Program Curriculum

Program Curriculum

In response to profound and far-reaching changes in Canadian demographics, the Langara Diploma in Gerontology offers a two year comprehensive program which prepares students to work with a population of older persons from diverse backgrounds.

In this interdisciplinary program, students gain a broad understanding of aging processes and issues that older persons and their families may experience over the life course. In addition to acquiring a strong theoretical foundation, students have multiple opportunities to learn and apply methods for working with older persons and their families to promote health and resilience throughout every stage of the aging process, including end of life. Students explore ethical and legal principles underpinning the complex issues in the field of gerontology.

In order to gain a variety of perspectives on aging, students learn from knowledgeable faculty and professionals currently working in the field. Topics are explored through lectures, course readings, dialogue, seminars, guest presentations, role playing, case studies, personal reflections, class projects, and presentations.

Students are assigned to practica in the second year in agencies offering a variety of services to older persons. Applying knowledge and theory to practice is emphasized throughout the two years of study with the aim of positioning students for a career in the field of gerontology or continuing their post-secondary education.

TERM ONE

Courses Credits
All of:
GERO 1100 Gerontology I: Introduction to Gerontology
3

Lecture Hours: 4.0 | Seminar: 0.0 | Lab: 0.0

Students examine ways of thinking about aging from diverse fields of inquiry including historical, political, social and global perspectives. They learn the major theories of aging as they relate to the developing field of gerontology. Topics include human rights and religious and cultural perspectives on aging including the Canadian Indigenous experience. Students learn about the impact of population aging on society as well as current responses to the needs, challenges and concerns of Canada's aging population. Students examine aging from a systems perspective with an emphasis on positive outcomes and understandings about aging.Registration in this course is restricted to students admitted to the Diploma in Gerontology.

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GERO 1115 Helping Relationships with Older Adults I: Practical Skills
3

Lecture Hours: 4.0 | Seminar: 0.0 | Lab: 0.0

Students explore the central role of the therapeutic relationship for helping older persons. They reflect on their motivation for becoming helpers in the field of gerontology, analyze their own natural style of helping, and learn how to use a recognized helping skills framework. Students learn the value of self-care, the client-centred approach, and practice primary helping skills including basic listening, empathy, and influencing. They have multiple opportunities to practice using the skills to effectively conduct interviews with older persons and their families. This is a highly participatory course. Students will learn through a variety of learning activities such as lectures, case studies, group discussions, audio visual presentations, readings, audio taping, videotaping, exams and written assignments. All students will be expected to participate in role-playing in class in order to perfect their use of the skills taught in this course.Registration in this course is restricted to students admitted to the Diploma in Gerontology.

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HSCI 1195 Human Biology of Aging
3

Lecture Hours: 4.0 | Seminar: 0.0 | Lab: 0.0

Students explore the physiological process of aging in humans. Students study the fundamentals of human physiology and develop an understanding of current scientific theories on the process of normal human aging. Broader ideas of aging as a process in the wider biological world are also considered. Students examine expected manifestations of aging on key human systems such as the cardiovascular, nervous, endocrine, reproductive, muscular and skeletal, and immune systems.Prerequisite(s): One of the following: LET with a minimum level 3; IELTS 6.5, with a minimum of 6.0 in each band; LPI with a minimum 26 on the essay and one of 5 in English usage, 5 in sentence structure, or 10 in reading comprehension; English Studies 12 or equivalent with a minimum 80%; Literary Studies 12 with a minimum 80%; English First Peoples 12 with a minimum 80%; a university-level English or Communications course for which Langara awards transfer credit, with a minimum 'C-'; or 'C' in ENGL 1120; or an 'S' in one of ENGL 1107, 1108, or 1110Priority registration for students admitted to the Diploma in Gerontology.

