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About the Gerontology Certificate

Catalog Year: 2010-2011 (view other years)
Minimum credits required:  17

Gainful Employment Data

The Gerontology certificate program provides students with a multidisciplinary approach to understanding aging as seen from the social, psychological, economic, physical and practice perspectives.

This certificate is relevant for entry-level individuals as well as professionals in the field of aging.


Program-Specific Requirements

Course Course Title Hours
GRN100 Intro Social Gerontology

GRN 100. Introduction to Social Gerontology (3). Gerontology is a multi-disciplinary field of study. Emphasis on psychology, sociology, economics, ethics, health care, legal issues related to working with older adults. Three lecture.

1. Introduction to Social Gerontology
2. Demographics of an Aging Population
3. History of Aging
4. Psychological Aspects of Aging
5. Social Aspects of Aging
6. Health and Aging
7. Economic Issues in an Aging Society
8. Cultural Images of Aging
9. Legal Issues in Aging

1. Describe the physiological, psychological and social aspects of aging.
2. Use professional vocabulary and terminology in the context of aging.
3. Explain the cultural variables that affect the status of the aged in our society.
4. Discuss the political and economic implications of an aging society.
5. Describe the variables that promote a healthy lifestyle.
6. Discuss the legal issues and public policy issues that impact an aging society.

GRN101 Psychology of Aging

GRN 101. Psychology of Aging (3). Study of the adult aging process. Focus on developmental psychology. Explore physiological, sociological and psychological issues affecting cognition, personality, and mental health in later years. Prerequisite: Reading Proficiency. Three lecture.

1. Theories of Adult Life
2. Behavioral Learning Theory
3. Cognition
4. Learning and Memory
5. Personality
6. Ethnicity and Culture
7. Psychological issues linked to age-related diseases
8. Legal Issues - Mental Health

1. Describe specific theoretical models associated with aging. (1, SBS 2)
2. Describe the psychological and social aspects of aging. (2-5, SBS 1)
3. Use professional vocabulary and terminology in the context of aging. (1-2, SBS 3)
4. Explain the impact of personality and social supports on the aging process (5)
5. Distinguish and describe mental health issues in later life. (7,8)
6. Describe learning theory as it applies to older adults. (4)
7. Explain the variables affecting cognition and their impact on learning. (3)
8. Describe various personality models that relate to older adults. (5)
9. Explain how cultural roles and expectations impact the psychology of aging. (6, SBS 4)
10. Discuss the legal issues related to mental health issues and aging. (8)

GRN102 Health and Aging

GRN 102. Health and Aging (3). Designed for students working with older adults. Emphasis on normal changes of aging and preventative measures for maintaining optimal functioning. Focus on health problems, symptoms and treatments. Prerequisite: Reading Proficiency. Three lecture.

1. Expected health changes in older adults
2. Distinguishing between normal aging and illness
3. Common health problems in older adults
4. Systems: reproductive, cardiovascular, urinary, digestive, respiratory
5. Cognitive impairment
6. Health care ethics
7. Legal issues in health care

1. Distinguish between bodily changes due to aging and those caused by disease and destructive lifestyle. (1-5, SBS 3)
2. Identify specific disease entities and characterize the presenting signs and symptoms common to older people. (1-5, SBS 4)
3. Discuss both self-help and medical treatment modalities for selected disabilities. (1-7, SBS 3)
4. Discuss legal and ethical issues related to health care and older adults. (6,7, SBS 4)

GRN103 Economics of Aging

GRN 103. Economics of Aging (3). Examine the micro and macro influences on the economics of aging. Emphasis on public and private sources of income for older adults, relationships between retirement and work, and social and public policy. Three lecture.

1. The Aging of America and the Economic Status of older Adults
2. The Right to Work and the Right to Retire
3. Successful Retirement Planning
4. Social Security, Old Age and Survivor Benefits
5. Medicare, Medicaid and Private Insurance
6. Trusts, Wills and Estate Planning
7. Private Insurance-Long term Care

1. Discuss the demographic impact of an aging population as related to the economics of aging.
2. Distinguish among public and private sources of income for older adults.
3. Describe the public vs. private benefits of fiscal policy as related to older adults.
4. Analyze the social and political issues impacting aging in our society.
5. Summarize the variables associated with retirement planning.

GRN294 Practices in Gerontology

GRN 294. Practices in Gerontology (3). Development of skills such as interviewing, narrative writing, the casework process, intake and assessment, intervention and termination. The values associated with practice in the helping fields will be explored. Prerequisite: GRN 100 and GRN 102. Three lecture.

1. What happens to policy on the way to the people?
2. Communication theory
3. Interviewing techniques
4. The casework process
5. Termination
6. Group decision making
7. Crisis intervention
8. The aging network
9. Ethics and legal issues

1. Conduct client interviews; manage the casework process including intake, assessments, intervention and termination.
2. Write informed reports.
3. Summarize a common set of values within the helping profession.
4. Analyze the relationships between competing value systems when providing care to older adults.
5. Explain the dynamics of the casework process.
6. Describe how public policy impacts practice.
7. Describe the ethical and legal variables of practice.

GRN295 Practicum in Gerontology

GRN 295. Practicum in Gerontology (2). Field experience to apply gerontological theory in a practice setting. Supervision by "on site" supervisor and instructor. Prerequisite: GRN 294. Six lab.

1. Initial meeting with faculty advisor to develop a field placement plan
2. Six hour field experience per week
3. Consultation with advisor weekly for field learning, relative to placement activities
4. Literature related to field placement
5. Written log assessing weekly activities
6. Final evaluation with faculty advisor

1. Discuss the relationship between theory and practice
2. Identify the value base of the field placement
3. Provide service to older adults which includes:
a. Initiate relationships with clients;
b. Assess client needs;
c. Develop case management plans;
d. Connect case management to client needs, agency scope of practice and resources available;
e. Terminating care.
4. Describe the relationships formed in practice, with older adults and among agencies in the community.
5. Identify and discuss the legal and ethical components of the practice experience.