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Gerontology is the study of people as they change physically and continue to develop mentally and socially after middle age using an integrated biopsychosocial person-centered perspective to understand the needs of older people and the older population.  Gerontology is a nonclinical behavioral social science as opposed to geriatrics, which encompasses all the licensed/certified clinical medical and mental health professions.  Gerontologists work to connect clients with programs that best meet their support and service needs as opposed to nonclinical human services and social workers with general knowledge about people of all ages.

The ARC Gerontology Associate of Arts degrees are nationally recognized. In August of 2018, our vocational AA degrees earned national accreditation from AGEC, the Accreditation for Gerontology Education Council. The degrees and certificates of achievement are long-standing Program of Merit (POM) recognized by the Academy for Gerontology in Higher Education. The new regular Gerontology AA is designed for students planning to gain a foundation in gerontology courses while completing the lower division course prerequisites for the upper division courses required by Sac State students complete a bachelor's in Gerontology and it not yet accredited or recognized as a POM.  

AGEC accreditation and recognition as a Program of Merit confirms that program faculty have gerontological educations and frame all gerontology courses in the gerontological biopsychosocial perspective.  Other programs in the region and state may offer Gerontology degrees; however, if the faculty do not meet the state minimum qualifications for gerontology faculty and the courses are not taught from the biopsychosocial perspective, the degree should be referred to as a multidisciplinary aging studies degree.

Almost all gerontology core courses are offered online at least once a year, which makes it possible for all degrees and certificates to be completed in two years, while attending fulltime. However, some core and specialization area courses may not be offered online or annually.  The department also offers state-approved certificate courses and some federal and state required trainings at least once a year.  The certificate courses provide high-demand skills training for that lead directly to employment in a specific position.

Degrees and Certificates Offered

  • A.A. in Gerontology: Administrative
  • A.A. in Gerontology: Advocacy and Social Policy
  • A.A. in Gerontology: Case Management and Social Services
  • A.A. in Gerontology: Health Care
  • A.A. in Gerontology: Recreation
  • A.A. in Gerontology
  • Gerontology: Administrative Certificate
  • Gerontology: Advocacy and Social Policy Certificate
  • Gerontology: Case Management and Social Services Certificate
  • Gerontology: Health Care Certificate
  • Gerontology: Recreation Certificate
  • Senior Fitness Specialist Certificate
  • Activity Leader, Coordinator, and Director Training Certificate
  • RCFE Administrator Training Certificate
  • Social Service Designee Certificate
  • Division Dean Kathy Sorensen (Interim)
  • Department Chair Laurinda Reynolds