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Gerontology refers to the biopsychosocial study of people as they change physically and develop mentally and socially from middle age through later life, as well as the stages and aspects of earlier life that influence the aging process in the second half of life.

Who are gerontologists and what do they do?
Gerontologists may hold a program certificate, associate of arts, bachelors, masters, or doctorate in Gerontology or a related degree focused on the older population and aging. We work to improve the quality of life and promote the well-being of older adults within our families, communities, and societies through research, education, and use of specialized knowledge and experience. We work in a broad array of entry-level to executive positions directly with older adults or behind the scenes in both clinical and non-clinical settings.

Careers in the Aging Network
Graduates of Gerontology programs become employed in the Aging Network, a system of state and local government agencies, non-profit organizations, institutions, and contractors that provide information services, employment and legal services, activity and recreation programs, health education and health promotion programs, and care and support services for older adults. Employment in the Aging Network is driven by the Older Americans Act and Population Aging.

The Older Americans Act
The Older Americans Act of 1965 is a federal initiative that mandates and funds programs intended to help older adults live a full life within their communities for as long as possible and to support older adults living in long term care and health care settings when living in their community is no longer possible. This means there are employment opportunities working directly with older adults or behind the scenes, managing care or cases, working in homes or state agencies, organizations and the private sector for years to come.

Population Aging and Long-Term Job Security
Americans in the US are living longer and having fewer children, which means the percentage of people over age 65 is going up. This change in the general population is called population aging and the trend means a career in the field of aging will provide long-term job security for years to come. By the year 2060, the number of older Americans will more than double, from 48 million in 2015 to 98 million in 2060. Population aging is creating a demand for workers with a gerontology education and due to a shortage of gerontology programs nationwide, demand for gerontologist with all levels of degrees will continue to outpace graduation rates.

About the ARC Gerontology Programs, Certificates, and Courses
ARC has gained a reputation as a leader in gerontology studies. The Gerontology Associate of Arts has earned two national distinctions. In August of 2018, the AA program earned national accreditation from AGEC, the Accreditation for Gerontology Education Council. Our program has also been a long-standing Program of Merit (POM) recognized by the Association for Gerontology in Higher Education. National Accreditation and POM enhance the career value of an ARC Gerontology AA. We also offer a Gerontology Certificate of Achievement for people who do not want or need to complete the general education requirements of a full degree.

The ARC Gerontology department is a local leader in career education. We offer three certificate courses that lead directly to employment. The Activity Leader and Social Services Designee certificates are listed on the Degrees/Certificates tab and the RCFE Administrator Training is listed on the Course tab.
The Gerontology department supports local professionals and paraprofessionals by offering continuing education units (CEU) for some courses and department certificates for skills in high demand. Email for a current list of CEU courses.