Sexual Health Educator Training Program

What is it?

An online and in-person training program for California educators. People who successfully complete the program’s required and elective modules, will receive a SHE Training Program Certificate of Completion.

Who is eligible?

School teachers, health educators, and anyone who works with youth in a group or classroom setting.

Why participate?

The SHE Training Program modules are developed and/or vetted by experts in the field of sexual health at the CA Department of Public Health, STD Control Branch. The required courses are free and most electives are free.

Program Overview

The Sexual Health Educator (SHE) Training Program is an educational and capacity-building opportunity for California educators working with youth in school, community, and clinical settings who desire to build their sexual health knowledge and education skills. Upon the successful completion of the program’s required and elective modules, participants will receive a SHE Training Program Certificate of Completion.

In California, many teachers and other educators are asked to provide comprehensive sexual health education in the classroom despite receiving little to no training on the topics they are asked to teach. The SHE Training Program provides training on the basic content areas in sexual health and aims to address some of the skills needed to provide comprehensive sexual health education in the classroom. It is not a certification or credential.

This program was created by sexual health educators, trainers, and experts from: the California Department of Public Health, STD Control Branch; the California Department of Education; the California Prevention Training Center; and other partner organizations. The required and elective modules include up-to-date information and research on a variety of priority sexual health topics.

Program Logistics

To achieve the SHE Training Program Certificate of Completion, participants must complete six required modules plus five elective modules out of the elective module.

Typically participants may participate in modules online or in-person. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all in-person SHE Trainings are cancelled until further notice.

SHE Training Required Modules

All of these courses must be completed. They can be taken in any order.

STD/HIV Review: Workshop for Educators Who Work With Youth by the California Department of Public Health, STD Control Branch

  • Available as online and in-person module (3.5 hours)
  • Interactive training that will increase participants’ knowledge about the unique factors that put adolescents at greater risk for STDs. This module provides an overview of common STDs, the relationship between HIV and STDs, and the role of testing and screening to reduce the spread of STDs
  • Register with the California Prevention Training Center here to take the course
  • Free

California Healthy Youth Act: Comprehensive Sexual Health and HIV Prevention Education Requirements by the California Department of Education

  • Currently unavailable; we are actively working to rerecord this webinar
  • Overview of the requirements of the California Healthy Youth Act, the law that mandates comprehensive sexuality education in California. This course was recorded in 2016 and there are new requirements within the law since the recording
  • Free

Minor Consent and Confidentiality for Sexual Health Services in California: A Training for Educators by the STD Control Branch in partnership with the National Center for Youth Law

  • Available as an online and in-person module (1.5 hours)
  • Overview of the laws that impact minors and their access to confidential sexual health services in California and the different roles of clinical providers and educators. Participants will be given an opportunity to test their own knowledge related to minor consent laws and learn about resources to support implementation of minor consent laws in a school setting. This course was developed with the support and expertise of the National Center for Youth Law
  • Register with the California Prevention Training Center here to take the course
  • Free

STD Data: U.S. and California by the California Department of Public Health, STD Control Branch

  • Due to the cancellation of all in-person trainings due to COVID-19, participants may temporarily complete online activity to complete this requirement. Online module under development (1 hour)
  • This activity requires a review of the most recent California and national STD surveillance data and youth sexual behavioral data. It also requires users to watch a short video on the social determinants of health
  • Interim availability due to COVID-19
  • To participate and receive credit for this module register with the California Prevention Training Center and follow directions to complete the activity and evaluation
  • Free

Contraceptive Methods by the California Prevention Training Center

  • Available as an online module (2 hours)
  • This module provides an overview of how pregnancy happens, how contraception interferes with this process to avoid pregnancy, and reviews the FDA-approved contraceptive methods available. Participants will learn about the current laws in California relevant to contraception education and access for youth and explore information about contraceptive methods relevant to youth populations
  • Register with the California Prevention Training Center here to take the course
  • Free

