GWL357 - Gerontology Field Work

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Last revision date Sep 24, 2020 9:21:04 AM
Last review date Sep 24, 2020 9:21:04 AM

Subject Title
Gerontology Field Work

Subject Description

This course description and program has been adapted to the COVID-19 remote-learning policies until such time as it is safe for students to return to placement sites.
Students are required to successfully complete a reduced 160 assigned hours in a faculty approved geriatric fieldwork agency or organization. No more than 40 hours can be supplemented by the faculty-approved online learning opportunities.  All students must be affiliated with an agency even if the fieldwork is remote in nature. The student?s learning is guided by their learning contract and is supported and evaluated throughout the placement by a team composed of the student, a designated staff person of the field agency, and the assigned Seneca Field Liaison. This learning contract guides the student?s professional growth in the field by applying their academic course knowledge to the practical skills learned in the field. The student also attends a weekly debriefing seminar with their peers to identify any issues, learning opportunities and practice self-reflection in a supportive environment. Students must attend both field placement and seminar sessions to pass both courses as they are co-requisites for each other. Students are expected to apply their communication and interviewing skills, practice cultural humility, think critically about oppression and power differences as it applies to the geriatric population. Of critical concern is the understanding and application of universal precautions when working in high risk (disease or harm) environments, evaluating for levels of risk, and identifying abuse and neglect when witnessed or suspected. Students are required to report any suspicion of elder abuse or neglect to their liaison and seminar instructor within 24 hours. Students are also expected to maintain the confidentiality of their client and agency. 

Credit Status
One credit

Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this subject the student will be able to:

  1. Apply an advanced understanding between the normal physical and psycho-social challenges that elderly people face and those that require interventions; with a focus on mental health and wellness.
  2. Recognise and practice appropriate levels of organizational and professional behaviors.
  3. Utilise appropriate community and agency resources for older adults effectively.
  4. Construct a learning contract addressing missed competencies from GWL257 and new learning objectives which include mental health and wellness goals.
  5. Work in either an intra-disciplinary or inter-disciplinary team environment in an effective and harmonious way. 
  6. Utilise agency supervision in a productive and constructive manner through feedback, progressive agency evaluations, feedback in small-group seminars, and reflective professional journaling.
  7. Perform at a progressively professional level of oral and written skills, in reflective journaling, documentation in the field, conducting assessments (if possible by remote), and or conducting presentations to the agency or community, or working on one of SSWGs current research projects.
  8. Demonstrate behaviours reflective of the Ontario Social Service Work Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics, through progressive evaluations in the field, time management skills recorded on time sheets, reflective journaling skills, and interpersonal communication in small-group seminar and in the field.
  9. Demonstrate growth over the course of the semester in professional skills, critical thinking, taking initiative, leadership, and knowledge at the field agency.
  10. Conduct affective and cognitive assessments and evaluate for wellness and quality of life with older adults to create effective activities and develop individualized care plans in the field (where possible).

Essential Employability Skills
Communicate clearly, concisely and correctly in the written, spoken and visual form that fulfils the purpose and meets the needs of the audience.

Respond to written, spoken, or visual messages in a manner that ensures effective communication.

Execute mathematical operations accurately.

Apply a systematic approach to solve problems.

Use a variety of thinking skills to anticipate and solve problems.

Locate, select, organize, and document information using appropriate technology and information systems.

Analyze, evaluate, and apply relevant information from a variety of sources.

Show respect for diverse opinions, values, belief systems, and contributions of others.

Interact with others in groups or teams in ways that contribute to effective working relationships and the achievement of goals.

Manage the use of time and other resources to complete projects.

Take responsibility for one's own actions, decisions, and consequences.

Academic Integrity
Seneca upholds a learning community that values academic integrity, honesty, fairness, trust, respect, responsibility and courage. These values enhance Seneca's commitment to deliver high-quality education and teaching excellence, while supporting a positive learning environment. Ensure that you are aware of Seneca's Academic Integrity Policy which can be found at: Review section 2 of the policy for details regarding approaches to supporting integrity. Section 2.3 and Appendix B of the policy describe various sanctions that can be applied, if there is suspected academic misconduct (e.g., contract cheating, cheating, falsification, impersonation or plagiarism).

Please visit the Academic Integrity website to understand and learn more about how to prepare and submit work so that it supports academic integrity, and to avoid academic misconduct.

All students and employees have the right to study and work in an environment that is free from discrimination and/or harassment. Language or activities that defeat this objective violate the College Policy on Discrimination/Harassment and shall not be tolerated. Information and assistance are available from the Student Conduct Office at

Accommodation for Students with Disabilities
The College will provide reasonable accommodation to students with disabilities in order to promote academic success. If you require accommodation, contact the Counselling and Accessibility Services Office at ext. 22900 to initiate the process for documenting, assessing and implementing your individual accommodation needs.