Gerontology Certificate Program

A multidisciplinary approach to the study of aging, the aging population, the aging process, and society’s response to the increasing population of older individuals. Biological, sociological, and psychological aspects of aging are explored. The coursework provides students with information as well as training to work in services and agencies that interact and assist older individuals.

The Gerontology Certificate Program can assist students in obtaining positions in the following fields* and/or enhance skills in a current position:

  • Healthcare Occupations (Dietician, Nutrition, Home Health Aide, CNA, LVN, RN, Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy)
  • Legal Occupations (Attorneys, Paralegals)
  • Research and Development
  • Business Administration and Accounting
  • Marketing and Advertising
  • Social Work
  • Behavioral Health
  • Government
  • Education
  • Travel and Tourism

*the following occupations may require additional certification depending on the specific employer.

Students must complete a total of 18-21 units to earn the Gerontology Certificate.

Gerontology Courses Offered in Fall 2015:
SOC 180 Introduction to Gerontology
PSYCH 125 Sociology of Aging
SOC126 Death and Dying
PSYCH 125 Psychology of Aging

Gerontology Course Offered in Spring 2016:
SOC180 Introduction to Gerontology
PSYC 125 Psychology of Aging


The Growing Field of Gerontology:

From 2009 to 2014 the expected increase in industry jobs in home health care services and community care facilities for the elderly is 25% in the region and 17% in California.  The projected increase for personal and home care aides is 29%.  Industry data indicates that there is a projected increase of 10% in jobs opportunities assisting the elderly in private households, 31% in home health care services, and 24% in homes for the elderly (Source:; Centers for Excellence custom report).

Average wages for careers in Gerontology

Elderly Care Industries Data in Orange County

*Students should complete 2-3 elective courses focused on the specific area of interest: Nutrition and Physical Fitness (working at a senior center, senior community, hospital, or rehabilitation center) OR Human Services(working in a senior center, senior community, adult day care, continuing care setting or in social services setting to help both older adults and their families).

For additional program information contact: Allison Camelot,


Allison Camelot View profile information for Staff Member Faculty Website
Department Chair
Office BGS 323
(949) 582-4478

April Cubbage-Vega View profile information for Staff Member Faculty Website
Office BGS 300
(949) 582-4636

Sherry Miller-White View profile information for Staff Member Faculty Website
Office BGS 322
(949) 582-4736


Program Student Learning Outcomes

Students who complete this program will be able to:

  • Define and explain the key concepts associated with the study of aging and the study of Gerontology.
  • Identify and explain the physical, social, familial, and community support networks for aging individuals.
  • Explain the changes in the roles and activities of the elderly historically and in contemporary society.
  • Compare and contrast the three main sociological theories as they apply to the study of Gerontology.
  • Apply social theories to analyze current and historical topics associated with the study of aging and gerontology.
  • Evaluate current social research on the study of aging and gerontology.
  • Describe the role that culture plays in aging.
  • Explain how various social locations such as class, race, gender, age, and sexuality are vital to the study of aging and gerontology and may result in social inequality.
  • Identify specific social problems aging adults experience and explain their cause-effect patterns.
  • Explain the demographics trends of aging.
  • Identify the life cycle transitions.
  • Explain the role that politics, voting, and activism have on the older population.
  • Identify and evaluate community support services and agencies focused on the aging community.
  • Explain and analyze the various social policies that affect the elderly.
  • Explain end-of-life issues and decisions, the current death system, and the challenges of the death system.
  • Explain and analyze issues of bereavement, grief, and mourning.
  • Research and critically analyze specific topics on death and dying.




Curriculum changes as industry standards transform. Please refer to the Saddleback College Catalog website as the following requirements may have changed since this webpage was published.

Core/Required Courses

Course ID Title Units
PSYC 125 Psychology of Aging 3
SOC 125 Sociology of Aging 3
SOC 126 Death and Dying 3
SOC 180 Introduction to Gerontology 3
Select from Restricted Electives 6-9
Total 18-21

Restricted Electives

Course ID Title Units
APSY 151 Human Relationships 3
ANTH 2 Cultural Anthropology 3
CCS 2 Multicultural Identities in the United States 3
FN 50 Fundamentals of Nutrition 3
FN 64 Nutrition Issues and Controversies 3
FN 161 Nutrition for Health Occupations 2
FN 171 Sanitation and Safety 3
GEOG 3 World Regional Geography 3
HLTH 1 Contemporary Health Issues 3
HS 100 Human Services in a Changing Society 3
HS 140 Group Leadership and Group Process 3
HS 285 Ethical Issues/Clients' Rights 3
KNES 28 Yoga 1, 1.5
KNES 29 Tai Chi Ch'uan 1, 1.5
SE 101 Introduction to Therapy and Rehabilitation 3
SOC 2 Social Problems 3
SOC 25 Social Stratification 3
SOC 10 Marriage and Family 3
SOC/HIST 20 Ethnic Cultures in the United States 3

Suggested coursework not required for the major: HLTH 2; SE 102


Gainful Employment Disclosure Statement

Federal regulations require higher education institutions to disclose information regarding the success of its students in certificate programs that lead to employment.

The information includes graduation rates, estimated education costs, median debt of students who completed programs, and other information designed to help students make better-informed choices about colleges and universities they select.