Social Service Worker - Gerontology | St. Clair College

Contact the Registrar’s Office at

Program Code: B895
Status: Open
Apply Online:
Program Code: K384
Status: Open
Apply Online:
Program Code: M995
Status: Closed
Apply Online:
Two Year - Ontario College Diploma
Starts: September, January

K384 - Chatham Campus to be available for the Winter 2025 semester.

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.


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

Synergy Placement Notice to Students

Pre-Placement Requirements

St. Clair College has partnered with Synergy Gateway Inc to provide you access to Verified - a platform that is used by students at other post-secondary institutions across Ontario for the purpose of digitally collecting placement requirements related to placement(s). Synergy Gateway Inc will provide support and clearance to help with your required documentation. You will be required to complete an Electronic Requirements Verification (ERV) Review through the Verified platform in order to receive clearance to begin your clinical placement. You will be provided access to "Verified" via a secure username and password. You will use Verified to:

  • Upload your pre-placement requirements documentation for review.
  • Book your Electronic Requirements Verification (ERV) service (this is a service that reviews the documents you have uploaded and provides you a status as to your eligibility to begin placements).
  • Track your ongoing requirements compliance.

Each student will receive log-in credentials to access Verified that will be sent to your St. Clair College email account. Please check your inbox, spam and junk mail folders for an email from the "Synergy Help Desk". You will be required to create a new password upon logging in. Be sure to view the video user guides and student guidebook to learn how to use the Verified platform.

Any associated fees for Synergy Gateway Inc to complete the pre-placement requirements are the sole responsibility of the students.

It is mandatory that students complete their ERV service through Verified to be eligible for your upcoming clinical placement.

Once your account has been set up with Verified, inquiries can be directed to Synergy Gateway Inc at You will need to submit a Help Desk ticket. Their Help Desk hours are Monday to Friday: 10 am - 3 pm, excluding holidays.

** Please note: If you are an International student completing a placement, you will require a valid COOP Work Permit.


(Please refer to your Synergy communications for full details)

Additional Placement Requirements

  • 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 throughout Windsor-Essex County. As well, some placements could also be available in the Greater Toronto Area (or elsewhere throughout the province). Students 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., 8 am - 4 pm or 9 am - 5 pm)

COVID-19 Vaccination Placement Notice to Students

This is to make you aware that, although a COVID-19 vaccination is not required to attend St. Clair College, most of our placement sites require students to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 to be eligible to attend. 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. Please be advised that COVID-19 booster shots and/or other requirements may become mandatory for placement, however, they are not currently required.

  • Student placements are assigned at the discretion of the program.
  • Students may be required to obtain further clearances for placement at the discretion of the placement site.
  • Student personal requests for placement cannot be accommodated.
    • Placements may be outside the Windsor/Chatham area (& could possibly expand throughout the province)
  • Students are responsible for their own accommodation.
  • Students are responsible for their own travel and all costs of placements.
  • Students are responsible for the cost of scrub uniforms/footwear and equipment (such as a stethoscope, a watch with a second hand) and other incidentals as required.
  • Placement schedules may include shifts on days, afternoons, weekends and holidays throughout the program based on placement needs and agency availability.

Your Investment

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

2024-2025 Tuition Fees  

For programs with Experiential Learning (Work Placement/Internship): Costs for accommodation, if needed, travel and related expenses are 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 on 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.