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Gerontology is the biopsychosocial study of people as they change physically and continue to develop mentally and socially after middle age, as well as the stages and aspects of earlier life that influence the aging process.

The ARC Gerontology AA degrees are nationally recognized. In August of 2018, they earned national accreditation from AGEC, the Accreditation for Gerontology Education Council and the degree program has been a long-standing Program of Merit (POM) recognized by the Academy for Gerontology in Higher Education. These recognitions enhance the career value of earning a Gerontology degree at ARC.

The Gerontology department is recognized as a local leader in career education. The department offers state-approved certificate courses and high-demand skills training to support local professionals and paraprofessionals.

Some degrees, certificates, and all our continuing education courses are being discontinued, but they still appear on the DEGREE/CERTIFICATE or COURSE tabs above.  The options being discontinued are omitted from the lists below.

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

Where do gerontologists work?

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.

Job Security: The Older Americans Act & Population Aging in the US

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 means that the percentage of people over 65 is going up. n the US, people are living longer and having fewer children and. this trend means a career in the field of aging will provide long-term job security for decades 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. This increase is creating a demand for workers with a gerontology education and due to a shortage of gerontology programs nationwide, demand for gerontologists with all levels of degrees will continue to outpace graduation rates.


Our Gerontology AA degrees require 60 units of general education coursework and 24 units of core coursework, 3 units of work experience, and 9 units in one or more of these focus areas:

Administrative (Formerly Business)
Case Management and Social Services
Health Care
Social Policy and Advocacy


Our certificates of achievements are designed for people who do not want or need to complete the general education requirements of a full degree. The certificates require the same core, work experience, and focus coursework in one or more of these focus areas:

Administrative (Formerly Business)
Case Management and Social Services
Health Care
Social Policy and Advocacy


Our career education certificates are comprised of one or more courses (3 to 16 units) and can lead directly to employment.   Email for scheduling information about these certificates.

Activity Leader Certificate (3 units; Career Development)
RCFE Administrator Training (4.5 units; Career Development)
Senior Fitness Specialist Certificate (16 units; Career Development)
Social Services Designee Certificate (4.5 units; Career Development)