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PSYC 1115 Introduction to Biological, Cognitive, and Developmental Psychology
3

Lecture Hours: 4.0 | Seminar: 0.0 | Lab: 0.0

An introduction to theories, methods, and research findings of modern psychology. Topics may include but are not limited to research methods, biological bases of behaviour, sensation and perception, development, consciousness, learning, and memory. PSYC 1115 and PSYC 1215 can be taken at the same time or in either order.

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One of:
ENGL 1123 Introduction to Academic Writing
3

Lecture Hours: 3.0 | Seminar: 1.0 | Lab: 0.0

New Course as of Fall Semester 2020Students read and analyze a variety of texts in order to develop techniques of research, critical thinking, close reading, and clear writing in an academic context. Course readings, which include a selection of scholarly articles, are drawn from at least three academic disciplines. By exploring and responding to a range of topics, students develop a foundation for post-secondary writing.Students will only receive credit for one of ENGL 1123 or 1127 or 1128.Prerequisite(s): One of the following: a minimum 50% in English First Peoples 12, English Studies 12, Literary Studies 12, or equivalent; a minimum "C" grade in ENGL 1120; or an "S" grade in ENGL 1107, 1108, or 1110. Previously completed LET with a minimum score of 3 can also be used as a prerequisite.

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ENGL 1127 Essay Writing and Short Prose Selections
3

Lecture Hours: 3.0 | Seminar: 1.0 | Lab: 0.0

This course emphasizes the principles of composition through the study and writing of various kinds of essays, including the research essay. As a secondary aim, it encourages an appreciation of modern literature through a study of the short story.Students will receive credit for only one of ENGL 1123, 1126, 1127, and 1128.Prerequisite(s): One of the following: LET 4 (or LET 3 with a strong recommendation of concurrent registration in ENGL 1121); a minimum 70% in one of English Studies 12, Literary Studies 12, or English First Peoples 12, or equivalent; ENGL 1120 with a minimum "C" grade; or one of ENGL 1107, 1108, or 1110 with an "S" grade.

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ENGL 1128 Short Prose Selections and Composition
3

Lecture Hours: 3.0 | Seminar: 1.0 | Lab: 0.0

ENGL 1128 introduces students to the principles of composition through the study of various kinds of essays, including the research essay. It also emphasizes an appreciation of modern prose writing through the study of both short stories and essays. Most writing assignments are related to the literature studied. Because this course is designed for students with superior writing skills, more intensive reading will be required. Students will receive credit for only one of ENGL 1127, or 1128.Students intending to pursue studies in the Faculty of Arts at the University of British Columbia should choose ENGL 1100.Prerequisite(s): One of LET 5 (or LPI equivalent) or a minimum 85% in one of English Studies 12 or Literary Studies 12 or English First Peoples 12.

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TERM TWO

Courses Credits
All of:
GERO 1200 Gerontology II: Understanding Aging Today
3

Lecture Hours: 4.0 | Seminar: 0.0 | Lab: 0.0

Students analyze the political and social determinants of health of older persons and how race, class and gender shape the experience of Canada's aging population. Students learn how aging influences our lives, our relationships and our opportunities throughout the life course. They explore the trends and impacts of public policy on social services and health care services. Students reflect on aging in their own families and communities and examine their own ethics, beliefs and attitudes about the life cycle, aging and death and dying.Prerequisite(s): GERO 1100Registration in this course is restricted to students admitted to the Diploma in Gerontology.

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GERO 1215 Helping Relationships with Older Adults II: Practical Skills
3

Lecture Hours: 4.0 | Seminar: 0.0 | Lab: 0.0

Students learn to apply more advanced helping skills, including basic counselling skills, group facilitation, conflict resolution, problem-solving, and advocacy for older persons. They explore the role of family systems and ethical conduct. Students practice ways to enable clients to reframe their personal narratives, allowing them to think differently about concerns, issues, and challenges. Students learn how to set goals with clients that will help clients take action to address challenges.This is a highly participatory course. Students will learn through a variety of learning activities such as lectures, case studies, group discussions, audio visual presentations, readings, audio taping, videotaping, exams and written assignments. All students will be expected to participate in role-playing in class in order to perfect their use of the skills taught in the courses.Prerequisite(s): GERO 1115Registration in this course is restricted to students admitted to the Diploma in Gerontology.

