Master of Social Work (MSW)


Social Work

Document Type



This study aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of the Graduate Certificate in Gerontology Program (GCGP) at Louisiana State University School of Social Work (LSUSSW). Thirty advanced year students participating in the GCGP in the 2012-2013 academic year participated in the study. All of the participants were female, and the majority (n=25) identified as Caucasian. The mean age of the participants was twenty-seven years. The study utilized a pre-experimental, one group pretest-posttest design. Participants were surveyed pre-certificate program and upon completion of the program using a two-part, self-report survey which utilized the Geriatric Social Work Competency Scale II. Participants reported their perceived skill levels in four competencies, or subscales, of social work practice with older adults. Global scores of each competency were used to measure increases in students’ perceived abilities within the arenas. Participants’ scores at posttest were significantly increased from pretest with significance levels at less than .01. These results indicated that at posttest students felt more able to work with older adults than at pretest. Correlation analyses indicated significant and positive relationships between each competency at pretest and at posttest. Finally, using Cronbach’s alpha, each competency within the scale demonstrated strong internal consistency, illustrating reliability of the measure used. Utilizing these methods, this study demonstrated the effectiveness of the LSUSSW GCGP as evidenced by increases in participants’ scores from pre-certificate program to post-certificate program.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Wilks, Scott E.



Included in

Social Work Commons