Associate in Applied Science

Gerontology is the study of older adults and aging, in all its forms. YCCC’s Gerontology Associate degree prepares students for careers in elderly care or further trains those already employed in gerontology or related fields. You’ll examine the aging process and end-of-life issues. Program electives offer students the flexibility to focus on health, business, social services, policy, or other topics.

Quick Facts
  • Program tracks


  • Estimated degree completion time

    4 Semesters - 60 credit hours

Degree questions, answered.

Have questions about the Gerontology program? Fill out this form and we’ll get in touch with you.

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Gerontology courses provide an interdisciplinary approach to your study. Classes on anatomy and physiology provide a scientific perspective, while psychology and sociology classes assume a social approach. All instruction is done through the lens of human services.

View course descriptions

Learning outcomes

Students will be able to:

  • Apply psychological science and theories to understand how individuals adapt, change, and respond to the aging process.
  • Apply biological science and theories of aging to understand normal aging and disease processes associated with aging.
  • Identify the skills, practices, and adaptations of individuals who age optimally.
  • Describe a lifespan perspective of development and aging in social and historical contexts.
  • Identify and explain research methodologies used in the study of aging.
  • Relate social theories and science of aging to understand the diversity of older populations.
  • Apply ethical standards and professional practices in work with older persons.
  • Evaluate the use of appropriate forms of evidence-based interventions and technologies for older adults, their families and caregivers.
  • Use clear and effective communication with older adults, professional peers and the community.
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Graduates are prepared for careers working with senior populations in direct care positions, such as personal care aids, elderly companions, recreation planners and facilitators, wellness coaches, and volunteer organizers. Career opportunities include employment in nonprofit senior centers, retirement communities, nursing homes, physical therapy clinics, or home health care settings in entry-level administrative or service positions. Our program also allows graduates a pathway to transfer to a bachelor’s degree program in gerontology, sociology, psychology, health care, or recreational therapy, with an emphasis in gerontology.

Meet the Faculty

  • Cathleen Ferrick

    Cathleen Ferrick

    Chair - Behavioral Health Studies/Gerontology/Forensic Social Work/Criminal Justice

    Cathleen Ferrick is the chair of the Behavioral Health Studies, Gerontology, Forensic Social Work, and Criminal Justice programs. In addition to teaching, she also has many years of clinical experience in the human service field in a wide range of areas including child protection, adoption, crisis intervention, and court investigations. Cathleen has a BA in Psychology and an M.Ed. in Counseling Psychology as well as the Mental Health Rehabilitation Technician Community (MHRT/C) credential and a post-graduate certificate in Trauma Informed Expressive Art Therapies.

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