University Bulletin 2017-2018

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Graduate Gerontology Certificate

Requirements For The Graduate Certificate In Gerontology

The Graduate Certificate Program at USA requires a minimum of six courses (18 hours) with grades of "A" or "B", including Aging in American Society (SY 523) and an approved internship. It is strongly recommended that students take other courses to enhance their research/practice in aging and the life course, such as a course in public policy; a research methods course appropriate to the student's primary discipline and/or gerontology; and a course in professional ethics. All courses not specifically listed in this section must be approved by the Gerontology Program Director and the student's academic advisor prior to registration for the course.

The Gerontology internship (GRN 596) is required or an equivalent internship experience within the student's discipline. The internship must allow the student to apply skills to work with older individuals and their families. Research shows that positive, supportive attitudes toward aging are best developed through personal involvement with older people. The skill of applying knowledge to the issues in aging is developed in experiential learning situations. Therefore, an internship is required unless the student demonstrates substantial previous experience with the client population. In that event, a directed study or an additional academic course in aging may be substituted for the internship. A maximum of six credit hours of internship and six credit hours of directed study may be applied toward the requirements for the Graduate Certificate in Gerontology. The internship must be approved by the program director during the semester prior to placement.  Students in professional programs may be able to use field placements in lieu of the Gerontology Internship.

All course waivers and substitutions must be approved by the Gerontology program director. The student must work closely with the director and with the advisor in the major area of specialization to develop the best program possible to meet career goals. Directed studies, special topics courses, and online courses may be used to fulfill program requirements.  

Graduate Certificate in Gerontology
Following are the courses approved for the Graduate Certificate in Gerontology:
Required Courses:
SY 523
GRN 596 or equivalent
Elective Courses:
CED 564
GRN 535
GRN 594
GRN 597
HSC 524
HSC 550
PSC 581
PSC 587
PSY 516
PSY 524
PSY 575
SY 572

Graduate level Special Topics courses and Directed Studies may be taken as electives when the course topic is appropriate for gerontology. Distance learning options may be offered for some courses. Check with the program director or assistant director for information about online courses and other distance learning opportunities.

Other electives may be taken from the student's degree discipline with approval by the student's graduate advisor, the Gerontology program director, and the Graduate School (Examples: courses in Advanced Geropsychiatric Nursing and courses in the College of Allied Health Professions where the focus is on aging and age-related health conditions). Students should meet with the Gerontology program director to discuss specific questions about elective courses.

Courses which are taken as part of a degree program may be considered for credit toward the certificate provided they are approved by the Director of the University Programs in Gerontology, the Director of Graduate Studies in the College offering the degree, and the Dean of the Graduate School. In order to receive the printed Graduate Certificate in Gerontology, you must submit a completed application form. Certificates are not issued automatically. Forms are available on the program web site at: http://www.southalabama.edu/gerontology/.

For further information about the program contact Dr. Roma Stovall Hanks, Director, USA Programs in Gerontology, 5991 USA Dr. N., HUMB 34, University of South Alabama, Mobile, Alabama 36688-0002; phone: (251) 460-6020; FAX (251) 460-7925
e-mail: rhanks@southalabama.edu.

web site: http://www.southalabama.edu/colleges/artsandsci/syansw/gerontologyprogram/southalabama.edu/gerontology/

Application For The Certificate

The Degree Works audit tool lists the Gerontology Certificates (Graduate and Undergraduate) as programs. Students should alert their advisors to check that they are enrolled in the appropriate Gerontology Certificate program. Upon completion of requirements, an application must be submitted by the student.

The application is available at the Gerontology web site: http://www.southalabama.edu/colleges/artsandsci/syansw/gerontologyprogram/southalabama.edu/gerontology/.  An exit interview may be required. Contact the program director at least 6 weeks prior to completion of requirements for the certificate. Certificate recipients are listed in the Commencement Program closest to the date the certificate completion documentation approved.

Gerontology Staff    (251) 460-6020
Program Director and Academic Advisor Dr. Roma Stovall Hanks
Assistant Director and Academic Advisor Dr. Hosik Min

Department of Gerontology web site
http://www.southalabama.edu/colleges/artsandsci/syansw/gerontologyprogram/

The University of South Alabama offers Certificates in Gerontology at the Graduate and Undergraduate levels and an Interdisciplinary Minor in Gerontology.

Gerontology is the interdisciplinary study of:

  1. The human life cycle
  2. Issues related to aging
  3. The relationships between the generations

The Gerontology program is designed to establish an expertise that will enhance and compliment the analytical skills that the student acquires as part of the major area of study. This expertise may be used as preparation to specialize within the career area related to the student's major area of study or to pursue further academic training in graduate or medical school. Special topics courses and online instruction are available.

Depending on their specific needs and interests, students may be able to complete requirements for the Undergraduate or Graduate Certificate in Gerontology through distance learning options. Students who are interested in pursuing a Gerontology Certificate online should speak with their academic advisor and the Gerontology program director.  Students in professional programs may be able to use field placements in lieu of the Gerontology Internship.

The Degree Works audit tool lists the Gerontology Certificates as programs. Students should alert their advisors to check that they are enrolled in a Gerontology Certificate program (Graduate or Undergraduate). In order to receive the printed Gerontology Certificate, the student must submit a completed Data Sheet and Application available at the program website: http://www.southalabama.edu/colleges/artsandsci/syansw/gerontologyprogram/. The certificate is not automatically issued without an application.