Social Service Worker - Gerontology | St. Clair College
Program Code: B895
Status: Open
Apply Online:
Program Code: M995
Status: Open
Apply Online:
Two Year - Ontario College Diploma
Starts: September, January

Alexandra Frabotta
519-972-2727 ext. 4338

Program Overview

This program prepares students with the foundational knowledge and core skills required to work in the diverse and challenging field of eldercare. Theories relevant to the Social Service Worker profession, its ethics, values and practice standards, the aging process and the needs of seniors are emphasized. Program content includes essential Social Service Worker training in interpersonal communication, case management, interviewing, group work intervention, diversity, advocacy, social justice, and community practice. In addition, a number of specialized courses such as Activation and Restorative Care, Recreation, Leisure and Therapeutic Program Planning, Dementia Care, Adult Development, Death, Dying, Grief and Bereavement and Volunteer Management expand the knowledge and skill base of students beyond traditional social service worker roles.

Program Highlights

  • Students who successfully complete the Social Service Worker - Gerontology diploma and the block field placement are eligible for registration with the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers (OCSWSSW) and may then use the title of Registered Social Service Worker (RSSW).
  • Field placement experience, a 510-hour block field placement arranged with agencies providing services to older adults.
  • Faculty teaching in the program come with extensive experience in the social work and community sectors.
  • Future pathways to success – on completion, students may gain advanced standing towards a Bachelor of Social Work, a Bachelor in Gerontology, a Bachelor in Disabilities Studies, or an Honours Therapeutic Recreation Degree at specific universities.

Career Opportunities

As our population ages, new and emerging job opportunities in the field of gerontology are on the horizon. Graduates may work in a range of settings that provide services to seniors such as retirement and long-term care facilities, health and recreation programs, private home support services, adult day programs, dementia programs, elder abuse services, seniors’ centres, and entrepreneurial initiatives.

Admission Requirements

OSSD with the majority of courses at the College (C), University (U), University/College (M) or Open (O) level plus:

  • Grade 12 English - ENG4U, ENG4C, EAE4U or EAE4C

Mature students - See Admission Procedures for details.

Health Requirements

Students must submit proof of a satisfactory medical examination and up-to-date immunization records prior to beginning clinical/field placement in semester four. Lack of documented health records and immunizations may result in the restriction of clinical/field placement and therefore may delay and/or prevent completion of the program.

Flu shots are strongly recommended. Students without flu shots may be temporarily prohibited from participating in placement in residential and long term care settings should flu outbreaks occur.


The curriculum below is for incoming students:

Semester 1
Code Title Credits
College Writing
Introduction To Aging
Introduction To Social Work
Basic Psychology
Issues In Diversity
Interpersonal Communications
Semester 2
Code Title Credits
Activation & Restorative Care
Death, Dying, Grief & Bereavement
Interviewing For Human Services
Group Dynamics - Social Service
Interpersonal Violence In Canadian Society
Dementia: Family & Care Giving
Gerontology Field Work Seminar I
Semester 3
Code Title Credits
Choose 1 Elective Course
Choose 1 Elective Course
Case Management
Volunteer Program Managment
Community Practice
Recreation, Leisure & Therapeutic Program Planning
Gerontology Field Work Seminar II
Semester 4
Code Title Credits
Gerontology Field Work Seminar III
Gerontology Field Work

Placement Requirements

Please be aware that although a COVID-19 vaccination is not required to attend St. Clair College, some of our placement sites may require students to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 to be eligible to attend. Unfortunately, we cannot predict if a placement site will begin to require full vaccination and as such, we are encouraging all students to consider vaccination. If the requirement of your placement sites changes at any point, you will be notified immediately by the College.

It is important to note that if placement sites do require students to be fully vaccinated to attend their place of business, students who are not fully vaccinated cannot be provided with a placement for their program and therefore will not be able to complete their programs.

