Since the 1970s, the NC AHEC Program has provided lodging for health science students who are completing community-based rotations in North Carolina. NC AHEC operates housing in 50 counties and approximately 60 towns and cities across the state. The majority of AHEC housing is provided through apartments and AHEC-owned lodging, but private residences are also utilized—especially in rural areas—with the goal of making community-based education at clinical sites more accessible.
For many years, students who belonged to a limited number of affiliated academic partners received preference for accessing housing at a reduced rate. “Moving forward, we want to offer the same opportunity to all health science students in North Carolina,” said Alan Brown, Associate Director of Student Services in the NC AHEC Program Office. “It’s important to us that we are supporting all university students in the state to the best of our ability.”
A questionnaire was recently distributed to chief academic officers of North Carolina Independent Colleges & Universities (NCICU) to gauge interest in AHEC housing, with an opportunity to detail the specifics of their students’ short-term housing needs, including the length and locations of their rotations.
“While we are typically unable to meet 100% of all housing requests, we are committed to expanding these offerings in order to make community-based training sites a possibility for more students looking to complete their clinical training,” Alan said.
“Providing housing for students who are learning to care for us and our loved ones is one of our goals,” added Hugh Tilson, Director of the NC AHEC Program. “Short-term affordable housing can be difficult to find, and this resource will also allow students to be more engrained in the community while they work in that area.”
Any health science student may apply for housing through the online portal at my.ncahec.net. Once an application is received, the student will receive further instructions from a regional AHEC.
“I appreciated how seamless the process for requesting and using housing was,” shared Joseph Moo-Young, a medical student at UNC-Chapel Hill who utilized AHEC housing for a rotation in the Greensboro AHEC region. “When I was busy in the hospital with clinical learning and patient care activities, having safe, accessible, and convenient housing at the end of the day was something that helped make my experience even better.”
NC AHEC Student Housing Locations
Each house in the map above approximates a location where one or more AHEC-supported student rotations occurred, illustrating how far-reaching community-based education extends across our state.
From 2018-2019, NC AHEC supported 4,956 rotations in all nine AHEC regions with over 54,000 nights of housing. 1,564 students were supported in their clinical training.