Gerontology Associate Degree

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Program Code: 105441

Graduates of the Gerontology program have the knowledge and skills needed to provide seamless quality service to older adults and their families. Gerontology career pathways include a wide variety of service and leadership opportunities related to business and finances; housing options; entertainment and travel; health and wellness; case coordination; public policy and advocacy; and consumer service.


Employment Potential

Direct Service Provider: Works "one-on-one" with older adults and their families to provide services, assess needs, educate, and facilitate coordination of resources and delivery of services.

Program Planner and Evaluator: Surveys the community to gauge the interests and needs of older adults, designing and implementing programs to meet these needs, and evaluating the programs' effectiveness.

Manager/Coordinator/Administrator: Supervises and directs the daily operation of facilities, agencies, or programs that serve the aging population.

Marketing and Product Development Professional: Targets unmet product and service needs of older adults and their care partners. Develops and implements solutions to enhance productivity, independence, and safety. Educates and refers older adults to creative technologies that may allow them to "age in place."

Advocate: Fosters policies and programs to benefit the older adult population based on knowledge of unmet needs and the ability to communicate in public and private forums.

Educator/Trainer: Develops and delivers educational programming responsive to the needs of the community, older adults and those who serve them, including informal caregivers.

Life Enrichment Provider: Works in small groups or "one-on-one" with older adults to engage and promote fulfillment of life.

Environmental Designer: Designs safe living environments for the elderly population.

Financial Management/Legal Support Service Provider/Guardian: Serves as primary contact person for management of financial and legal issues for aging clients and their families.


Requirements for Program Entry

• Completed application.
• High school transcript or equivalent. (For a list of equivalents, go to
• To be admitted to this program, learners must achieve a prior cumulative high school or college grade point average of 2.6 or higher OR a satisfactory academic skills assessment score. College grade point average must be based on 15 credits or more. To learn more about starting this program, please contact an academic advisor at (920) 498-5444 or (888) 385-6982.
• Attend or view online program pre-registration information session.

