The Center (led be Dr. Rich Schulz) has developed a ‘Family Support Track’ which will be integrated into the highly successful Gerontology Certificate Program at the University of Pittsburgh. This track will include the required core curricula for the Gerontology Certificate Program (6–7 credits), as well as three or more elective courses (8 or 9 credits) selected from a prescribed pool of family support focused topics. Topics of concentration include individual, social, cultural and experiences of disability; disability discrimination law; ethical issues in healthcare; seminar series on aging; family caregiving, promoting family member’s independence; and housing and community-based services and supports planning. The program may be completed in as little as nine months under the supervision of an advisor from the student’s home department.
The Graduate Certificate in Gerontology program at Pitt was designed to serve professionals in diverse disciplines, in a variety of industries, who are interested in acquiring basic knowledge about gerontology and geriatrics, and specialized knowledge of aging and aging processes in their particular disciplines or occupations. Typically, this program enrolls 25-40 students annually. Most enrollees are working professionals employed as health or social service occupations. More than 88% of the students that have earned the certificate have reported that understanding the challenges faced by the elderly helped them in their professional lives and 100% said that it helped in their personal lives.
Given that health systems and payers often expect CGs to provide the lion’s share of care to their aging adult loved ones, our Center team believes it is critical that students enrolled in the Gerontology Certificate have the option to gain an understanding of key knowledge, resources, and skills to better provide support to CGs.