California Pathways into Public Health Initiative

The California Pathways into Public Health Fellowship Program (Pathways) is a paid training and job placement program for aspiring public health professionals to gain experience working at a local health department.

Collage of Pathways Fellows

Fellowship Program Overview

Throughout the program, Pathways Fellows build their public health professional capacity, specifically building proficiency in core skills and competencies that support their ability to deliver the 10 Essential Public Health Services (EPHS). Pathways Fellows support local health department host sites by conducting a wide range of entry-level public health activities. Key job duties may include (but are not limited to):

  • Communicable disease intervention activities 
  • Emergency preparedness activities 
  • Health education/communications and community outreach 
  • Public health program planning, implementation, and evaluation activities 

Upon completing the program, Pathways Fellows are more qualified to apply for permanent positions with local health departments or other public health agencies.​​ ​

Pathways on the CDPH Website

Fellow Experiences

What support does the Cal-PPH (Pathways) program provide?

Emily Nguyen
Cohort 1
Amador County

How has a mentor supported you during the Cal-PPH (Pathways) program?

Wendy Enrriquez-Villalva
Cohort 1
Santa Barbara County

How has the Cal-PPH (Pathways) training prepared you for a career in public health?

Mark Hinojos
Cohort 1
Tehama County

More Fellow Videos

Comprehensive Training

Pathways Fellows participate in a virtual two-week intensive training at the beginning of the program, as well as regular continuing education sessions throughout the 13-month program. The curriculum is developed by the Pathways Training Team, made up of staff from UCSF and UCLA with expertise in public health, workforce development, adult learning and instructional design. 

The robust Pathways curriculum provides fellows with the skills and knowledge required to successfully conduct job duties assigned at their host site and pursue a career in the field of public health. Led by subject matter experts from the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, UCSF and the California Department of Public Health, fellows are introduced to topics that align with the Core Competencies for Public Health Professionals and 10 Essential Public Health Services.

The Fellowship begins with a virtual, two-week intensive training focused on Foundations of Public Health. Some training topics include an Introduction to Public Health and the Social Determinants of Health, Foundations of Health Equity, Community Outreach and Engagement and Health Communication. Additionally, the intensive training will focus on developing core professional and interpersonal skills, allowing fellows to thrive in the workplace, become better leaders and solve problems at work. 

The Training Team also offers continuing education sessions throughout the 13-month fellowship. The continuing education curriculum is grouped into three modules:

  1. Health Equity and Community Engagement
  2. Data
  3. Program Operations

Professional development continues to focus on professional and interpersonal skills, and then, as the fellowship progresses, addresses future career needs like resume development and job application best practices. At the conclusion of the 13-month fellowship, fellows will be able to demonstrate proficiency in Pathways' Core Skills. The Pathways Fellowship Program focuses on the development of transferable skills that fellows can use in the next step of their public health careers.


To increase the workforce capacity of local health departments across California by providing training, support, and work experience for people from historically underrepresented and diverse backgrounds. 


A representative public health workforce capable of effectively responding to public health priorities, promoting health equity, and advancing the health and safety of California’s diverse people. 


The Pathways Program is developed and funded by the California Department of Public Health (CDPH). The University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), in partnership with the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), is responsible for the development, implementation, and evaluation of the Pathways Training Program.


University of California, San Francisco

University of California, Los Angeles