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GERO 1300 Social Policy and Aging
3

Lecture Hours: 4.0 | Seminar: 0.0 | Lab: 0.0

In this course, students learn about the role of the welfare state, how social determinants impact health, and key social policy issues related to population aging. Examples of Canadian social policy issues are incorporated throughout the course to give students numerous opportunities to analyze current issues and propose solutions. Students explore a variety of topics impacting older persons and their families today including elder abuse, retirement income and income inequality, housing, health care, caregiving, aging in place, and death and dying.Registration in this course is restricted to students admitted to the Diploma in Gerontology.

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GERO 1400 Special Topics in Aging I
1

Lecture Hours: 0.0 | Seminar: 0.461 | Lab: 0.0

Students tap into the knowledge, experience, and ideas of leading practitioners in the field of gerontology exploring topics such as the arts and aging, addiction and aging, and health promotion. Students learn about new programs, research, innovative approaches, ethical dilemmas, policies, and emerging topics. Guest speakers from the community are invited into the classroom and students participate in field trips when appropriate.Prerequisite(s): A minimum "C-" grade in ENGL 1123, 1127, or 1128, and GERO 1100, 1115, HSCI 1195, and PSYC 1115; or permission of the program coordinator.Corequisite(s): GERO 1200, 1215, 1300, and PSYC 1215; or permission of the program coordinator.Registration in this course is restricted to students admitted to the Diploma in Gerontology.

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PSYC 1215 Introduction to Social, Personality, and Abnormal Psychology
3

Lecture Hours: 4.0 | Seminar: 0.0 | Lab: 0.0

An introduction to theories, methods, and research findings of modern psychology. Topics may include but are not limited to thinking, language, intelligence, personality, emotion, stress and health, motivation, social behavior, and psychological disorders and therapies. PSYC 1115 and 1215 can be taken at the same time or in either order.

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One of:
ENGL 1129 Modern Novel, Poetry, and Drama
3

Lecture Hours: 3.0 | Seminar: 1.0 | Lab: 0.0

This course introduces students to the modern novel, to a selection of poems, mainly from the twentieth century, and to a sampling of modern drama. Writing assignments are related to the literary works studied.Students will receive credit for only one of ENGL 1129 or 1130.Prerequisite(s): One of the following: a minimum 50% in English Studies 12, Literary Studies 12, English First Peoples 12, or equivalent; a minimum "C" grade in ENGL 1120; or an "S" grade in ENGL 1107, 1108, or 1110. Previously completed LET with a minimum score of 3 can also be used as a prerequisite.

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ENGL 1130 Modern Novel, Poetry, and Film
3

Lecture Hours: 3.0 | Seminar: 1.0 | Lab: 0.0

This course introduces students to the modern novel, to a selection of poems, mainly from the twentieth century, and to the dramatic elements and narrative techniques of modern film. Writing assignments are related to the works studied. A feature film series accompanies the course, in addition to class hours.Students will receive credit for only one of ENGL 1129 or 1130.Prerequisite(s): One of the following: a minimum 50% in English Studies 12, Literary Studies 12, English First Peoples 12, or equivalent; a minimum "C" grade in ENGL 1120; or an "S" grade in ENGL 1107, 1108, or 1110. Previously completed LET with a minimum score of 3 can also be used as a prerequisite.

