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Certificate in the Psychology of Aging & Well-being Announcement for Social Workers

by Jill Castro, PsyD, LP, Aging Certificate Coordinator & Assistant Director of Clinical Training, Michigan School of Professional Psychology

Michigan School of Professional PsychologyBetween 2010 and 2050, the United States is projected to experience rapid growth in its older population. By 2050, the number of Americans aged 65 and older is projected to be 88.5 million; more than double the expected population of 40.2 million in 2010. The anticipated growth of the older population will present challenges to policy makers, programs, families, businesses, and health care providers. In response to this demand, the Michigan School of Professional Psychology began the development of our first ever certificate program in the summer of 2013.

The journey to create this program has been a long and exciting one, and started where many great journeys across time have begun: Google. It was here that we discovered that psychology-focused aging certificate programs with emphasis on the treatment of the “whole” person were a rarity; not only in Michigan, but across the country. Over the span of the past two years, we’ve carefully crafted our Aging Certificate curriculum with consultation and oversight from numerous organizations and aging professionals. In addition to these organizations, we’ve had continued support from Lansing, including an endorsement from Kari Sederburg, Director of the Michigan Office of Services to the Aging.

Accessibility has been a major motivator throughout the development of the certificate program. The interactive online format supports geographic accessibility, and it is important to us that the cost of the program is financially accessible for professionals working in nonprofit settings, recent graduates, caregivers, and those in financial need. The total cost for the certificate program is $2,500. This all-inclusive rate includes textbook and course materials, technology and library fees, and all meals and supplies for the orientation, symposium, and closing weekends. Additional scholarships may be available.

The certificate program has been specifically designed to meet the needs of working health care professionals who seek to expand their expertise in serving the aging population, or for those who wish to prepare for a career in aging services. Learning occurs through collaborative communication of actively engaged students with expert faculty. This is a cohort program that consists of four 8-week courses that will begin with a one-day orientation on campus followed by comprehensive online study that incorporates ongoing faculty and student interaction. The certificate can be completed within a 10 month period.

Betty Friedan once said, “Aging is not lost youth but a new stage of opportunity and strength”. I truly believe that our Aging Certificate program supports this sentiment. Launching on August 29th, 2015, this four course certificate program provides practitioners with the knowledge and skills needed to effectively support the assessment, understanding and treatment of the “whole” aging adult including the cognitive, behavioral, and social aspects of their advancement through these stages of change.

For additional information on how to apply, please visit or contact Dr. Jill Castro at (248) 476-1122 x. 107 or

This certificate program is approved by the Michigan Social Work Continuing Education Collaborative for 40 CE contact hours. (Approval Number: 012715-06)

This certificate program is also approved for 40 CE contact hours by the Commission for Case Manager Certification to provide continuing education credit to CCM® Board Certified Case Managers. (Activity Code: S00015184, Approval Number: 150001106)

This certificate program is approved by the State of Michigan Board of Nursing Home Administrators for 96 continuing education program hours. (Approval Number: 489150036)

Dr. Jill CastroJill Castro, PsyD received her doctorate in Clinical Psychology from the Michigan School of Professional Psychology. Her research interests are in the area of women’s health and empowerment across the lifespan. Her work has included individual and group therapy with older adults in outpatient and nursing home settings, as well as the delivery of psychoeducational programs within the community on topics related to transitions in older adulthood. Dr. Castro is the Aging Certificate Coordinator and Assistant Director of Clinical Training at the Michigan School of Professional Psychology. She is also an adjunct faculty member, providing supervision for doctoral students completing their pre-doctoral internship. Dr. Castro will coordinate all aspects of the certificate and be the instructor for the Capstone Project.

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