Our Students

Our Students

A Day in the Life

Recently, we spoke with Katherine, a current student in the Gerontology program, to find out what a day looks like for her in this program. See what she shared with us. 

Qualities of the Gerontology Programs

The programs provide students with the qualities and skills they need to work in the social service field working with older adults.

February 2020 | Amica - West Vancouver 

Take a moment to read what our students have to say about the Gerontology program.

Anthea Class of 2024

I came from a business background before I joined the Gerontology program. Other than some personal experience in taking care of older adults in my family, I did not have any academic or formal study about aging from a social service perspective. The courses are carefully structured to equip me with the necessary knowledge and practical skills in the classroom and through practicum. The knowledge and skills I acquired from various courses are interrelated, accumulative, and applicable through practicum and reflection. My exploration of this new arena is well supported by my passionate, dedicated, and professional instructors, whom I appreciate very much!

Dee Class of 2024

I am truly grateful for my enriching experience in the Gerontology program. Being an International student and a mother of three, returning to school felt daunting, especially with family commitments and the challenge of settling into a new country. However, I have been supported by my colleagues and instructors every step of the way. Their encouragement not only helped me navigate the academic demands but also made the learning process incredibly rewarding.

The program is creatively crafted, with extensive practicum hours in diverse settings, to prepare us for the workforce and connect us to industry networks. If you join this wonderful program, it means you will be engaging with meaningful lectures and reflection, guest speakers, field trips, research, practicum placements, and a lot of fun and self-discovery.

I believe it’s an emerging and meaningful career path where you not only make a difference in the lives of older generations but also gain a new perspective on the meaning of life and the essence of healthy aging. 

Maggie Class of 2021

Project Assistant, Population Health, United Way of British Columbia 

The diploma in Gerontology was one of the best learning experiences I have had. Diverse, well-rounded, and interesting, it was a one-of-a-kind hands-on education. Through this program, I discovered my passion and found work in the growing field of the Community-Based Seniors Services Sector. I am so glad I took the Diploma in Gerontology at Langaraand I so appreciate the opportunities it brought me.

Julia Class of 2020

Alzheimer's Association of BC 

I chose Langara’s Gerontology program as I felt it would equip me with the up-to-date knowledge and skills required to support older adults in a social services role. Having been out of the workforce for several years, the practicum component offered through the program was an important factor in my decision, in order to acquire hands-on experience. Both the classwork and practicum prepared me well, and I am now employed full-time in a relevant, rewarding position that also offers advancement opportunities.

Claudia Class of 2020

Outreach Worker, Seniors Services Society of BC 

Gerontology gave me the tools and knowledge I needed to fulfill my passion for connecting, better understanding, and being part of a team to help enrich our older population’s lives in any way possible.

I 100% recommend this program to anyone, as it also helped me reflect on my own personal lifestyle. Thanks to this program, I have a better understanding that whichever way I choose to live my life now it will contribute to how well I age both physically and mentally. This program is a benefit regardless of what one chooses to do with it.

Sheetal Class of 2020

What captured my interest was the fact that the program is new and emerging, focusing on the diverse needs of older adults. The population trends in aging, where for the first time in history, there will be a surge of older adults compared to teenagers.  At the time when I applied to the program, I was in pursuit of further enhancing my education. I was looking for a program that would support and further build on my experience within the healthcare industry.

Reflecting back on the application process of this program, I consider myself quite fortunate and grateful. Prior to this program, I was gaining hands-on experience within the healthcare industry, specifically in an upscale assisted living and independent living setting.  If I were to recommend this program to prospective students, or colleagues, I would say that certainly, the program has richness, and great value by gaining specialized knowledge within the field of gerontology. This program equips one to gain experience at an individual, familial and community level.

What I appreciated most about the program was that our instructors and the program coordinator were extremely supportive in terms of seeking guidance and answering questions to our inquires. I also enjoyed the fact that our cohort was very tight-knit.

My colleague and I completed our field placement within the health authority, Vancouver Coastal Health. Within this setting we worked on a 2 year pilot project called, “Come Alive” in partnership with Emily Carr University's Health Design Lab Team. The focus of this program is to reduce the use of anti-psychotic medications within long-term care homes, while shifting the culture of care across various long-term care homes, in terms of how one can build therapeutic relationships among clients and care providers.

At a personal level, I gained theoretical knowledge and insight when it comes to interacting with older adults. I also gained appreciation of the contributions that older adults have made on a societal level such aspects: passing down of knowledge and wisdom, economic growth, caring for adult children and grandchildren.

Due to the nature and diversity of this program, there are a wide range of employment opportunities such as: life enrichment, education, recreation and leisure, community support, residential care, palliative care, health and wellness.

Rita Class of 2020

What interested me about the program was the possibility of learning more about the gerontology universe, and how to assist older adults with care, respect, professionalism, and dignity. I chose this program over other programs because working with older adults is a personal calling. I was always interested in social service and I have dedicated myself to seeking equity, and the program was a perfect fit for me. I was enrolled in a Family Studies program before I applied to the program.

If I were to recommend this program to friends, I would say I believe that this program provides high-quality and engaging information, preparing students for a growing field. The program provides diversified knowledge about the aging process, inviting students to critically think about how older adults are portrayed in society, expanding our horizons and providing frameworks to understand and navigate rich and complex systems. I also recommend this program so that everyone has the opportunity to have a more balanced look at the aging process and appreciate older adults and their unique universe.

What I liked most about the program was the vast range of information that is covered in class and the opportunity to apply it during practicum. It was an enriching experience. I completed my field placement at Amica West Vancouver, a senior living residence. It is difficult to choose some of the projects I worked on in my practicum that I found the most inspirational and fulfilling since all projects contributed to my knowledge and growth as a professional. However, I cherished the ones in which I had more interaction with residents, where I could build trusting and respectful relationships, making residents feel welcomed, respected, and heard. Besides the theoretical knowledge in the field, I gained experience, learned to navigate the aging process, and to respect and meet older adults at the current stage they are at within this process. I also learned about myself. I learned about my limitations and biases, how to recognize and mitigate them to work with ethics and professionalism.

I see a range of opportunities in this field for myself and others because, in addition to any corporate culture, a gerontology student values older adults and aims to enhance their quality of life and potential. I highlight the specialized attention, ideas and programs that can reform the environment in which they live, bringing engagement among team workers, changing communication and interaction. A social service worker with a specialization in gerontology brings humanization and respect, adding values, care, and critical knowledge in society and employment contexts.

The sky is the limit for those who have their hearts beating in what they love. Today I know more than anything that working with older adults is in my DNA. At this moment my aspiration is to start a job in the field and improve myself with further courses and continue my studies until I get a bachelor’s and master’s degree.