Caring For The Aging Population Micro-Certificate

Program Benefits
  • Learn unique, discipline-specific skills and resources needed to care for adults as they age
  • Earn a valuable credential backed by the prestige of the University of Utah that will increase your chances of success in the competitive job market
  • Gain the skills needed to pursue positions in one of today's most rapidly growing job sectors
  • Can be completed in as little as two semesters

This certificate provides you with an opportunity to deepen your knowledge of the role of the caregiver and sharpen your skills as a care provider.

Whether you work in a clinical setting, long-term care services, hospice or care for a family member at home, these courses will heighten your awareness of patient needs and desires. You will gain understanding of the importance of interdisciplinary practice in providing care for adults as they age and near end of life and learn about available resources and supports for this population.

This certificate is offered in collaboration with the Gerontology Interdisciplinary Program in the College of Nursing. These collaborative non-credit certificates utilize existing for-credit classes and as such, have unique application requirements which are described in the information below.



Demand in the job market for aging care specialists

New opportunities are emerging daily in the development and delivery of aging products and services. Individuals who understand older adults' needs, strengths, and limitations, as well as their cognitive, physical, and social functioning, will be well-positioned for today's competitive marketplace.

Demand for healthcare workers will remain particularly strong due to the mounting healthcare needs of the burgeoning elderly population. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), "the health care and social assistance industry is expected to be the most rapidly growing sector in terms of employment" through 2020. It is projected that employment will increase by 34.5 percent in healthcare support occupations and 25.9 percent in healthcare practitioner and technical occupations through 2020. There is a growing demand for workers in long-term care in particular as more of the elderly require nursing home care, residential care, adult day care, and home care.

Why get your End of Life Care Micro-Certificate at the University of Utah

Benefit from the University of Utah reputation for credibility and quality. Choosing the University of Utah for your certificate program makes a clear statement about your commitment to excellence.

  • Learn from the same high-quality faculty that teach in our degree programs.
  • Develop a valuable University of Utah peer and faculty network.
  • Convenient online classes offer a schedule that works around you. Go to class whenever and wherever you want.
  • Affordable pay-as-you-go option – pay for classes in the semester you take them. Payment for the full certificate up front is not required.

Program Details

The non-credit Caring for the Aging Population Micro-Certificate will utilize two existing courses currently offered in the College of Nursing.

Required non-credit courses:
PEPEC 322: Caregiving and Aging Families
PEPEC 539: Geriatric Care Management Clinical Issues

Class format: both classes are offered in an online format.

Class duration: classes are held over a traditional 15 week semester.

Enrollment options: both courses are currently offered each spring.

Course sequencing: there are no restrictions on course sequencing. Students may take the courses in any order.

Average Time to Complete: the certificate can be completed in as little as 2 semesters. Students must complete the program within 2 years. There is no minimum or maximum number of credits a student must or can take per semester.

Prerequisites: there are no prerequisites for this micro-certificate.

Who Should Attend
This certificate is designed for individuals with a wide variety of backgrounds, experiences and goals. Experience in healthcare or caring for the aging is not required for admission into this micro-certificate program. Professionals from a variety of careers will find this helpful to provide more value to their current job or seek opportunities to advance. Following are some of the more typical professional areas that would seek and benefit from this program:

Registered nurses
Nurse practitioners
Licensed vocational or practical nurses
Nursing assistants
Social workers
Occupational therapists
Recreation therapists
Physical therapists
Respiratory therapists
Personal care assistants
Physical fitness professionals
Adult children of aging parents


The End of Life Care Micro-certificate requires two courses that are offered over a time frame comparable to a traditional semester schedule, with fixed start and end dates. These non-credit courses meet with for-credit sections.