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TERM THREE

Courses Credits
All of:
GERO 2100 Older Adults, Mental Health, and Addictions
3

Lecture Hours: 4.0 | Seminar: 0.0 | Lab: 0.0

This course provides students with an introductory overview of how mental health and substance misuse uniquely affect older persons. Students critically examine historical and contemporary theoretical perspectives on mental health conditions and treatment methods, and prevention strategies for a variety of mental health conditions and substance misuse among older adults; as well as current social, political, and legal needs and priorities. They explore the signs, treatment methods, and prevention strategies for a variety of mental health conditions and substance misuse issues seen in older adult populations. The provincial and local services and resources available to individuals seeking support will be identified. Throughout the course, students are required to reflect on their values and beliefs may potentially influence their social service practice. Registration in this course is restricted to students admitted to the Diploma in Gerontology.Prerequisite(s): GERO 1200 or permission of the program coordinator.

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GERO 2110 Aging and Intersectionality
3

Lecture Hours: 0.0 | Seminar: 4.0 | Lab: 0.0

Students explore how broad societal-macro factors and interlocking oppressions such as ageism, racism, classism shape and determine the experience of aging. They learn how older persons experience disadvantages in unique ways based on the intersection of age and other aspects of identity such as gender, race, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, and disability. Students will gain critical awareness of the heterogeneity within the older adult population and learn how to apply an intersectional approach to respond to their diverse needs and to address the equity gap. They explore issues affecting older adults within a framework of human rights, citizenship, and inclusion. Students examine their own beliefs and attitudes with respect to aging and intersectionality and reflect on the values and knowledge required to become advocates for social justice.Registration in this course is restricted to students admitted to the Diploma in Gerontology.Prerequisite(s): GERO 1200 or permission of the program coordinator.

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GERO 2315 Practicum I
3

Lecture Hours: 0.0 | Seminar: 0.92 | Lab: 0.0

The practicum course is a structured educational experience that includes a supervised placement in a community organization (2 days a week for a total of 208 hours) and concurrent bi-weekly seminars. Students integrate classroom and seminar learning with practical experience, applying specialized knowledge, theory and ethics within gerontology service settings while developing professional practice skills. In the field placements, students work with older adults, family members, community groups, and professionals.Registration in this course is restricted to students admitted to the Diploma in Gerontology.Prerequisite(s): GERO 1200, 1215, and 1300; or permission of the program coordinator.Corequisite(s): GERO 2100 and 2110; or permission of the program coordinator.

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GERO 2400 Special Topics in Aging II
1

Lecture Hours: 0.0 | Seminar: 0.46 | Lab: 0.0

Students tap into the knowledge, experience, and ideas of leading practitioners in the field of gerontology, exploring topics such as the arts and aging, addiction and aging, and health promotion. Students learn about new programs, research, innovative approaches, ethical dilemmas, policies, and emerging topics. Guest speakers from the community are invited into the classroom and students participate in field trips when appropriate.Prerequisite(s): GERO 1400 or permission of the program coordinator.Registration in this course is restricted to students admitted to the Diploma in Gerontology.

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HSCI 2295 Age-Related Conditions and Interventions
3

Lecture Hours: 4.0 | Seminar: 0.0 | Lab: 0.0

Students explore the diseases associated with aging as well as their interventions. Students focus on the processes that lead to the development of the most common disorders associated with older persons. Students learn the clinical manifestations and interventions that reduce the risk of these disorders as well as the therapies for these conditions. Within each body system (cardiovascular, neurological, digestive, respiratory, urinary, reproductive, and skeletomuscular), the disorders are addressed according to their prevalence and severity.Priority registration for students admitted to the Diploma of Gerontology.Prerequisite(s): HSCI 1195.

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PSYC 2425 Developmental Psychology (Adulthood and Aging)
3

Lecture Hours: 4.0 | Seminar: 0.0 | Lab: 0.0

With the increase in life expectancy worldwide, it is important for people to understand the implications of adult development and aging on physical, social, and psychological health. In this course, students critically examine social, cultural, emotional, physical, and cognitive development associated with adulthood, aging, death, and dying. They analyze psychological theories, models, and research findings related to adulthood and aging. Students explore how aging affects a number of aspects of our lives such as memory, decision-making, problem-solving, health, and relationships. The course encourages students to broaden their perspectives on aging and apply the concepts learned to their own lives through self-reflection. Prerequisite(s): A minimum "C-" grade in PSYC 1115 and 1215.

