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Brookdale Careers in Gerontology

A Certificate from the Brookdale Center is a professional credential recognized by practitioners in the gerontological field. Coursework ensures that those entering or already in the field have the necessary education and appropriate skills to meet the requirements of practice in a variety of service settings.

The Brookdale Center for Healthy Aging & Longevity of Hunter College offers several Certificates in the aging field:

  • Aging
  • Aging & Mental Health
  • Geriatric Care Management 

Each certificate program is designed to be completed in approximately 2 years, though there are no time constraints to completion. Individuals may take select courses without pursuing a certificate. All classes are held in the evening to accommodate working professionals.

Note for those registering online: Please call our office at 212.650.3850 to select classes you are taking per semester.   Please be aware that you are registering for the certificate and that you still need to call/come in to the office to choose the classes. If you wish to do a payment plan, please come to our office E1022 ( Mon-Thu 9am-5pm).

The Brookdale Center is the oldest and largest Gerontology Center in the New York metropolitan area, and has been training professionals since 1976. Program faculty are leaders and practitioners in the gerontological field who draw upon first hand clinical experience with older adults and their families.

Admission Educational Requirements

For Certificates in Aging and Aging & Mental Health:
A Bachelor’s degree or higher in any field of study. Students holding a Bachelor’s degree will be considered non-matriculated until they successfully complete our Introduction to Gerontology course. This course must also be completed before 15 units have been accumulated and is a prerequisite for courses designated as advanced.

For the Certificate in Geriatric Care Management:
A Bachelor’s degree in any field of study with four years of paid experience in human services; OR Master’s degree in any field of study with two years of paid experience in human services.

Unit Designation and Grades

Brookdale Center Certificate Program units are NOT college credits. Students should retain all course syllabi and transcripts if they plan to apply for credit at other schools.

Brookdale Center Certificate Programs have a pass/fail grading system. Faculty award “units” based on class participation, attendance and the completion of any faculty assignments. Transcripts are available upon request.

Non-Certificate Students

Students who do not intend to pursue a Certificate may enroll in classes on a space available basis.

Attendance Requirements:

  • One Class Course 100% Attendance
  • Two Class Course 100% Attendance
  • Three Class Course 2 out of 3 classes
  • Four Class Course 3 out to 4 classes
  • Five or more 80% Attendance

It is the student’s responsibility to approach faculty regarding a possible “make-up” for missed classes but it is the faculty’s decision whether or not a make up will be possible.

Certificate in Aging (30 units)

A payment plan is available; please contact (212) 650-3850.

A Certificate in Aging provides the opportunity for health practitioners and clinicians to engage in a wide spectrum of courses in order to broaden their knowledge and skills in the field of gerontology and become better able to provide services and support for the geriatric population. Target audience: health practitioners and clinicians holding a bachelor’s degree or higher who are interested in or working in the field of aging. To earn this Certificate, students must take:

Required courses (14 units):

  • #905 Introduction to Gerontology & Normative Aging (5 units)
  • #910A Social and Psychopathologies of Aging (5 units)
  • #500MH Clients With Mental Illness (4 units)

Electives (16 units):

  • The remaining 16 units are taken as electives from the entire range of course offerings.

Certificate in Aging & Mental Health (30 units)

A payment plan is available; please contact (212) 650-3850.

Prepares mental health practitioners and clinicians for specialized practice with older clients and their families. Course work examines the assessment and treatment of mental illnesses and conditions as they manifest themselves in an aging population. Students develop the knowledge and skills for working with older adults and their families using the most current mental health assessment protocols and mental health interventions. Target audience: human service professionals/clinicians with a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree. To earn this Certificate, students must take:

Required courses (14 units):

  • #905 Introduction to Gerontology & Normative Aging (5 units)
  • #910A Social and Psychopathologies of Aging (5 units)
  • #500 Clients With Mental Illness (4 units)

Other Electives (16 units):

  • The remaining 16 units may be taken from the full range of course offerings. A minimum of 6 elective units should be Mental Health (MH) labeled courses.

Certificate in Geriatric Care Management (46 units)

A payment plan is available; please contact (212) 650-3850

Geriatric Care Managers are highly qualified professionals trained to assess, plan, coordinate, and monitor services for older adults and their families. Graduates of this program are prepared for a career as a geriatric care manager in the private for-profit and public not-for-profit sectors of service delivery. The courses offered in this program provide students with a solid knowledge of gerontology and clinical care management skills, as well as practical information to enable individuals to set up and successfully run a geriatric care management practice. Interested individuals must first apply and be accepted into this particular program. Target audience: professionals with a Bachelor’s degree and 4 years of paid experience in human services OR professionals with a Master’s degree and 2 years of paid experience in human services. Interested individuals should email their resume to Raquel Romanick at To earn this Certificate, students must complete the following required courses:

Aging Foundation Courses (14 units):

  • #905 Introduction to Gerontology & Normative Aging (5 units)
  • #500 Clients With Mental Illness (4 units)
  • #910A Social and Psychopathologies of Aging (5 units)

