Certificate Programs > Levande Program in Gerontology

Levande Program in Gerontology

The Levande Certificate Program in Gerontology is aimed at providing the best educational experience for future gerontological social work practitioners and leaders. The certificate program includes methods used to identify individual, family, and community strengths, and stresses effective use of community-based programs and alternative services. Students learn how to deliver services in respectful and culturally appropriate ways that benefit older adults and their families. This program is available to both Clinical and OCL students.


Demographic trends predict a steady increase in the number of older adults in the U.S., making this the fastest growing field of employment for social workers. It is essential that more social work professionals be trained to be on the forefront of improving community-based services for older adults and their families. In 2009, the School of Social Work successfully completed a three-year John A. Hartford Foundation Practicum Partnership Program grant focused on gerontology. The success of this program led Social Work Professor Emerita Diane Levande, a pioneer of gerontological social work at MSU, to make a generous endowment of the current program.

The deadline for this year's application is Dec 1st. Each selected participant in the program will receive $1,000 stipend.

Program Components

The Levande Certificate Program in Gerontology requires satisfactory completion of the following:

  • SW 822 (3 cr, spring) Topics in Policy Practice and Advocacy: Aging
  • Four elective credits related to gerontology, such as one or more of the following courses:
  • Attend two aging-related events, one related to diversity, and submit a confirmation form for each event
  • Specialized field placement related to gerontology, in either the generalist or advanced year (students may rotate between two geriatric field placements; potential placements include nursing facilities, home health care, medical centers, state or local government programs, and community-based agencies)
First slide of powerpoint describing Levande certificate
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Contact Person

Fei Sun, PhD

MSW Certificate Application