Gerontology is the study of aging from adulthood to old age. With the first Baby Boomers now over the age of 65, the older adult population is increasing rapidly in size. With a myriad of experience spanning decades of history, this population has much to offer and is fascinating to work with. In response to the recent surge in the population of older adults, various fields, such as health care, recreation and fitness are coming up with new ways to enhance individual well-being.

This certificate is ideal for students who intend to pursue or who already hold positions that have substantial contact with older adults. It offers supplemental training for those currently employed in a related field who wish to work more effectively with the older adult population. This certificate can also serve as a training tool for those employed or seeking employment in settings such as adult day care centers, continuing care retirement communities (CCRC’s), park districts, community centers, rehabilitation facilities, senior centers, health care offices, fitness centers and many more.

As a student pursuing a certificate in gerontology, you can expect to:

  • Gain an understanding of gerontology as a discipline and investigate careers in which this knowledge will prove useful.
  • Learn how to work with elders from a variety of ethnicities.
  • Acquire information pertaining to public policy issues and regulations affecting older adults.
  • Cultivate an understanding of the way the health care system is active and reactive to the needs of older adults.
  • Explore issues of death and dying as they pertain to older adults and their families.

What Can I Do With This Certificate?

Those trained in gerontology can work with and for older adults in a variety of capacities. From hands-on work such as the position of certified nursing assistant or nurse to meeting emotional needs via social services roles to engaging older adults in social pursuits through recreation therapy, the possibilities are endless. Working with others to ensure positive well-being for older adults, those working with this population can address critical health, fitness, emotional, social, and spiritual needs of older adults.

Some of the careers you can obtain with this degree include:

  • Adult day care centers
  • Nursing & Rehabilitation Communities
  • Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRC’s)Community centers
  • Senior centers
  • Doctors’ offices/Clinics
  • Fitness centers
  • Counseling centers
  • Financial services

Related job titles

Nurse, Life Enrichment Director, Social Service Director, Director of Resident Programs, Fitness Specialist, Personal Trainer, Activity Director, Financial Planner, Resident Services Coordinator, Case Manager, Senior Care Specialist, Respite Worker, Home Health Aide

Questions? Contact Beth Romanzow, Department Chair of Health Sciences 708-608-4112 or

Program Details

Program NameType of CredentialCurriculum CodeDepartment or Division
GerontologyCertificate1336Health Sciences



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Konnor Parrish (Oak Lawn), shared his educational journey while on a panel for the Illinois Project Lead the Way meeting.


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