PEPEC 539: Geriatric Care Management Clinical Issues

Geriatric Care Management Clinical Issues provides an introduction and overview of the geriatric care management role in the context of interdisciplinary care. Building on the content in the prerequisite courses, Geriatric Care Management Clinical Issues presents the domains of care management: professionalism, comprehensive assessment, cooperation, coordination, and interdisciplinary collaboration, managing care for the end-of-life, comprehensive assessment of the client, family and support systems, and establishing, implementing monitoring, evaluating and documenting the plan of care. The content is explored from several perspectives, including the student's own discipline, the discipline of other students in the course, and in the context of family and culture. The course is prepares professionals for the responsibility of managing the care of older adults. Care management is defined as a collaborative, client-centered service that links clients (defined as the individual client and family/support system) with health care and psychosocial services to insure timely, coordinated access to medically appropriate levels of health and support services. It also insures continuity of care.

Key activities include:

  • comprehensive assessment of client needs and personal support systems;
  • development of creative, comprehensive, and individualized service plans;
  • coordination of services required to implement the client monitoring to assess the efficacy, quality, and cost effectiveness of the plan; and
  • Periodic re-evaluation and adaptation of plan as necessary

Case management also includes advocacy, risk assessment, eligibility assistance, coordination and referral, follow-up and tracking, and documentation. Topics and domains in this course include: Principles and Processes Underlying Care Management, Building Collaboration: Clients and Peers, Assessment and Disease Management, Health and Wellness with Disease and Chronic Conditions, Client Shared Planning and Outcomes Evaluation.

PEPEC 392: Caregiving and Aging Families

The course addresses issues facing caregivers, including the impact caregiving has on the way caregivers are viewed by professionals and peers and how the caregiving role impacts other areas of their lives. Research findings, written materials depicting caregiving experiences, off-site visits and texts based on professional experiences with caregiving are used to provide practical information about dealing with caregiving issues and aging family members. Students, caregivers, professionals, family members, and friends are equipped with information to provide quality care for elderly people while taking care of their own needs for rest and support.

Course Objectives:

  1. Understand the changing demographics and lifestyles that make taking care of older family members an experience that most of us have or will have in our future.
  2. Describe the physiological, psychological, and social changes of aging that are common to all older adults as well as common health problems and conditions experienced by the elderly that impact longevity, quality of life, and the kind and amount of care needed and the impact on caregivers.
  3. Recognize the process of caregiving: who and what it entails.
  4. Identify ways in which family caregivers can take care of themselves and remain healthy.
  5. Distinguish services provided for caregivers and the older family members by the formal support network, and community-based programs and projects.
  6. Mentor with a caregiver and perform a caregiver assessment to determine the needed resources and services, and how to access those resources; develop a written plan to present to the caregiver based on the information from mentoring and assessment process.


Non-credit tuition for the full micro-certificate is $1750.

Tuition for individual classes is as follows:
PEPEC 322: Caregiving and Aging Families $875
PEPEC 539: Geriatric Care Management Clinical Issues $875

Group pricing – for organizations interested in providing this option to 3 or more people, special pricing is available. Please call us at 801 587 8822.

Group payment options – payment options are available for organizations or individuals needing to arrange installment plans or 2018 budget cycle payment terms.

Looking for CEU's? – we are currently applying for CEU recognition for several national organizations. E-mail us to find out if we have CEU approval for your needs.

Tuition is due at the beginning of each course, offering a convenient pay-as-you-go option. Textbooks are additional costs. Tuition listed above is for the 2016-2017 academic year and subject to change without advance notice.

Online courses may have an additional $60 per class fee.

Financial aid is not available for this non-credit certificate.

How to Apply

A bachelor's or AA degree in any academic background is required for all applicants.

The following information is required on the application:

  • Personal information such as your name, address, phone and email address
  • Academic history – degree, degree institution, year
  • University of Utah student history (if any)
  • Your response to two short questions:
    1. Why are you interested in pursuing the Caring for the Aging Population Micro-Certificate at this time in your life?
    2. What are your professional or personal goals once you have completed the certificate?