The Respect Online Course by the American Psychological Association

  • Available now as online training (2 hours)
  • This online course developed by the American Psychological Association (APA) describes the complexity and diversity of sexual orientations, gender identities, and gender expressions and provides an overview of how stigma and prejudice against LGBTQ youth can impact health outcomes
  • Participants will learn specific interventions and practices that can contribute to building safe and supportive school environments for LGBTQ youth and all other students
  • To participate and receive credit for this elective module register with the California Prevention Training Center and follow directions to complete the course and evaluation
    • When you launch the course you will be redirected to the APA site. Scroll down to the gray box with the title “APA Respect Online Course” and click “Add to Cart”; when new tab opens with the course in shopping cart, click “Check Out”
    • If you do not already have an account with the APA, you will need to create an account to access the course
    • You should now see the “APA Respect Online Course” in your profile under “Purchases”. Click on the link for the course and follow instructions to complete Modules A, B, and C. You must get a passing score for all three modules to successfully complete the course
    • You will receive a certificate of completion from CourseMill in your email. Forward this email to STDHealthEd@cdph.ca.gov with “Respect Online Course certificate” in the subject line
  • Free

SHE Training Elective Modules

At least five of these modules must be completed. They can be taken in any order and from any topic area. Click on the titles below to learn more about the training content and how to participate to receive credit.

Best Practices in Teaching Sexual Health Education

Healthy Relationships

Human Trafficking

Supporting LGBTQ Youth

STD and Pregnancy Prevention

Achieving Health Equity for LBGTQ People

By the National LGBT Health Education Center

  • Available now as online training
  • This module describes health disparities in lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) populations, explains basic LGBT terms and definitions, and identifies ways to overcome barriers to providing healthcare to LGBT individuals
  • To participate and receive credit for this elective module register with the California Prevention Training Center and follow directions to complete the course and evaluation
  • Free
Best Practices in Pregnancy Options Education

By Essential Access Health

  • Available now as online training
  • This module is a recorded webinar that covers the fundamentals of abortion, adoption, parenting, prenatal care, and the CA Safely Surrendered Baby Law. This includes the difference between medical and surgical abortion, and the different kinds of adoption. They provide teaching techniques for pregnancy options education that school and community health educators can implement in school-based settings. Participants will be able to identify the California Healthy Youth Act requirements for teaching pregnancy options to middle and high school students, and download free medically accurate, age-appropriate pregnancy options education teaching techniques. (Recorded March, 2016)
  • To participate and receive credit for this elective module register with the California Prevention Training Center and follow directions to complete the course and evaluation
  • This module has a $30 fee, but there is a reduced fee ($15) for California teachers. California teachers must email Essential Access for a discount code.
Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children Awareness Training Module

By the Public Child Welfare Training Academy, the California Department of Social Services, and the California Social Work Education Center (2015)

  • Available now as online training
  • This module is designed for child welfare staff. It provides a broad overview of three types of Human Trafficking and information regarding the ongoing research on the topic. Participants will learn how to define human trafficking and the commercial sexual exploitation of children and how they are related, describe the dynamics involved that contribute to the victimization of young people by sex traffickers, identify tools that may be utilized in the identification and assessment of victims of trafficking, identify and highlight programs designed to intervene, and assess and treat those affected by the commercial sexual exploitation of children.
  • To participate and receive credit for this elective module register with the California Prevention Training Center and follow directions to complete the course and evaluation
  • Free
Caring for LGBTQ Youth in Clinical Settings

By the National LGBT Health Education Center

  • Available now as online training
  • This module identifies the unique developmental challenges and health disparities of LGBTQ youth between the ages of 12-24 years. Participants will learn about the barriers to accessing healthcare services by LGBTQ youth and strategies for interviewing, supporting, and educating LGBTQ youth on social, health, physical, and mental health concerns and behavioral concerns. This module is available in Spanish.
  • To participate and receive credit for this elective module register with the California Prevention Training Center and follow directions to complete the course and evaluation
  • Free
Dating Matters: Understanding Teen Dating Violence Prevention

By the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

  • Available now as online training
  • This module helps participants identify examples of teen dating violence as well as examples of risk factors, protective factors, warning signs, and challenges for seeking help when experiencing teen dating violence. Participants will be able to compare and contrast healthy and unhealthy relationship characteristics and behaviors and learn how to provide support to students. (Created in 2015)
  • To participate and receive credit for this elective module register with the California Prevention Training Center and follow directions to complete the course and evaluation
  • Free
It’s Not Just What You Say: Techniques & Approaches for a Healthy Sex Ed Class
  • Available now as online training
  • This module covers learning about how to create and maintain a comfortable environment teaching sexual health education, HIV/STI prevention, and/or family life education.
  • To participate and receive credit for this elective module register with the California Prevention Training Center and follow directions to complete the course and evaluation
  • Free
Making Room for Gender Diversity in School Health Services and Sex Education

