The School of Social Policy & Practice at the University of Pennsylvania, in collaboration with a consortium of community field agencies in Southeastern Pennsylvania, is offering a special opportunity to earn a Master of Social Work (MSW) with a certificate in gerontology. The program trains students for clinical and macro practice and leadership in social work services at one of the premiere Ivy League institutions in the United States. This program, known as the Penn Aging Certificate or “PAC”, is the only social work certificate of its kind in the tri-state area.

PAC is part of the Specialized Geriatric Social Work Initiative funded by the John A. Hartford Foundation. The program was developed as a critical response to the aging boom and the dearth of social workers specially trained to respond to older adults’ needs. PAC aims to:

  1. increase the number of MSW students electing to go into the field of gerontology.
  2. increase the number of competent social work practitioners and leaders in the field of gerontological-social work in the United States.

For more information about the John A. Hartford Foundation visit their website at http://www.jhartfound.org.

PAC Opportunities and Benefits

The PAC Program affords students the chance to focus their training in the burgeoning field of aging and long term care via specialized and enhanced field placements, multidisciplinary, multi-agency rotating field seminars, and specialized electives in aging policy and practice taught by gero-social work experts. The PAC provides a number of enhanced learning opportunities for MSW students, including:

  • A certificate designed to develop leaders in the “Aging” field;
  • A specialized curriculum in policy and practice;
  • Enhanced Field Internships with experienced gero-social work supervisors;
  • Internship choices in agencies ranging from wellness to end of life;
  • Special high impact projects to develop leadership skills;
  • Integrative rotating field seminars to connect the Internship and course work;
  • Assistance with career planning; and
  • Students can choose internships that focus on developing skills in working with individuals and families or with systems and organizations that serve older adults.

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