Looking for a meaningful in demand profession with good wages and opportunities for advancement? If so, consider entering the clinical research profession.

Despite the many different clinical research roles, a common entry point into the profession is as a clinical research coordinator (CRC). A CRC is an individual who works at a clinical research site under the direction of a principal investigator and is responsible for coordinating daily clinical trial activities while adhering to the Good Clinical Practice (GCP) guidelines.

Entry Level CRC Foundations Training

The curriculum for this tuition-free 11-week Clinical Research Coordinator (CRC) Core Foundations course has been licensed by the MCA from the Association of Clinical Research Professionals (ACRP) and is perfectly aligned with the required core competencies a CRC will need in a clinical setting.

Course Description: (click here for a course syllabus)

  • A blended approach of combined self-study followed by instructor-led sessions that can be attended either virtually or in person at the MCA Cardwell Collaborative.
  • Designed to provide the foundational competencies for CRCs.
  • Focuses on the role an entry-level CRC will play at a clinical research site.
  • Ideal for new or entry-level CRCs with less than one year of experience, or for those who have never received any formal CRC training.


  • 24/7 on-demand access to ACRP’s eLearning portal.
  • 15 required eLearning modules.
  • 11, 1.5-hour training sessions, held once a week and taught by experienced CRC instructors.

Who Should Apply?

  • Students, job/career seekers, active military, veterans.
  • Healthcare providers.

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Residents of The Rio Grande Corridor (Texas and New Mexico).
  • Be 18 years or older with at least a high school degree.
  • Must be willing to complete the training within 1-year of enrolling.


  • A “Certificate of Completion” will be awarded following completion of 15- ACRP eLearning modules, good course attendance, and final ACRP exam.


  • Spring, Summer, and Fall Cohort sessions are offered each year.
  • We are currently accepting applications for our next cohort.

How do I Advance My Clinical Research Career?

You can obtain additional certifications in clinical research to further your knowledge of clinical research. Several professional associations offer training, resources, and networking opportunities to serve the needs of research professionals at multiple stages of their career:

Professional Advancement
Once you gain sufficient experience as a CRC, you can advance to many different clinical research roles. One such role is the role of a Site Manager. Site Managers oversee all aspects of clinical trials for their location and may even manage other trial sites, with the CRCs for all sites reporting to them. The ACRP provides a Clinical Research Career Lattice for additional information about professional advancement opportunities. Finally, those with a BA or higher are likely to advance more quickly.

CRC Core Competency Professional Guidelines
The ACRP, in collaboration with the Joint Task Force for Clinical Trial Competency, has developed a series of domains and guidelines that provide a framework for the knowledge, skills, and attributes necessary for a successful CRC. Clinical trial sites should familiarize themselves with these domains and guidelines to promote the quality and standardization of the profession and to ensure research professionals receive the training that has been vetted by industry professionals. CRCs can also use the ACRP’s Core Competency Guidelines for self-assessment, competence gap analysis, and creating personalized professional development plans.

Certification Process for a CRC
Upon completion of the CRC Training course, you will receive a Certificate of Completion. After that, and after a few years of practical experience as a CRC, you will become eligible to take an exam and become a certified CRC. One’s level of education can reduce the amount of experience and/or requirements needed to be eligible to take the CRC certification exam. Professional certification is available through The Society of Clinical Research Associates (SoCRA) and The Association for Clinical Research Professionals (ACRP).

Additional Clinical Research Training
Academy of Physicians in Clinical Research (APCR)
Association of Clinical Research Professionals (ACRP)
Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI) Program *CITI is free for TTUHSC, BCOMM, UTEP
Good Clinical Practice (GCP) Training National Institutes of Health (NIH)
Regulatory Affairs Professional Society (RAPS)
Society of Clinical Research Associates (SOCRA)

Sponsored By
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Meet your CRC Instructors

Catherine Posey-Sariñan

CCRC / Independent Consultant

Laura Herrera

DNP, CPI / Western Sky Medical Research

Sergio Guerrero, MD

Study Manager / ICON

Yvonne (Anna) Rodriguez

CEO, Owner / Egality Sciences, Inc.