By GLSEN, Gender Spectrum, and School Based Health Alliance

  • Available now as online training
  • This recorded webinar covers basic gender diversity terminology and language, social and cultural constructions of gender, LGBT student experiences, why this information is important, and how to incorporate this information into health education for youth (Created 2/7/18)
  • To participate and receive credit for this elective module register with the California Prevention Training Center and follow directions to complete the course and evaluation
  • Free
Preventing Pregnancy & Infection: The Basics of Keeping Safe
  • Available now as online training
  • This module covers learning about condoms and contraception when teaching sexual health education, HIV/STI prevention, and/or family life education. (Created 9/12/18)
  • To participate and receive credit for this elective module register with the California Prevention Training Center and follow directions to complete the course and evaluation.
  • Free
Puberty & the Reproductive System
  • Available now as online training
  • This module covers learning pointers about teaching about puberty and reproduction. (Created 9/12/18)
  • To participate and receive credit for this elective module register with the California Prevention Training Center and follow directions to complete the course and evaluation.
  • Free
Responding with Confidence: Answering Sensitive Questions & Maintaining Boundaries
by Healthy Teen Network
  • Available now as online training
  • This module covers how to answering sensitive or challenging questions from students when teaching sexual health education, HIV/STI prevention, and/or family life education. (Created 9/12/18)
  • To participate and receive credit for this elective module register with the California Prevention Training Center and follow directions to complete the course and evaluation.
  • Free
Safe and Supportive Environments for LGBTQ Students

By Cardea Services

  • Available now as online training
  • This recorded webinar reviews LGBTQ adolescent health risk factors in California. It provides an overview of laws and regulations that schools must follow to protect student rights. Participants learn why issues like bullying, harassment, safety, and bathroom regulations are important to both LGBTQ and non-LGBTQ students. (Created 10/12/17)
  • To participate and receive credit for this elective module register with the California Prevention Training Center and follow directions to complete the course and evaluation
  • Free
Sex, Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, Gender Expression

By Teaching Tolerance

  • Available now as online training
  • This recorded webinar discusses bias-based bullying in schools with emphasis on intersectionality, gender, and LGBT-inclusivity (Created 1/20/16)
  • To participate and receive credit for this elective module register with the California Prevention Training Center and follow directions to complete the course and evaluation
  • Free

Sexuality & Gender 101: Explaining Concepts of Gender & Sexuality by Healthy Teen Network

  • Available now as online training
  • This module covers how to talk about gender and sexual orientation particularly when teaching sexual health education, HIV/STI prevention, and/or family life education. (Created 9/12/18)
  • To participate and receive credit for this elective module register with the California Prevention Training Center and follow directions to complete the course and evaluation.
  • Free
STD Expert Hour – Supporting Our Youth, Embracing Opportunities in Adolescent Sexual Health

By the California Prevention Training Center

  • Available now as online training
  • This STD Expert Hour Webinar highlights current topics in the prevention and management of STDs to further advance clinical practice. Participants will review adolescent vulnerabilities and risk factors that impact STD rates as a result to the challenges of STD prevention and management of STDs among youth
  • To participate and receive credit for this elective module register with the California Prevention Training Center and follow directions to complete the course
  • Complete the online course, close your browser window and log back into the California PTC registration system (if you’ve been logged out)
    • Select “My Training” from the left hand navigation bar.
    • Select the “Certificate” button and follow the instructions on the screen.
    • Email the certificate to STDHealthEd@cdph.ca.gov with “elective module certificate” in the email subject line.
  • This module has a $10 fee.
Strategies for Encouraging Family Communication about Healthy Sexuality

By Essential Access Health

  • Available now as online training
  • This webinar discusses how parents and guardians can educate youth and encourage them to make healthy decisions about sex and relationships. Participants will learn strategies for how youth can bring up conversations with parents, guardians, and other family members and learn about helpful resources like Essential Access Health’s Talk With Your Kids website and Planned Parenthood Los Angeles’s “A Parent’s Guide to Talking with Your Teen.” (Created 8/20/15)
  • To participate and receive credit for this elective module register with the California Prevention Training Center and follow directions to complete the course and evaluation
  • This module has a $30 fee, but there is a reduced fee ($15) for California teachers. California teachers must email Essential Access for a discount code.
Talking about Getting Along: The Basics of Teaching Students about Healthy Relationships
  • Available now as online training
  • This module covers how to teach about healthy relationships when teaching sexual health education, HIV/STI prevention, and/or family life education. (Created 9/12/18)
  • To participate and receive credit for this elective module register with the California Prevention Training Center and follow directions to complete the course and evaluation.
  • Free
Teaching Sexual Health Education: Building Comfort and Building Capacity