Program Availability

FULL TIME Spring 2021 Summer 2021 Fall 2021
Green Bay
Sturgeon Bay
Students following the study plan below will complete the Gerontology associate degree program in the number of semesters shown.
10-890-101 COLLEGE 101 ...Students will utilize digital tools and resources to assess, explore, practice, apply, and evaluate both employability and learning skills. By establishing NWTC cultural values as hallmarks of success in academic, career, and personal settings the course encourages reflective, personalized development of a growth mindset and emphasizes the importance of making wise choices. To maximize the return on investment, students should take this course in their first semester as it identifies key expectations (hidden rules) of higher learning and professional employment.
10-801-136 ENGLISH COMPOSITION 1 ...learners develop knowledge/skills in planning, organizing, writing, editing. Students will also analyze audience/purpose, use elements of research, format documents using standard guidelines, and develop critical reading skills. (Prerequisite: High school GPA greater/equal to 2.6; OR ACT Reading score greater/equal to 16 AND English greater/equal to 18; OR Next Gen Reading score greater/equal to 250 AND Writing score greater/equal to 260; OR "preparatory course(s)", contact academic advisor at 920-498-5444)
10-103-121 MICRO: WORD-INTRODUCTION ...word processing basics including creating, revising, formatting, printing; sections, tabs, multiple-page numbering; manipulating text; creating headers/footers; creating/formatting tables, graphics; and merging documents.
10-809-198 INTRODUCTION TO PSYCHOLOGY ...survey of theoretical foundations of human behavior such as sensation and perception, motivation, emotions, learning, personality, psychological disorders, therapy, stress, and human diversity in personal, social and vocational settings. (Prerequisite: Cumulative GPA of 2.6 or greater OR satisfactory reading and writing assessment scores OR 10-831-107, College Reading and Writing 1 with "B" or better OR Corequisite: 10-831-102, English Comp Prep)
10-544-201 GERO: INTRO TO GERONTOLOGY ...provides an opportunity for the student to develop greater awareness and appreciation for aging. Topics addressed include demographic, biological, psychological, and social aspects of the aging process as well as careers within the field of aging.
10-544-202 GERO: PHYSICAL ASPECTS OF AGING of normal and pathological changes occurring in the aging human body with special emphasis on age-related chronic diseases. Topics addressed include: analysis of biological theories of aging, cultural and ethnic influence on aging pathologies, and other factors impacting the aging process. (Prerequisites: 10-544-201, Intro to Gerontology; Corequisite: 10-801-136, English Comp 1)
10-806-189 BASIC ANATOMY ...examines concepts of anatomy and physiology as they relate to health careers. Learners correlate anatomical and physiological terminology to all body systems. (Prerequisite: Next Gen Rdg score greater/equal to 250; OR ACT Reading score greater/equal to 15; OR preparatory courses-contact an academic advisor at 920-498-5444)
10-544-203 GERO: HEALTHY AGING ...overview of practices to promote healthy aging. This course will address nutrition, physical activity and prevention practices as well as an overview of medications commonly prescribed for the older adult. Emphasis will focus around the "well" elderly population and practices identified to address current aging trends.
10-801-196 ORAL/INTERPERSONAL COMMUNICATION ...the communication process, perception and self-concept, language, listening, nonverbal communication, interpersonal relationships, communication in groups and public communication; prepare and deliver an oral presentation. (Prerequisite: Next Gen Rdg score greater/equal to 250 AND Writing score greater/equal to 237; OR ACT Rdg score greater/equal to 16 AND English score greater/equal to 16; OR preparatory course-contact an academic advisor at 920-498-5444)
10-809-188 DEVELOPMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY ...defines human development; examines theories; heredity and environmental effects; prenatal development and birth; evaluates biosocial, cognitive psychosocial development through the life span; aging, death, and dying. (Prerequisite: Next Gen Rdg score greater/equal to 250 AND Writing score greater/equal to 237; OR ACT Rdg score greater/equal to 16 AND English greater/equal to 15; OR 10-831-107, College Reading and Writing with a B or better)
10-544-204 GERO: SOCIAL GERONTOLOGY ...view of aging in respect to social roles and processes. Topics include history of aging, demographics, family relationships, social supports, economics, retirement, widowhood, poverty and politics of aging. (Prerequisite: 10-544-201, Intro to Gerontology; 10-801-136 English Comp 1)
10-809-172 INTRO TO DIVERSITY STUDIES...basic American values of justice and equality by teaching vocabulary, history of immigration/conquest, transcultural communication, legal liability, multicultural majority/minority relations, ageism, sexism, gender, sexual orientation, the disabled/ADA. (Prerequisite: Next Gen Rdg score greater/equal to 250 AND Writing score greater/equal to 237; OR ACT Rdg score greater/equal to 16 AND English greater/equal to 15; OR 10-831-107, College Reading and Writing with a B or better)
10-544-205 GERO: ALZHEIMER'S AND DEMENTIA DISEASE of Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia. Students will differentiate between stages of dementia and Alzheimer's disease. By analyzing normal brain processes and how these diseases affect brain function, students gain insight on best practices in responding to the needs of this population and their caregivers and loved ones.
10-104-191 CUSTOMER SERVICE ...examine customer service culture, develop communication and listening skills, explore diversity in the workplace, develop skills for handling challenging customers, and explore the impact of technology on customer service and engagement.
10-101-106 ACCOUNTING-FOR NON-ACCOUNTANTS ...teaching non-accountants to read, analyze, and interpret financial information for making informed business decisions. This class de-emphasizes the use of debits, credits, journal entries and other accounting procedures.
10-544-206 GERO: DEATH AND DYING of losses across the lifespan associated with death and dying. Societal and personal views of death, dying, and bereavement and recommendations for healthy transitions in coping with loss will be explored.
10-543-210 GERO: GENERATIONS AND DIVERSITY IN AGING ...generational study and how experience and history affect the value and societal expectations of each generation. Also covered will be diversity trends among the older adults including but not limited to race, ethnicity, culture, sexual orientation and physical, cognitive and developmental disabilities. Focus on accommodations and accessibility for elderly. (Prerequisite: 10-544-204, Social Gerontology)
10-544-207 GERO: LEGAL & ETHICAL ISSUES OF AGING ...covers concepts and structures involved in the legal and ethical realm of gerontology including Power of Attorney for health care/finance, guardianships, trusts, reallocation of assets, spending down, Medicare/Medicaid benefits, supplemental insurance, Social Security, elder abuse/neglect, financial exploitation, reporting abuse/neglect and relevant governmental policy. Learners will be able to apply knowledge by learning advocacy techniques to benefit senior populations on a community, local, and federal level. (Prerequisite: 10-544-204, Social Gerontology)
10-544-209 GERO: PROGRAMS AND SERVICES IN AGING overview of social policy as it relates to aging and available federal funding for the senior consumer. Students will learn the resources available in the community, eligibility criteria, and how to access and coordinate services for seniors. Supplementing social networking and enhancing mental health functioning for the aging population will also be discussed. Students will explore different career fields within gerontology. (Prerequisites: 10-544-207, GERO: Legal and Ethical Issues of Aging; 10-544-210, GERO: Generations & Diversity Aging)
10-104-110 MARKETING PRINCIPLES management, market segmentation, market research, consumer behavior, product decisions and management of distribution, pricing, promotional decisions for strategy planning.
10-196-191 SUPERVISION ...front-line leadership including setting goals, planning, delegation, controlling, communication, motivation, problem solving, and conflict management.
10-544-208 GERO: DEVELOPING THE GERONTOLOGY PROFESSIONAL ...exploration of effective communication styles and interview techniques for developing rapport and relationships with aging populations. Other topics include ethics and boundaries, self-determination, case plan development and implementation, documentation skills, research and grant funding, and compassion fatigue. (Prerequisites: 10-544-207, GERO: Legal & Ethical Issues Aging; 10-544-210, GERO: Generations and Diversity in Aging)
10-544-212 GERO: GERONTOLOGY INTERNSHIP...students integrate concepts from all previous courses through supervised training in an appropriate setting and actual work experience and observation. Learners will further develop their critical thinking skills through communications and counseling experience, client assessment and case plan development and implementation. Learners will also share experiences and provide feedback online throughout the course. (Prerequisites: 10-544-207, Legal and Ethical Issues of Aging; 10-544-210, Gero:Generations and Diversity in Aging; Corequisites: 10-544-208, Gero: Developing the Gerontology Professional; 10-544-209, Gero: Programs and Services in Aging.)
Curriculum Note
. No final grade lower than a "C" is acceptable in any of the (10-544-xxx) courses. A student who withdraws or receives a grade lower than a "C" in a program course may apply for re-entry into the program.
. The credit for 10-890-101, College 101 is an Institutional Requirement for graduation. Consequently, it is not part of the program credit requirements, a grade of C is required.

