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Gerontology - Certificate

For information contact Professor Suzanne Weaver,, 610-606-4666, ext. 3500

Program Description

Cedar Crest College offers a 17-credit interdisciplinary certificate in gerontology to provide the necessary knowledge and practical skills to those who wish to serve the needs of the elderly. The Certificate Program focuses on understanding the aging process and the relationship between the aged and society and improving the quality of life within the elderly population. These issues will be of interest to people who are pursuing careers in nursing, art therapy, public health, exercise science, health promotion and wellness, psychology, pastoral care, social work, nutrition and business. Graduates of the certificate go onto work as nursing home administrators, medical care staff in home health care agencies, nursing homes, hospitals, geropsychology units, Alzheimer’s specialty units, senior centers, elderly high-rises, adult day care centers and assisted living facilities, health bureaus, mental health centers and at the local Area Office of Aging. The certificate is designed both for persons who are seeking a career focusing on gerontology and for those who are currently engaged in the field.

The Certificate of Program in Gerontology is based on a broad multi-disciplinary core of knowledge that encompasses several areas of study. Students learn about the biological, physiological, spiritual, psychological and sociological perspectives related to the natural and highly variable aging process. The unique focus of the program challenges students to look beyond cultural stereotype of the elderly and view this stage of the life cycle as a period of creativity, radiance, spirituality and wisdom. New paradigms and cultural ideals for the aging are explored within a theoretical context. This Certificate Program combines classroom content with practical experience. Upon completion of four core courses, students apply their knowledge through supervised field practice in selected agencies and facilities providing services to the elderly. A final seminar class is taken along with the field experience to integrate theory and practice.

Total number of credits required by program: 17 credits

Program Requirements

The gerontology certificate program combines classroom learning with practical experience. Students take six courses. They then apply their knowledge in supervised field practice in agencies and facilities providing services to the elderly and integrate theory with practice in a seminar in applied gerontology.

Nursing and Social Work Majors may be able to be exempt from SOC 331 & 332 if their clinicals or field education are in a geriatric setting. See Gerontology Certificate Program Coordinator for more information and advising.

To earn a gerontology certificate, a student must maintain a cumulative grade-point average of 2.000.

Course Requirements

HLT 100         Biology and Healthy Aging     3 credits
NTR 114         Nutrition and the Elderly       1 credit
SOC 243         Social and Psychological Aspects of Aging 4 credits
SOC 329         Practices, Policies and Politics of Aging     3 credits
SOC 331         Applied Gerontology   3 credits
SOC 332         Field Practice in Gerontology           3 credits



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