Development of a Gerontological Counselor Training Program

Funded by the Virginia Center on Aging Geriatric Training and Education (GTE) Initiative

Summary:
The objectives of this project include:

  • Enhance clinical and faculty supervisor knowledge related to older adults, life course, and accompanying age-related issues in the community, addictions, school, and family counseling contexts.
  • Facilitate a dialogue among counseling faculty and faculty supervisors to illuminate the current state of readiness in The College of William & Mary's Counselor Education Program to produce age-competent counselors with shortcomings to be addressed.
  • Engage faculty in educational opportunities through exposure to the Southern Gerontological Society and related organizations.
  • Assist in the development or modification of syllabi for core counseling courses to provide a baseline of age competence in all counseling students.
  • Assist in the development or modification of specialized courses that address aging for those future counselors specifically interested in working with older adult issues and in settings serving older adults and their families.
  • Determine the feasibility and requirements for establishing internship placements in settings serving older adults.
  • Assist clinical supervisors with identifying the common challenges of counseling interns and residents face when working in various older adult settings and associated best practices.
  • Promote interest for researching age-related issues and publishing articles in counseling journals to advance the state of gerontological counseling in the profession.
  • Develop a model that outlines best practices that can be disseminated and used by other counselor education programs interested in developing their own curriculum across the state and country.