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 Gerontological Certificate


About the Certificate

The GRCMSW Program offers a Graduate Certificate Program in Gerontological Social Work.  Students enrolled in this program complete a total of 15 course credits including 9 credits of Field Practicum /Seminar focusing on advanced competency-based gerontological social work knowledge and practice skills. This Certificate is available to matriculated MSW students only.

Need for gerontological social work

The need to have social workers prepared with the necessary competencies to work with older adults has been recognized by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), The New York Academy of Medicine’s Social Work Leadership Institute and National Association of Social Workers (NASW). Nationally, 75% of social workers report that they have older adults (55 years and older) in their case loads, only 4 % identify themselves as having aging specific training in social work (NASW report, 2005). Additionally, nearly 30% of social workers are over 55 years of age, compared to 14% of the U.S civilian workforce, meaning that a disproportionate number of social workers will retire in the next several years (NASW report, 2005). These findings point to the significant workforce shortage in professional social workers with gerontologic knowledge and skills.

Course requirements

In order to obtain the Certificate in Gerontological Social Work, students must successfully complete the following courses:
SWK 612 Field Practicum &Seminar III Gerontological Social Work (4 Cr)
SWK 613 Field Practicum &Seminar IV Gerontological Social Work (5 Cr)
In addition to SWK 612 and SWK 613, students are required to successfully complete two of the following courses as  elective credit to fulfill the 15 credit requirement of     the certificate:
PAD 655 Medicare and Medicaid Policy Issues (3 Cr)
REL 505 Leisure and Aging (3 Cr)
SWO 577 Perspectives on Aging and the Family (3 Cr)
SWO 576 Issues on Aging in America (3 Cr)

Admission requirements

Matriculated MSW students are eligible for the certificate. There is no formal application to apply for the certificate. Students declare interest in pursuing their certificate through discussions with their academic advisor and the field education office. The student’s academic advisor approves all electives, and is best able to provide students with guidance on available electives approved for the certificate. The Director of Field Education manages the certificate program and oversees student progress.   SWK 612 and SWK 613 field placements are arranged and approved by the field office. 

Total Cost

The cost is based on the blended rate of tuition between Nazareth College and The College at Brockport. Currently the blended tuition is $603 per credit hour, the total cost of the Graduate Certificate Program in Gerontological Social Work is $9045.  

More information

For more information contact Professor Debra Fromm Faria, Director of Field Education & V. Associate Professor, Phone: 585-395-8455 or 585-395-5884, Email: dffaria@brockport.edu

SWK 612 Field Practicum &Seminar III Gerontological Social Work (4 Cr)
Provides concentration year first semester agency-based field instruction and classroom seminar for advanced learning and practice opportunities relevant to gerontological social work. Students complete 280 hours of graduate level field practicum each semester during two concurrent semesters (560 hours) to develop and refine advanced level gerontological social work practice behaviors. The field seminar component of this course provides opportunities for integration of social work course work and field practicum experiences. Seminars feature in-depth analysis of specific gero-social work competency domains of practice. The domains of gerontological social work practice include: ethics, assessment, interventions, aging services, program and policies and service delivery and leadership in the practice area of aging using the nationally recognized Hartford Partnership in Aging Education Model. Seminar faculty members serve as the first and second semester field liaisons for students in the practicum.

SWK 613 Field Practicum &Seminar IV Gerontological Social Work (5 Cr)
Provides concentration year second semester agency-based field instruction and classroom seminar for advanced learning and practice opportunities relevant to gerontological social work. Students complete 280 hours of graduate level field practicum each semester during two concurrent semesters (560 hours) to develop and refine advanced level gerontological social work practice behaviors. The field seminar component of this course provides opportunities for integration of social work course work and field practicum experiences. Seminars feature in-depth analysis of specific gero-social work competency domains of practice. The domains of gerontological social work practice include: ethics, assessment, interventions, aging services, program and policies and service delivery and leadership in the practice area of aging using the nationally recognized Hartford Partnership in Aging Education Model. Seminar faculty members serve as the first and second semester field liaisons for students in the practicum.

PAD 655 Medicare and Medicaid Policy Issues (3 Cr)
Provides a thorough overview of both the Medicare and Medicaid programs: their background and history; eligibility; covered benefits; provider reimbursement methods; program administration; financing; cost and spending patterns; their respective roles and importance in the American health-care system; and how Medicare and Medicaid both affect and are affected by current healthcare reform proposals.

REL 505 Leisure and Aging (3 Cr)
Examines various aspects of aging as they relate to leisure in contemporary society, leisure needs of mature adults, services for the elderly and leisure pursuits in the subculture of aging.

SWO 577 Perspectives on Aging and the Family (3 Cr)
Provides an in-depth analysis of select issues faced by older adults and their families using a multi-systems perspective and service learning activities. Bridging theory and practice, content utilizes a case study methodology to reflect practice-based situations encountered by health providers, older adults and their families. Topics include family caregiver/care recipient experiences, coping with loss/resiliency, advance directives/end-of-life decision-making, the impact of substance abuse on aging families, and elder abuse.

SWO 576 Issues on Aging in America (3 Cr)
Examines the older person as an evolving individual; bio-psycho-social elements in the aging process; and major issues related to the older person, the aging process and the society. Compares the needs of the elderly with the service system’s response and discusses methods of intervention specifically needed for the older person.