By the California Department of Public Health, STD Control Branch

  • Available now as an in-person module
  • This interactive training that provides a space for participants to examine their own values related to sexuality education and provides tools to ensure sexuality education is taught that is inclusive of all learners and support positive health outcomes for young people and teens.
  • Free
Teaching Sexual Health Education: Facilitating Difficult Questions in the Classroom

By the California Department of Public Health, STD Control Branch

  • Available now as an in-person module
  • This module provides tips and tools for participants to navigate difficult sexuality-related questions in a classroom or group-setting. The interactive training will provide a framework to classify different types of questions and a protocol for answering these questions. Participants will have the opportunity to practice their newly acquired skills, and will gain comfort and confidence to deal with any type of question that will be asked of them.
  • Free

Certificate of Completion

To achieve the SHE Training Program Certificate of Completion, participants must complete six required modules plus five elective modules that can be chosen from the elective module menu listed on the SHE Training Program webpage. The six required SHE Training Program modules are:

  • STD/HIV Review: Workshop for Educators Who Work with Youth
  • California Healthy Youth Act: Comprehensive Sexual Health and HIV Prevention Education Requirements
  • Minor Consent and Confidentiality for Sexual Health Services in California
  • STD Data: U.S. and California
  • Contraceptive Methods
  • The Respect Online Course (American Psychological Association)

The elective modules cover a range of topics related to comprehensive sexual health education with a specific focus on supporting the implementation of the California Healthy Youth Act.  The elective module options will continue to evolve over time as the requirements of the California Healthy Youth Act expand and new trainings are identified and developed by the California Department of Public Health and partner agencies. All elective modules are vetted by California Department of Public Health, STD Control Branch staff but are not explicitly endorsed by the California Department of Public Health.

Participants must submit the required post-training evaluation survey for each module completed for that module to count towards their Certificate.

Important disclaimer: The SHE Training Program Certificate of Completion is not a certification or credential.  No continuing education credits are offered for this training program at this time.

Request a Training

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the California state requirement to stay at home, all in-person SHE Trainings are cancelled until further notice. We are actively looking into interactive virtual training opportunities, especially for the two required SHE Training Program modules that are not currently available online (STD Data: U.S. and California and Contraceptive Methods).

We appreciate your patience as many of our trainers are being redirected to support COVID-19 response efforts. Please email us at STDHealthEd@cdph.ca.gov for more information.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is this a curricular training?

No. The SHE Training Program is intended to provide background knowledge and build capacity of educators who will deliver any comprehensive sexual health education curriculum to youth. The SHE Training Program provides a deeper dive into content areas that most comprehensive sexual health education programs cover via classroom lessons. We do not provide curriculum, nor do we endorse any specific curriculum.

For curricular guidance on meeting the requirements of the CA Healthy Youth Act (CHYA), please visit the CDE webpage on this topic.

Does this “count” towards the California Healthy Youth Act (CHYA) training requirement?

It depends. The SHE Training Program can be a great way to develop a solid foundation in the core content areas required by CHYA. Since it is not a curriculum and we do not provide “how-to” direction, such as lesson plans, on the provision of comprehensive sexual health education, people who are interested in meeting the training requirements for CHYA will need to consider what it means to be “trained” in the context of their local education agency.

The currently available modules can be tailored to meet the needs of a specific educator, and we strive to provide a broad range of topic areas in our elective module offerings to address the broad scope of CHYA. However, the modules available do not cover every element required by CHYA, and educators may need to identify additional training to supplement where there are gaps.

For educators already providing health education who already have a solid foundation in providing comprehensive sexual health education, SHE can meet the requirements to stay up-to-date on key content areas.

From the CDE website: “Education Code (EC) 51935 requires school districts to cooperatively plan and conduct in-service training for all teachers and school employees who provide HIV prevention instruction. This in-service training shall be conducted periodically to enable staff to remain current with new developments in the scientific understanding of HIV as well as with new prevention education techniques. This training may be expanded to cover comprehensive sexual health education.”

How can I find out where trainings are happening?

We don’t have a public calendar, but we are happy to let you know what’s coming up if you email STDhealthed@cdph.ca.gov.