Please have all information available when you are ready to start the application. Once the application is started, there is no option to save and return. Uploading of documents for short-answer responses is not available. Please be prepared to enter directly or paste from another document.

There is no fee to apply.

This non-credit certificate program is not open to University of Utah matriculated (degree-seeking) students.

Applicants can expect to receive information about their application within 3 days of submission.


Deadlines and Important Dates

Applications are accepted on an ongoing basis. For planning purposes, applicants are encouraged to submit their application at least one month prior to the intended start date.
Find information about the University of Utah academic calendar here:

Certificate Completion

A certificate is awarded upon satisfactory completion of two required courses. After completing all requirements, students may request to receive their official certificate by completing the Request for Certificate form. All requirements must be completed within two years after the student starts his/her first course.

For students earning a "satisfactory" grade, the completed certificate will appear on official University of Utah transcripts.

Digital Badges

example of digital badge for this certificateUpon completion, students will receive a digital badge that can be added to their social media accounts like Facebook and LinkedIn, and shared with their professional networks.

Follow the link on the badge to the left to find out what metadata is behind the University of Utah certificate badge.

Find out more about Digital Badges at the University of Utah »

Frequently Asked Questions

Are there exams? Am I graded?

Certificate classes are graded with a "satisfactory" or "unsatisfactory" option. For successful certificate completion, students must achieve a "satisfactory" grade in all classes.

Can I apply these classes to a degree at the University of Utah?

This certificate is non-credit and cannot be applied to any for-credit degree.

What is the average weekly time commitment for each of the classes?

This non-credit class is "yoked" or partnered with a for-credit section. The for-credit section is three credits. For a typical three credit hour class, each student is expect to spend approximately six hours per week outside the classroom.

What are the online courses like?

The online courses in this certificate are flexible in that you don't have to attend online classes at a specific time. Our students use a combination of self-study and peer-to-peer interaction over an online learning network to facilitate instruction. You'll complete weekly assignments, readings, discussions, and occasional group work, as well as exams and other activities designed to enhance learning outcomes, all at times that are most convenient to you.

Using chat, video conferencing, phone calls, email, social media, bulletin boards, and more, you'll stay connected with fellow students and faculty, building personal networks along the way.

Your courses are developed by faculty and instructional designers who understand the specific needs of learners in an online environment. Special consideration is given to advance planning and setting expectations in the online classroom, so each curriculum is outlined in a syllabus distributed at the start of the course. This document provides an overview of the course assignments, grading strategy, student and faculty expectations, and course materials, as well as an understanding of the course goals and learning outcomes.

Does it matter which course I take first or in what order I take the classes?

There are no restrictions on course sequencing. Students may take the courses in any order.

Is there a minimum or maximum number of credits a student may take in a semester?

There are no minimums or maximum number of credits restrictions for students. Students skipping one or more semesters are encouraged to communicate with their program advisor regarding completion plans.

Will I have flexibility in what classes I take and when?

Once admitted, students are responsible for enrolling in individual classes on their own through Continuing Education Academic Noncredit. There is no specific order in which the courses must be taken and students may consult with the Gerontology program advisor if they have questions about specific courses.

Are these classes eligible for federal financial aid?

Students pursuing a certificate are considered "non-degree seeking," a status that is not eligible for federal student aid loan programs.

How often are classes offered?

The full University of Utah class schedule can be found here:

Certificate classes meet with for-credit sections. Classes are not offered every semester so to ensure an efficient program-of-study, careful pre-planning with your advisor is recommended.

Contact Us

Professional Education / University of Utah
Phone: 801-585-1780

Gerontology Interdisciplinary Program
Jackie Eaton, PhD
Assistant Professor
Director, Gerontology Interdisciplinary Program
University of Utah College of Nursing
Office phone: 801-587-9638

Arminka Zeljkovic
Graduate Student Advisor
University of Utah College of Nursing
Phone: 801-581-8198

For more information about our Veterans/Military Program, contact Bill Bialcak at 801-589-4179.