If you have any questions about the COVID-19 vaccines, please contact our St. Clair College Health Centre at 519-972-2727 ext. 4484 (in Windsor) or 519-354-9100 ext. 3729 (in Chatham).

Employers who provide our field placement settings require a clear POLICE RECORD CHECK for criminal offences with vulnerable sector screening before accepting a student into the field placement setting. The record check MUST be obtained by the student at the student's expense.

For Fall Intake and Winter Intake - Due in Semester 3 by November 15th

  • Medical Requirements Form
  • Police and Medical Requirements Letter (Letter for the School of Community Studies)
  • Police Clearances for the School of Community Studies (Some agencies will require Vulnerable Sector Check Police Clearance within 6 months of placement start-date)
  • Acknowledgement of Responsibility
  • Pre-Requite = SSW 308
  • Co-Requisite = SSW 406
  • Successful completion of all Social Service Worker courses and a minimum program grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 at the end of the semester immediately preceding placement are requirements to be eligible to move into the placement setting
  • Reliable transportation is required. Students may be placed anywhere in Windsor-Essex County and are responsible for their own transportation and all costs associated with such transportation
  • Placements will be completed at a variety of locations and may include day, afternoon, evening, weekend or split shifts
  • Students will be expected to wear professional clothing and conform to the professional requirements of their placement agency
  • Field Placement hours on-site may vary depending on the placement provider; however, students can expect to attend placement during regular business hours (i.e., 8am-4pm or 9am-5pm)

Your Investment

The standard tuition and compulsory fees for the current academic year:

2023-2024 Tuition Fees  

For programs with Experiential Learning (Work Placement/Internship): Costs for accommodation, if needed, travel and related expenses is at the student's own expense. It is recommended for most programs, that students have access to a laptop or desktop computer while away from home during experiential learning periods.

Textbooks and other materials are in addition to Tuition Fees. Textbook prices may be found through the Bookstore website.

Please be aware that tuition and compulsory fees are subject to adjustment each year. The College reserves the right to change, amend or alter fees as necessary without notice or prejudice.

Program Physical Demands Analysis

Program Vocational Learning Outcomes

Social Service Worker - Gerontology (Ontario College Diploma) (MTCU Code 50728)

The graduate has reliably demonstrated the ability to:

  1. Develop respectful and collaborative professional and interpersonal relationships that adhere to professional, legal, and ethical standards aligned to social service work.
  2. Record information accurately and communicate effectively in written, digital, verbal and non-verbal ways, in adherence to privacy and freedom of information legislation, in accordance with professional and workplace standards.
  3. Integrate a practice framework within a service delivery continuum, addressing the needs of older individuals, their families and communities at micro, mezzo, macro and global levels, and work with them in achieving their goals.
  4. Plan and implement accessible and responsive programs, services and activation activities that assist in maintaining or restoring function for older adults in all domains, recognizing the diverse needs of older individuals, their families and communities, and meeting these needs.
  5. Examine current social policy, relevant legislation, and political, social, historical, and/or economic systems and their impacts for older individuals and communities when delivering services to the user/client.
  6. Develop strategies and approaches that support older adult individual clients, their families, groups and communities in building the capacity for self-advocacy, while affirming their dignity and self-worth.
  7. Work from an anti-oppressive, strengths-based practice, recognizing the capacity for resilience and growth of older individuals, their families, groups and communities when responding to the diverse needs of these marginalized or vulnerable populations to act as allies and advocates.
  8. Develop strategies and approaches to implement and maintain holistic self-care as a member of a human service profession.
  9. Work with older individuals, their families, groups and communities to ensure that service provider strategies promote social and economic justice, and challenge patterns of oppression, discrimination and harassment, and sexual violence with clients, coworkers and communities.
  10. Develop the capacity to work with the Indigenous older individual, their families, groups and communities while respecting their inherent rights to self-determine, and to identify and address systemic barriers that produce ill-effects, developing appropriate responses using approaches such as trauma-informed care practice.