prevention and to prolong getting the diagnosis of diabetes. Besides offering Metformin, I plan to discuss lifestyle changes and advise that diabetes should be screened more often

Contact Us

Theresa Garnero, Assistant Clinical Professor and Director of Diabetes Management Certificate Programs