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Curriculum code 1336
Course Requirements                   Public Service Web Site Gainful Employment Information

Program Description—Gerontology is the study of aging. The population of people over the age of 65 is rapidly growing. Various fields such as health care, recreation, and fitness are responding to this surge in the senior population. This certificate is most appropriate for students who intend to pursue, or who already hold positions, that have substantial contact with aging populations. This certificate can stand on its own as training for jobs in a variety of settings such as adult day care, continuum care retirement communities, park districts, community centers, rehabilitation facilities, senior centers, and much more. However, it is more often used as a supplement or additional training for those already in a related field who want to work more effectively with the senior population.

This 16-credit hour certificate program provides career advancement opportunities for students interested in working with the aging population. Moraine Valley Community College currently offers certificates and degree programs in fitness training, recreation management, recreation therapy, basic nurse assistant, nursing, and a variety of allied health fields. Many of the students graduating from these programs will work with elderly populations. These populations have unique circumstances and needs, requiring special and skilled care. Students working with elderly populations would benefit greatly from a certificate program in gerontology.

Nature of Work—People working with the elderly strive to help their clients improve their quality of life. They may assist clients in need of counseling or crisis intervention, assist adults who need supervision with personal hygiene and daily living tasks, ensure that they take prescribed medication, talk with family members, and confer with medical personnel and other caregivers to provide insight into their clients’ needs. They also give emotional support and help clients become involved in community recreation programs and other activities. They often collaborate with other workers from a variety of fields, including nursing, psychiatry, psychology, or social work. The amount of responsibility and supervision they are given varies a great deal.

Employment Outlook— The Gerontology certificate is intended to supplement a variety of degree and certificate programs at Moraine Valley, as well as provide additional education for working professionals dealing specifically with aging populations. Examples of careers where a person could find themselves working in large part with aging populations are fitness training, recreation management, recreation therapy, social and human services, social work, basic nurse assistant, nursing, and a variety of allied health fields.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2010-2011 www.bls.gov/ooh/

For job and internship listings and job search assistance, contact the Job Resource Center, morainevalley.edu/jrc, Student Services Center, S202, at (708) 974-5737.

Gainful Employment Information—The college provides information about the number of semesters and expected costs to complete this program, as well as the current job outlook. Visit morainevalley.edu/programs/employment.htm.

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