Center on Aging Advanced Certificate Program
Older adult
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Description of Courses

Advanced Certificate Program in Gerontology

Course Number

Credit Hours

Course Description

GHS 517

Theories and Process

of Aging


This course will assist students in understanding the aged population through presentation of theories and research on the aged and the aging process.  Knowledge and analysis of theories and processes of aging with special attention to African-American, Hispanic, Asian and Native American populations and the rural elderly will be the focus of this course.

GHS 527

Methods in Working

with the Elderly


This course will develop and define problem solving skills which address unique needs and conditions of the aged.  Attention will be paid to the nature of practice in a  variety of service delivery systems, interdisciplinary collaborations and intervention strategies with older women and minorities and the elderly in rural areas.

GHS 537

The Frail Elderly


The purpose of this course is to guide students in the analysis, application and assessment of research from human and behavioral sciences for use in understanding and describing the knowledge and  conditions of the frail elderly and the role of institutions and individuals which serve them.  Special emphasis will be given to low income minority elderly and family caregivers.

GHS 547

Cross-Cultural Perspectives to Aging


This course will provide students the skills to assess and describe demographic characteristics of the aged with specific focus on the African-American, Hispanic, Asian and Native American elderly; to review the major social, economic and other conditions and problems that affect the minority elderly; and to identify prevalent barriers, social attitudes and values underlying complex status of the minority elderly.

GHS 600

Gerontological Seminar


The purpose of the seminar is to guide students in the analysis of critical issues in aging.  Special emphasis will be on the implications of these issues on the minority elderly.  The frame of reference presented in the seminar is directly related to a social systems orientation. 

GHS 617

Public Policy,

Social Change

in Aging


This course has three major components:

  1. To provide students with substantive knowledge concerning the growth and contemporary formulation of major public policies affecting the elderly.

  2. To understand the different factors - historical, structural, cultural, economic and political - that have resulted in the current array of "old age" or Title III programs in the United States.

  3. To analyze and investigate strategies and options possible in bringing about policy changes deemed beneficial to older persons.

GHS 627

Field Practicum and Social Change Project


The field laboratory experience has a research focus consisting of two components:  1) Field Practicum Policy Analysis; and 2) Social Change Project.  Students will select a policy issue affecting the elderly which is under current consideration at the field placement agency or at the local, state, or federal level.  In a scholarly paper (10-15 pages), students will develop a policy analysis which includes:

  1. Nature and scope of the problem.
  2. Description of the current policy.
  3. Description of policy alternative with consideration.
  4. Feasibility and policy change.
  5. Policy recommendation.

Guidelines for the preparation of the research paper will be distributed during the first GHS 627 class.


1.  The Advanced Certificate Program will be implemented during the First Semester Competency I (10 Credits) and Second Semester Competency Unit V (8 Credits).

2.  An appropriate preceptor in the field of aging is required.

3.  Students with a Master's Degree will participate only in the Advanced Certificate Program in Gerontology.

4.  Integration Seminars (HUS 515, HUS 525, HUS 535, HUS 545 and HUS 655) and the Constructive Action (C.A.) Projects (HUS 516, HUS 526, HUS 536, HUS 646 and HUS 656) which are integral components of the Master of Human Services Program, will, for the Advanced Certificate Program students, focus on Gerontology.  Non-Master of Human Services Program graduates can complete their research papers (C.A.) and Integration in the areas of their choice in the field of Gerontology.


The Center budget provides for financial aid/stipend for 50% of the First Semester tuition plus fees ($100.00) and 50% of the Second Semester tuition, plus fees ($100.00).

Classs Schedule and Grading Policy.

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