Are you ready to change lives through diabetes education? The number of individuals affected with prediabetes and diabetes in the United States 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.


Designed with You in Mind

The program is online, asynchronous, and self-paced. To earn a certificate, students must complete all components for their chosen track within a year of enrollment. Students may take individual courses or combine them to earn the Diabetes Essentials certificate.

For the Diabetes Fundamentals Specialty certificates, all components of the course are self-contained depending on your selected professional field.

clinician on computer
Advance your career in diabetes education and care

Educate and care for your community with the Diabetes Essential Certificate programs. Benerd College offers several pathways: Diabetes Essentials for Clinicians, Diabetes Essentials for Non-Clinicians, and our new Diabetes Fundamentals program for specialized training depending on your career field (physicians, nurses, pharmacists, dietitians, and social workers​​​​​​). Each path offers 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. 


Diabetes Essentials Cerificate
Client meeting with healthcare professional in a hospital setting
Diabetes Fundamentals Specialty Certificates

The Diabetes Fundamentals Specialty track is the only certificate program that is specially tailored to provide the most relevant and comprehensive diabetes education towards 5 different disciplines in the healthcare setting (physicians, nursing, pharmacists, dietitians, and social work), while granting the continuing education hours necessary for licensure renewal. In addition to providing 30-50 CE credits needed for licensure renewal biannually, completing one of these programs will also provide learners with a specialty certificate from the University of the Pacific upon completion that can be used to boost any resume or transcript as diabetes educators and specialists.

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.

Two students studying
People sitting around a laptop computer and smiling
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 for the student's certificate or individual courses.

Hear what our alumni have to say.

Lisa, FNP-BC

Diabetes Essentials for Clinicians

"Nutrition lectures were helpful too because they gave me better ways to communicate with patients. In my practice, I have tried to stay away from calling people “diabetic” as there are some who find the term offensive and have yelled at my staff that they do not like labels. The lectures made me even more mindful of how to talk to patients in a less biased way, and to not focus so much on weight loss and to consider the other factors affecting and causing diabetes. I have adjusted my teachings to not focus too much on weight loss and more on overall lifestyle changes and interventions."

Shanice, Administration Clerk

Diabetes Essentials for Non-Clinicians

"I loved the course! The no pressure of deadlines and going at your own pace was wonderful for this single working mother of four. The videos/materials were easy to comprehend. I really enjoying learning the basics of diabetes such as the causes, diet, management, and the everyday struggles of dealing with the disease. My favorite was learning about the different cultures and becoming more understanding, compassionate, and empathetic towards people trying to manage diabetes."

Theresa Garnero
Assistant Professor of Practice for Diabetes Essentials Certificates
Theresa Garnero, APRN, BC-ADM, MSN, CDCES

Theresa Garnero is passionate about improving the lives of those living with diabetes and their families by facilitating expert-level education for healthcare professionals and their teams who provide care. 

She is an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse, Board-Certified in Advanced Diabetes Management (BC-ADM®), and a Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist. She designs diabetes curricula for universities and startups alike, and has led several Diabetes Self-Management Education and Support (DSMES) Programs to achieve and maintain national recognition status. 

Theresa was honored with the National Diabetes Educator of the Year award in 2004 by the Association of Diabetes Care & Education Specialists (formerly known as the American Association of Diabetes Educators). She is also a diabetes cartoonist whose work has been translated into several languages, and authored several books, including "Your First Year with Diabetes," published by the American Diabetes Association. She is also regularly invited to peer review diabetes-related articles for scientific journals. 

As an Assistant Professor of Practice at the University of the Pacific (UOP), Theresa designed and teaches the Diabetes Essentials Programs for Clinicians and Non-Clinicians, which are continuously updated to include new standards. Her primary interest lies in inspiring competent and compassionate diabetes care through collaboration inside a course that was created with the busy professional in mind.  

Theresa Garnero, APRN, BC-ADM, MSN, CDCES and Lawrence (Larry) Chang, PharmD, BCPS, BCGP, have stated they have no relationships to disclose.