Allen Savedra, CRA II

CEO, Owner / AJS Services in Clinical Research, LLC

Wenoah Veikley, RN, BsN

CEO, Owner / AXCES Research & Health

Phil Reed Boyce, JD

CEO, Owner / Boyce Biosciences

Daniel Deleon


Brenda Castillo

Director TTUHSC-EP

Ryan Casey, MD,FP, PI

Independent Consultant

Jesse Young, Ph.D., PI,

Medical Director TriCore Reference Laboratories & Research Institute

Sandra Smith

VP Strategic Alliances WCG-Clinical


What is a Clinical Research Coordinator (CRC)?

A CRC is an individual who works at a clinical research site under the direction of a principal investigator and is responsible for coordinating daily clinical trial activities while adhering to the Good Clinical Practice (GCP) guidelines.

What can I expect if I enroll in the CRC Core Competency Program?

The CRC Core Competency lesson plan has been designed to provide the foundational competencies required for clinical research coordinators (CRCs) and is ideal for the new CRC. Highlights of the program include:

1) A blended approach of eLearning self-study, with facilitated web or face-to-face sessions:
• The ACRP has optimized this program to deliver online content in a format this is effective and efficient - utilizing valuable trainer/classroom time for more complex concepts that require discussion and interactivity. This approach ensures all participants not only learn key concepts but are able to interpret and apply them while functioning as a CRC.
• This format allows students to learn at their own pace.

2) An understanding of the foundational competencies a CRC needs to support the Principal Investigator’s (PI) responsibilities during clinical research.
• These competencies are cross referenced against ACRP’s Entry Level CRC Competency Development and Assessment Roadmap to confirm their importance for entry level CRCs.
• These competencies are also categorized by those that can be developed through training vs. those that need to be developed through on-the-job experience and mentoring.
• Note: Medical Care, Systems Training, Site SOPs, HIPAA, specimen collection and management, equipment calibration, budget and financial management, and other training can be added as an organization requires. Our training covers the ICH GCP competencies organized by the Joint Task Force (JTF) for Clinical Trial Competency framework.

3) 15 ACRP eLearning/simulation modules, dozens of robust regulatory references and guidelines, and many supportive infographics that will help students learn the role of a CRC. These resources will also be helpful with the discussions and interactions during the instructor led live/virtual sessions.

4) 11, 90 minute live coaching sessions offered once a week, led by local experienced trainers.

5) A Certificate of Completion upon passing the ACRP’s competency based Entry Level Knowledge Assessment (ELKA) test - a 50 question, on-line assessment to confirm foundational knowledge in CRC competencies.

When is your next CRC Cohort?

We typically offer applicants the opportunity to take the CTA CRC Foundations course during one of three (3) separate cohorts held during Spring, Summer, and Fall semesters. Instructor led sessions typically occur 1X/week for up to 11 weeks on Wednesday evening from 6-7:30 PM.

Is there a fee associated with the training?

No. The training is FREE to all enrolled participants.

What are the criteria used to select applicants for the CRC training program?

Qualified applicants must be at least 18-years old with a High School degree and reside in West Texas or Southern New Mexico. Applicants are also expected to complete the training within one year of enrolling.

What are the qualifications needed to get a job as a CRC?

Typically, a bachelor’s degree is required, preferably in a science or health-related field of study, but it is not necessary. The ACRP CRC training available through this program provides a competitive advantage when applying for CRC positions.

Am I able to receive on-the-job training?

The MCA’s Clinical Trial Academy working with Workforce Solutions Borderplex (WSB) currently provides a limited number of paid, on-the-job training opportunities in our region. In addition to this, many sites provide on-the-job training in conjunction with some classroom training.

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