How do I get trained on the modules that are not available online?

For in-person trainings, we rely on requests and coordination help to set up trainings. We do not have the staff capacity to host standing trainings at this time. To request training, please email us at STDhealthed@cdph.ca.gov. We generally need at least 2-3 months advance notice to book trainings and we require assistance with space to host the training, and a minimum number of 15 participants (depending on the area) to offer training. We provide training for free. Occasionally we work with host agencies and partners that charge a registration fee to cover their costs, but our goal is to provide free or low-cost training options for California educators.

Can you train all of our teachers?

Occasionally we conduct trainings that involve a single district but we generally ask to open up trainings to as many people as possible from a geographic area, within a reasonable scope.

How long does it take to complete the modules needed for the SHE Certificate of Completion?

Many of the required and elective modules are available online and can be completed at one’s own pace. Several of the required modules are only conducted on an in-person basis and there may be a significant gap between the scheduling of in-person trainings. Therefore, it may take several months to complete all the necessary modules. We appreciate your patience.

The timing of the online modules varies by learner but most of the online modules take 1-1.5 hours to complete. The online STD/HIV Review: Workshop for Educators Who Work With Youth takes approximately three hours to complete. The “Required Modules” section of the website provides information on the timing of in-person trainings.

How do I know if the training I participated in will count towards the SHE Certificate of Completion requirements?

For information on the specific requirements of the Certificate of Completion, visit our website. If you have questions about a specific training you attended recently and which requirements were met by completing this training, please reach out to us directly at STDHealthEd@cdph.ca.gov. Please keep in mind that we are still building out some of the mechanisms to automatically track participant progress and we are currently tracking participant progress manually.

For in-person trainings, participants must attend the entire training and sign in and sign out in order to receive any credit towards the SHE Certificate of Completion.

How can I sign up to get email updates about the SHE Training Program?

We are working on building out a SHE listserv to share program updates with interested parties. Please email us at STDHealthEd@cdph.ca.gov if you would like to receive these email updates.

How much does it cost?

We provide training for free. Occasionally we work with host agencies and partners that charge a registration fee to cover their costs but our goal is to provide free or low-cost training options for California educators. If you are interested in a SHE training and the cost is a barrier, please email STDHealthEd@cdph.ca.gov

Many of the electives modules are online trainings and webinars developed by external agencies and partners which we have vetted. We have included enough elective modules to have a path to completing the SHE certificate for free. Some webinars and trainings that have a cost attached are included as an option because we feel they are high quality and the content is valuable.

Who does the trainings?

There are three primary trainers for the SHE Training Program from the STD Control Branch of the CA Department of Public Health. One person is based in the East Bay, one in Fresno, and one in Los Angeles. We have a long history of working closely with the California Department of Education, and when possible, we work with the staff there to provide direct training on pertinent issues.

Beyond the primary trainers, we have a team of adjunct trainers who are skilled and seasoned health educators from across the state that can provide the SHE modules either entirely on their own or in conjunction with a primary trainer.

Can I become a SHE trainer?

We continue to build our capacity to deliver the SHE Training Program across California and we can occasionally take on additional adjunct trainers in higher need areas. We cannot take on adjunct trainers who work with for-profit agencies and we only work with trainers who are already well-versed in training strategies and sexual health content. We ask adjunct trainers to train for free, so we cannot supplement a fee-for-service model. Please contact us at STDHealthEd@cdph.ca.gov if you are interested in becoming an adjunct trainer. Currently our high need areas are in the northeastern part of the state, Inland Empire, and Imperial County.

Is this appropriate training for HIV test counselors/DIS/CDI/peer educators/students?

This program is designed with teachers in mind, and specifically those teachers who may be tasked with providing sexual health education but may have limited content knowledge in this area, might be rusty on content, or experienced teachers looking for a heavy dose of content updates. This may be useful for many other groups of people working in sexual health, but is not an appropriate replacement for any job training efforts.

The SHE Training Program relies heavily on online learning modules and this is not an effective modality for some learners.

Does this certify someone to teach comprehensive sexual health education?

No. We will issue a certificate of completion to people who finish the combination of required and elective modules. The certificate is only an indication that a person has engaged in a series of learning activities that may enhance knowledge on sexual health content.

Do you offer continuing education units (CEUs)?

No, we do not offer any kind of CEUs for the SHE Training Program. Some of the elective modules may offer CEUs but this was not a priority in the vetting process.

 

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