Programs And Courses


Below is information on the Gerontology programs at HACC. Programs include Credit Diploma (0231),  Certificate (3300) and Associate in Applied Science - Gettysburg, Harrisburg, Lancaster, Lebanon and York campuses. These programs can be completed entirely on-line.

What is gerontology?

Gerontology programs help students develop sensitivity and competence for the aging population.

Students can utilize these skills in multiple fields:

  • Allied health
  • Social services
  • Business
  • Marketing
  • Wellness
  • Administrative


What occupations use gerontology?

Many occupations use gerontology. These occupations include:

  • Nurse aide/nursing assistant
  • Home health aide
  • Practical nurse
  • Registered nurse
  • Social service worker
  • Administrator or manager


How much do gerontology careers pay?

Salaries vary based on level and type of employment.


What is the employment outlook?

The U.S. Census Bureau reports that 43% of adults will be 50 or older by 2010. Pennsylvania has the second largest percentage of individuals over 65 in the nation. The aging population will continue growing. The need for skilled Gerontology staff is high.

Facilities that serve the aging population employ Gerontology students. Students work at:

  • Hospitals
  • Home health agencies
  • Retirement communities
  • Government entities
  • Other businesses


What is the goal of HACC's Gerontology program?

HACC focuses gerontology courses on basic principles and gerontology issues. Course content includes:

  • Allied health
  • Social service
  • Mental health and dementia
  • Psychosocial aspects of aging
  • Wellness
  • 20 volunteer hours of service learning

The Gerontology program is a helpful addition to health career and social services majors. Many students make gerontology a second area of emphasis.


How do I enroll in the program?

HACC offers gerontology (GERT) courses online only. Gerontology classes are one-credit courses. HACC approves each course for 12 continuing education credits for Personal Care/Assisted Living administrators.

To enroll, you must complete:

  • Application to the college
  • College placement testing in reading and writing

Virtual Learning Admission Steps

Students can transfer credits from other colleges. Students must also complete a service learning component. The volunteer experience lasts for ten weeks, 2 hours per week.

GERT 100, 101, 102 and 103 meet 12 hours of continuing education credit for the following students:

  • Personal Care and Assisted Living Home Administrators
  • Direct Care Workers
  • RNs


What are the required courses for all the programs?

Download a list of  Required Courses with course descriptions (pdf)

A gerontology student majoring in the Associate of Applied Science degree also will be able to obtain the Diploma degree and the Certificate degree. All the courses of the 17-credit Diploma roll into the 30-credit Certificate, whose courses all roll into the GERT AAS. At each degree completion, the student should apply to graduate with that degree. An AAS student who does this will finish with three gerontology degrees from HACC.

What are the estimated expenses?

Download Estimated Expenses (pdf) for a list of additional expenses. This covers all 3 programs.


How can I advance my education?

Although this program is designed to lead you directly into the workforce, transfer opportunities are available should you choose to continue your education and pursue a bachelor’s degree in gerontology, social work or healthcare management.

You can apply courses from the Gerontology Diploma track to other HACC degrees and Our two-degree programs are designed to be flexible enough to transfer to a wide variety of colleges and universities with no loss of credit. However, each individual college has its own unique program. We encourage you to select a four-year school as soon as possible. This will allow you to learn the transfer college’s program requirements so you can take the proper classes at HACC.

In addition, as you work toward completion of this associate degree, you may also obtain degrees in both the certificate and the diploma programs. At each degree completion point, you should apply to graduate from that degree.

HACC's Gerontology program has entered into an agreement with St. Francis University to enable students to articulate our AAS in Gerontology to their online Bachelor of Science in Behavioral Science. Please see this flyer.

Where can I get more information?


Who can I contact for more information?

Contact the Gerontology Co-Coordinators: 

Kathy L. Sicher, MHA, 717-780-2300 x710992

Annamarie Fazzolari, MHA, 717-780-2300 x 710663