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Gerontology Senior Advocate, Certificate

It is projected that there will be an increase of 236 million adults aged 65 and older from the time period of 2015 to 2025 in the world (The Aging World: 2015 by the U.S. Census Bureau, 2016). By design, the 21 credit hour Gerontology Senior Advocate Certificate program is in response to an increasing number of careers related to elder advocacy needed to help this growing aging population trends in the coming decades. This certificate is designed for professionals currently working with or wishing to work with a growing aging clientele and who see a need to better understand aging issues. The certificate is also beneficial to individuals faced with elder caregiving responsibilities and who want to be a better advocate for their care recipient.

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Admission Requirements

Students must fulfill the general admission requirements of the College of Graduate Studies and Research of Northeastern Illinois University. A complete application packet may be obtained on-line from the Graduate Enrollment Services website, from the office located in room D-101D, or by calling (773) 442-6001.  A complete application includes:

  1. The admission form.

  2. A transcript showing completion of a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university.  Undergraduate course work should include at least five (5) courses or 15 credits in the social sciences (anthropology, economics, history, political science, psychology, or sociology) and at least one (1) course in psychology-related statistics (preferred).

Note: If the applicant has met all requirements except that of psychology-related statistics, they may be admitted conditionally and may be expected to complete an undergraduate course in psychology-related statistics that is approved by the gerontology program coordinator (e.g., PSYC 202).  Any statistics course taken to meet this requirement will not count toward fulfillment of the 21 required credit hours.           

  1. Evidence of scholastic ability, reflected by an undergraduate grade point average of 2.75 or better on a 4-point scale.  All course work completed prior to the bachelor's degree as well as any completed graduate courses are considered.

  2. Two letters of recommendation on the forms provided.

  3. A two-page statement of personal goals for graduate work in gerontology. This statement also serves as a sample of writing competency.

  4. Two letters of recommendation on the forms provided.

  5. A two-page statement of personal goals for graduate work in gerontology.

  6. A résumé showing all paid and volunteer work experience.

Note:  Students may enter the program without previous professional or volunteer work experience with older people, but will be required to compensate for this deficiency by completing the PSYC 415, Practicum in Gerontology.

Delivery Method

The certificate program currently offers cohort-style curricular programming but students can apply and enter year round (fall, spring, or summer) to be flexible for students’ needs. Classes are currently predominantly online but we also have “blended” (hybrid/flipped) courses. The gerontology certificate program should be fully online by 2021-2022.


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