Business Development Courses (8 units, taken in any order, GCM students only; non-GCM students may take courses with permission):

  • #BD1 The Fundamentals of Starting a GCM Business (2 units)
  • #BD2 Marketing Strategies and Practices (2 units)
  • #BD3 Complexities of Working with Other Professionals (2 units)
  • #BD4 Best Practices (2 units)

Aging Network (18 units, taken in any order):

  • #AN1 Home Care (3 units)
  • #AN2 Institutional Care (3 units)
  • #AN3 Working in Family Systems (3 units)
  • #AN4 End-of-Life Issues (3 units)
  • #AN5 Housing (3 units)
  • #AN6 Effective Communication Practices (3 units)

The remaining 6 units can be taken from any of our course offerings.

* Elective courses offered vary by semester. You may search the Course Browser or our Catalog to find the current elective offerings.

Fall 2013 Course Listing:

Institutional Care $270 (CAINSCA)
The care for an older adult, whether it occurs in an independent living, assisted living facility or a nursing home, brings with it an adjustment for both the senior and their family. This course will explore the transition from home to the senior residence. The student will gain an understanding of what to expect in each of these facilities, the different guidelines that influence their running and how to effectively advocate for the client in their respective residence. Presenters from various residences will help provide an intimate understanding of day to day operations. (3 units)

Instructor: TBA
Mon. 6:00-9:00pm; Starts 11/18 (3 sess.)
Location: 2180 Third Avenue

Settings Of Care And Transition $270 (CASECATR)
This course will review the basic elements of care management including assessment, planning, facilitation, advocacy, monitoring outcomes and adjusting plans. Students will engage in a discussion of the different types of care settings including hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, and community based care options including types of home care (2 units)

To be Rescheduled
Location: TBA

Spring 2014 Course Listing:

Working with an Aging Veteran Population (CAWOPV)
This course provides practicioners for specialized practice with older veteran clients and their families.  Course work will examine the assessment and treatment of the unique issues and conditions that manifest in aging veterans.  Students will develop the knowledge, skiills and referral sources for working with older veterans and their families (3 units).
Dates and Times: Mondays, June 2,9, and 16; 6:00 – 9:00pm
Location: 2180 Third Ave, 8th floor
Faculty: Jo Potestivo, RN
Price: $270

Social and Psychopathologies of Aging (CASOPSY)
This course provides a holistic examination of the dynamic interaction of psycho-social, cultural and biological factors that influence psychological wellness during aging.  Older adults are viewed within the context of families, communities and the broader society. Preventive, diagnostic and intervention strategies of selected health alterations are discussed relevant to the practice of a broad range of professionals working with older adults.  (5 units). This class is required for all students.  
Dates and Times: Tuesdays, February 18 and 25 and March 4, 11 and 18; 6:00 – 9:00 pm
Location:  TBD
Faculty: Randi Anderson
Price: $450

Working Effectively with Compulsive Hoarders (CAWECH)
Working Effectively with Compulsive Hoarders, examines  the various causes of a puzzling behavior which has serious safety and public health consequences for both the hoarder and his or her neighbors. Focus includes an examination of the different psychiatric conditions which are linked with hoarding, the clinical features of the syndrome, techniques that engage the client, and interventions which are most effective in gaining the client’s participation and cooperation. Compulsive hoarding creates difficult case management considerations; addressing the unsafe environment created by chaotic and often unsanitary living spaces while protecting the hoarder’s fragile sense of self from decompensation. We will explore ways in which we can better comprehend both the world and world view of the hoarder, bringing compassionate engagement throughout the process of de-cluttering (3 units)
Date: Mondays, March 10, 17 and 24; 6:00 – 9:00pm
Location: 2180 Third Avenue, 8th floor
Faculty: Patrice LaMariana
Price: $270

This course examines the role of informal supports in the lives of older adults. Students are introduced to the application of a systems approach to intergenerational practice including understanding the impact of aging and debility on the family, assessing family strengths and limitations, mediating differences and coordinating joint planning.  Content is presented through a combination of lecture, class discussion, case examples and experiential exercises. (3 units).
Dates and Times:Thursdays, April 3, 10 and 17, 6:00 – 9:00 
Location: TBD
Faculty: Cara Kenien
Price: $270

Serving Older Adults: Entrepreneurial and Innovative Models (CASEROLD)
Through this 15 hour (5 session) course, students will explore different innovate models and programs developed to promote healthy, independent aging.  Students will learn about how these models were developed, funded and implemented and will work to evaluate these programs’ strengths and weaknesses.  A discussion on the future of aging and aging service programs will be held.
Dates and Times:  Wednesdays, May 21 and 28 and June 4, 11 and 18; 6:00-9:00pm
Location:  TBD
Faculty: Lois Aronstein
Price: $450

Students can register via the course browser or by phone at (212) 650-3850.  All registration is to be done through Continuing Education at Hunter.  Brookdale cannot directly enroll students in courses.

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