What Is a Geropsychology Graduate Certificate?
Throughout a person’s lifetime, cognitive, behavioral and developmental changes occur. Older adults experience unique challenges, and geropsychology specialists can help these patients overcome these challenges. You can prepare to pursue a meaningful career supporting aging adults by earning a geropsychology certificate. The Graduate Certificate of Completion in Geropsychology, available from Grand Canyon University, is appropriate for students who possess a bachelor’s degree in psychology, nursing or a related field, as well as individuals interested in continued academic exposure in the psychology field.
The College of Humanities and Social Sciences offers the geropsychology graduate certificate to students who feel called to serve elderly populations. Blend theories with evidence-based research as you study how the aging process is associated with mental health disorders, including depression and anxiety. Learn the techniques and best practices for helping older adults achieve their optimum potential. Develop a keen understanding of how best to serve those who have already spent a lifetime in service to others.
Learn Psychology and Physiological Aspects of Aging
Aging is a highly complex process that is influenced by a person’s physical, mental, spiritual and behavioral health, as well as that person’s cultural background and social support systems. As a student at GCU, you will be encouraged to exercise critical thinking and reasoning skills to develop a solid understanding of the relationship between body and mind.
The geropsychology graduate certificate program is available through evening courses on our welcoming, vibrant campus, or via online classes. You can study geropsychology from anywhere at any time, while continuing to meet your current professional obligations. Online classes are eight weeks in length.
In courses such as Sociology of Aging and Death and Dying, you gain the following core competencies:
- Study the social policies and systems that influence the aging population
- Examine theories, research and case studies on the sociocultural aspects of death and dying
- Explore the aging process in light of biological processes
- Learn to promote positive aging and well-being through the lens of the psychological, emotional and spiritual aspects of aging
Opportunities to Help Aging Populations with a Graduate Certificate in Geropsychology
The population of the U.S. is rapidly growing older, making this an ideal time for students who are exploring careers focused on assisting the elderly. The U.S. Census Bureau states that, by 2030, one in five residents will be of retirement age. By that time, all baby boomers will be older than age 65. It’s also expected that, during the 2030s, older adults will outnumber children for the first time in the nation’s history.
As the population ages, there will be a greater demand for services intended specifically to support older adults. The Graduate Certificate of Completion in Geropsychology may enable students to prepare for related careers in government agencies, offices, hospitals or other clinical settings. Some of the specific job duties of a geropsychology specialist may include the following:
- Assess alterations in the patient’s mental state
- Educate family members and family caregivers
- Counsel families regarding optimal living arrangements and everyday activities
- Provide end-of-life counseling
- Empower patients to cope with life challenges, such as diagnoses, changing family roles, the deaths of loved ones and their own anticipated death
This certificate course does not lead to clinical licensure. Some job opportunities may require advanced education or clinical licensure.
Program Core Courses
This course is a critical examination of social policies and systems which affect aging and retirement. The impact of multiple social contexts such as family, employment, work, and religion are examined.
This course introduces the concept of death in society. Students examine research, theories, and case studies on the sociocultural dimensions of death and dying with a focus on end of life issues and grief management.
This course examines the biological principles and research that explain the causes of aging. An investigation into the human experience of biological aging, longevity, and age-related disease is made in order promote and modulate successful aging.
This course examines the psychological, emotional, and spiritual aspects of aging. There is a focus on promoting positive aging and increasing well-being. Prerequisite: PSY-630.