Social Work with Older Adults

The programs addressing gerontology are rapidly changing at California State University, Chico.  We currently provide the opportunity to acquire a certificate, major, or minor in gerontology.  Our current goal for 2004 is to increase the visibility of gerontology as an option for students in social work, psychology, recreation, nursing, speech pathology, and other human service fields.  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).

You will want to check this site frequently as we will be providing updates on legislation, course offerings, employment opportunities, and other news applicable to gerontology.

The School of Social Work

California State University, Chico (CSUC), School of Social Work, is a combined program.  Our baccalaureate program began in 1956 and from 1960-1974, held "constituent membership" and "approved status" with the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE).  The Program has been fully accredited since 1974 when the Council changed the terminology to "accreditation."  Our graduate program is in the CSWE candidacy; we graduated our first cohort in the spring of 2003.

An intergenerational and life span perspective guides our evaluation of curricular changes in regard to material on older adults.  This perspective fits well with the School of Social Work and University's missions, theoretical orientation, and themes.  The School's mission is to educate generalist (BSW) and advanced generalist (MSW) social workers.  The theoretical orientation is systems theory with a strengths-based perspective.  Our themes include multiculturalism, collaboration, and social justice and equity.  Our University mission includes a focus on collaboration with the community.  As a School, we strive to include the community in our coursework as guest speakers, field supervisors, adjunct faculty, and curriculum resource specialists.

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 percent 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 percent of the older population in 2030, up from 16 percent in 2000.

California State University, Chico, is located in a rural environment, serving 12 counties in an area the size of Ohio.  The percent 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.  With the changing demography, the opportunities are only expected to increase.

eClips - A Weekly e-mail compendium of links to key articles for businesses and professionals facing the challenges and opportunities of an aging population in the marketplace and the workforce.

The whiskering of UPN and the WB - Media Life, 07/13/04

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