Program Outcomes

• Provide recommendations for successful aging and optimal quality of life.
• Evaluate physical, social, psychological and spiritual aspects of aging.
• Identify and refer older adults to needed services.
• Exhibit behaviors and conduct that reflect safe, legal, and ethical gerontological practices.
• Evaluate and advocate in the area of aging public policy.
• Exhibit professional communication.
• Develop ethical and cultural awareness related to aging.
• Plan, develop, implement and deliver appropriate activities to meet physical, social, psychological needs of the aging population.
• Create a personal professional development plan.
• Incorporate evidence-based gerontology practices into delivery of services.
• Implement activities to meet the needs of the aging population.


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Flexible Learning Option

The entire Gerontology program is offered online WITH THE EXCEPTION of the internship in 4th semester.
The program may be completed in a part-time or full-time format.


• Students will be required to provide their own transportation to internship sites, and cover any other expenses related to internship experiences. Students may be expected to travel distances to internships.
• Dependent on the site, students may be required to submit immunization documentation. A fee is charged for this service. Additional information will be provided upon acceptance into the program. Dependent on site, students may be required to complete a background check. A fee is charged for this service. Additional information will be provided upon acceptance into the program.
• Students will be required to show proof of an annual flu vaccine.
Students may be required to complete drug testing by clinical agencies.
The International Programs staff continually seeks opportunities for students to travel abroad for educational experiences that may be offered in association with program courses. To find out more about which of your program courses may offer an opportunity during this academic year, contact your academic advisor or visit

Wisconsin Caregiver Law

NWTC is required to comply with the Wisconsin Caregiver Law (1997 WISCONSIN ACT 27). The completion of a caregiver background check includes the review of criminal records for convictions of serious crimes or a history of improper behavior. Students accepted into this program must complete a background check through AND complete a Background Information Disclosure (BID) form disclosing any acts, crimes, or convictions prior to program entry. The information provided in the BID form must be truthful and match any findings on the criminal record check. Information regarding this process is provided to students immediately upon acceptance into the program. Students with a criminal history may be denied access to placement at the discretion of the clinical or practicum site. Consequently, should a student have a history of convictions of serious crimes or a history of improper behaviors, NWTC cannot guarantee clinical/practicum placement or guarantee graduation within typical program timing.