Social Work with Older Adults

Our Growing Population of Older Adults

In 2000 the United States Census reported that there were 35 million individuals 65 years and older. This is 12.4% of our population. By the year 2030, when the baby boomers (those born between 1946 and 1964) reach age 65, the older population will more than double to about 70 million. In the United States the population of those 85 years and older is projected to increase from 4.2 million in 2000 to 8.9 million in 2030. Individuals from cultural communities are projected to represent 25% of the older population in 2030, up from 16% in 2000.

California State University, Chico is located in a rural environment, serving 12 counties in an area the size of Ohio. The percentage of older adults in our area is 17% in comparison to 10% for the State of California.

Currently, in their practice roles, over 60% of social workers interact with older adults and their families. California reportedly will need 35% more social workers by 2010. Nationally, within the next five to ten years, 60,000 new social worker trained in gerontology are needed. With the changing demography, the opportunities are only expected to increase.

Gerontology Programs at Chico State

The programs addressing gerontology are rapidly changing at California State University, Chico.  The School of Social Work currently provides the opportunity to acquire a certificate in gerontology.

The School of Social Work currently administers one program that focuses on gerontology.  Hartford Partnership Program in Aging Education (HPPAE) EXCELLENCE IN SERVING OLDER ADULTS program for MSW graduate students.

Additionally, the School of Social Work offers students in the field of social work coursework that is now required for state licensure as a clinical social worker (LCSW). This course is Social Work (SWRK) 674: Policy, Programs,and Practice for Older Adults (also offered as SWRK 474 for undergraduates).

California State University, Chico is proud to be a member of the CSU Online Gerontology Consortium. This is a multi-campus statewide consortium. It was founded in 2001 as a means to develop and offer online gerontology courses to students admitted to one member institution who wish to study at other member institutions via Internet-based courses.

You will want to check The CSU, Chico School of Social Work website frequently. We will be providing updates on legislation, course offerings, employment opportunities, and other news applicable to gerontology.

Jean Schuldberg, EdD
Hartford Partnership Program in Aging Education (HPPAE) Coordinator
California State University, Chico
(530) 898-4187

Patty Hunter, Director of Field Education
Hartford Partnership Program in Aging Education (HPPAE) Coordinator
California State University, Chico
(530) 898-5875


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