Program Curriculum

Program Curriculum

The two-year Diploma in Gerontology allows students to develop advanced skills and knowledge to meet the needs of the rapidly growing population of older adults through a strengths-based and social justice approach. In this interdisciplinary program, students gain a broad and critical understanding of aging processes and social policy issues that affect older persons and their families.

Students also have the opportunity to work with older adults through completing over 300 practicum hours in two field placement settings. This provides an opportunity to apply the theories learned in class to a wide variety of settings that support older adults.

CURRICULUM

Total Credits: 62

Term One

Courses Credits
All of
GERO 1100 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 and Certificate in Social Service Worker (Gerontology).

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GERO 1115 Communication Skills with Older Adults I
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 and Certificate in Social Service Worker (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 and Certificate in Social Service Worker (Gerontology).

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GERO 1816 Gerontology Practicum I
1

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

Students have the opportunity to spend four hours a week in a practicum placement at a designated social service community agency under the supervision of an agency field supervisor. Through this experience, students develop and practise professional behaviours and learn how particular agencies meet the needs of older adults. Graded S/U.Registration in this course is restricted to students admitted to the Diploma in Gerontology and Certificate in Social Service Worker (Gerontology).Corequisite(s): GERO 1100.

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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

Students 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, 1127, or 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 English First Peoples 12, English Studies 12, Literary Studies 12, or equivalent; a minimum "C" grade in ENGL 1120; an "S" grade in ENGL 1107, 1108, or 1110; or a minimum "C" grade in three credits of university-transferrable English.

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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, or 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 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.

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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 1123, 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 the following: LET 5 (or LPI equivalent) or a minimum 85% in English First Peoples 12, English Studies 12 or Literary Studies 12, or equivalent.

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16 Credits

Term Two

Courses Credits
All of
GERO 1215 Communication Skills with Older Adults II
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.Registration in this course is restricted to students admitted to the Diploma in Gerontology and Certificate in Social Service Worker (Gerontology).Prerequisite(s): A minimum "C-" grade in GERO 1115.

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GERO 1916 Gerontology Practicum II
3

Lecture Hours: 0.0 | Seminar: 14.0 | Lab: 0.0

Students experience a structured, supervised placement in a community organization (two days a week). 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. Graded S/U.Registration in this course is restricted to students admitted to the Diploma in Gerontology and Certificate in Social Service Worker (Gerontology).Prerequisite(s): An "S" grade in GERO 1816.

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GERO 2100 Older Adults, Mental Health, and Substance Misuse
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 and Certificate in Social Service Worker (Gerontology).Prerequisite(s): A minimum "C-" grade in GERO 1100; or permission of the program coordinator.

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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. PSYC 1215 is waived for students admitted to the Diploma in Gerontology or Certificate in Social Service Worker (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 more meaningful lives as they age. Students learn about the benefits that older people derive from participating in recreation and culture and the risks of not staying physically and cognitively active and socially connected. Throughout the course, students explore a combination of theories and practices. Students are presented with experiential learning opportunities, including guest speakers, field trips to community-based organizations, and case studies. Students identify and assess a variety of recreation programs and services for a diverse population of older adults and they investigate how recreation and cultural programming for older adults creates welcoming and accessible communities. Priority registration in this course is offered to students admitted to the Diploma in Gerontology and Certificate in Social Service Worker (Gerontology).

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15 Credits

Term Three

Courses Credits
All of
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): A minimum "C-" grade in GERO 1100 and 1115; or permission of the program coordinator.

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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.Priority registration for students admitted to the Diploma in Gerontology.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; a minimum 80% in English First Peoples 12, English Studies 12, Literary Studies 12, or equivalent; a minimum "C-" grade in a university-level English or communications course for which Langara awards transfer credit; or a minimum "C" grade in ENGL 1120; or an "S" grade in one of ENGL 1107, 1108, or 1110.

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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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SSRV 2000 Introduction to Social Welfare in Canada
3

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

This course will introduce students to the role that social work and allied professions play in the ameliorating of the social welfare conditions that affect people and communities. Through course assignments, students will be able to relate the contexts of their own experience to the social contexts of disadvantaged people.Prerequisite(s): One of the following: LET 3 (or LPI equivalent); a minimum "C+" grade in English First Peoples 12, English Studies 12, or Literary Studies 12; a minimum "C" grade in one of the following: CMNS 1118, ENGL 1120, 1123, 1127, or 1128; or an "S" grade in ENGL 1107, 1108, or 1110.

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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: LET 4 (or LET 3 with a strong recommendation of concurrent registration in ENGL 1121); a minimum 70% in English First Peoples 12, English Studies 12, Literary Studies 12, or equivalent; a minimum "C" grade in ENGL 1120; an "S" grade in ENGL 1107, 1108, or 1110; or a minimum "C" grade in three credits of university-transferable English.

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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: LET 4 (or LET 3 with a strong recommendation of concurrent registration in ENGL 1121); a minimum 70% in English First Peoples 12, English Studies 12, Literary Studies 12, or equivalent; a minimum "C" grade in ENGL 1120; an "S" grade in ENGL 1107, 1108, or 1110; or a minimum "C" grade in three credits of university-transferable English.

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15 Credits

Term Four

Courses Credits
All of
GERO 2016 Gerontology Practicum III
4

Lecture Hours: 0.0 | Seminar: 8.0 | Lab: 0.0

Students experience a structured, supervised placement in a community organization (one day a week). Students integrate classroom and seminar learning with practical experience, applying specialized knowledge, theory, and ethics within gerontology service settings while developing professional practice skills. Students work with older adults, family members, community groups, and professionals. During this field placement students complete a literature review or agency determined project by locating, interpreting, and evaluating appropriate academic research and literature related to the service delivery context of their agency or organization. Graded S/U.Registration in this course is restricted to students admitted to the Diploma in Gerontology.Prerequisite(s): A minimum "C-" grade in all of the following: GERO 1100, 1115, 1215, and 1300; and an "S" grade in GERO 1816 and 1916; or permission of the program coordinator.

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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): A minimum "C-" grade in 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): A minimum "C-" grade in GERO 1100; 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): A minimum "C-" grade in GERO 1100 and 1300; or permission of the program coordinator.

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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): A minimum "C-" grade in HSCI 1195.

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16 Credits

Program Option 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).