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TERM FOUR

Courses Credits
All of:
GERO 2200 Advanced Practice with Older Adults
3

Lecture Hours: 4.0 | Seminar: 0.0 | Lab: 0.0

Students are introduced to counselling theory and practice and how these can be used to meet the needs of older adults and their families. Students examine the role of therapeutic relationship, attitudes, and beliefs about counselling older adults, and the process of dialogue and problem solving with adults and their families. Taking a strengths-based perspective, they explore a variety of therapeutic theories and modalities aimed at enhancing the lives of older persons as they transition through the various stage of aging. Several therapeutic approaches are explored: strengths-based perspective, systems theory, family therapy, cognitive-behavioural therapy, life-review and reminiscence, Indigenous, and cross-cultural approaches. Students apply the associated principles and techniques of these therapeutic approaches to case specific older adults.Registration in this course is restricted to students admitted to the Diploma in Gerontology.Prerequisite(s): GERO 2100 or permission of the program coordinator.

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GERO 2215 Death and Dying
3

Lecture Hours: 4.0 | Seminar: 0.0 | Lab: 0.0

Students explore the process of death and dying from multiple perspectives such as personal, ethical, cultural, religious, political, legal, and societal. They build a comprehensive understanding of the stages of grief and loss and the government and community resources available to support older adults and their families. Students develop an informed framework for best practice when working with older adults who are transition to end of life and experiencing grief and loss related to death and dying.Registration in this course is restricted to students admitted to the Diploma in Gerontology.Prerequisite(s): GERO 1200 or permission of the program coordinator.

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GERO 2225 Community-Based Practice with Older Adults
3

Lecture Hours: 4.0 | Seminar: 0.0 | Lab: 0.0

Students explore and analyze what constitutes community, how community is constructed and the ways in which inclusion, marginalization, exclusion, and oppression can impact older adults within various community contexts. They review the history of community development related to supporting older adults, and how different theoretical and philosophical perspectives shape such work. Students analyze different models and processes for community-based work with older adults to better understand the essential role of community in supporting older adults. They leave this course with the skills and knowledge necessary to effectively support the development and implementation of community-based programs and services. Registration in this course is restricted to students admitted to the Diploma in Gerontology.Prerequisite(s): GERO 1200 or permission of the program coordinator.

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GERO 2415 Practicum II
3

Lecture Hours: 0.0 | Seminar: 1.0 | Lab: 0.0

The practicum course is a structured educational experience that includes a supervised placement in a community organization (2 days a week for a total of 208 hours) and concurrent bi-weekly seminars. Students integrate classroom and seminar learning with practical experience, applying specialized knowledge, theory and ethics within gerontology service settings while developing professional practice skills. In the field placements, students work with older adults, family members, community groups, and professionals.Prerequisite(s): GERO 2315 or permission of the program coordinator.Corequisite(s): GERO 2200 and 2225.Registration in this course is restricted to students admitted to the Diploma in Gerontology.

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RECR 2395 Recreation & Aging
3

Lecture Hours: 1.0 | Seminar: 3.0 | Lab: 0.0

Recreation and culture play a critical role in assisting people to live healthier, happier, and meaningful lives as they age. This course highlights the benefits that older people derive from participating in recreation and culture and the risks of not staying physically and mentally active and socially connected. Students explore a combination of theories and practices to understand the history of recreation and cultural services and facilities for older people. A variety of best practices are identified and assessed and students critically investigate how recreation and cultural programming for older adults differs from other age categories and creates welcoming and accessible communities.Priority registration for students admitted to the Diploma of Gerontology.

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Program Notes:

  • Students must complete all required courses in the diploma program with a minimum "C-" grade (or an "S" grade for courses graded S/U).