Samantha Yaccarino, Senior Social Work Major
When I entered Seton Hall University four years ago, I knew I wanted to work with older adults, preferably in a hospital setting. Through my junior and senior practicums in my social work major, I have had the opportunity to work with adults who live with Parkinson's Disease (PD), as well as older individuals with intellectual and developmentally disabilities.
Seton Hall University offers all undergraduate students the opportunity to pursue an Interdisciplinary Certificate in Gerontology. I was elated! My lifelong passion to work with older adults had a home at Seton Hall. I was fortunate enough to work in direct practice with older adults in both my junior and senior year but taking gerontological-based classes alongside my internship made my experiences and education that much richer. In addition to the requirements of the school and major upon which the concentration is built, the Interdisciplinary Gerontology Certificate requires 18 credits in specializes courses and an 80-hour internship in direct service or research with older adults.
One such class that assisted me in navigating my internships and clinical hours with older adults was Adult Development, PSCY 1214. This class focused on developmental norms of adulthood and current issues older adults face. This class helped me to understand the challenges older adults live with and how to assist in reducing the stigma around aging. One of the core values of the social work profession, as articulated in our Code of Ethics, is the dignity and worth of the individual. This value includes people in every age group, especially older adults. Seton Hall's Interdisciplinary Certificate in Gerontology has paved the way for my future education after graduating from Seton Hall University. I plan to pursue my Master's in Social Work with a concentration in health, as well as attain my Certificate in Health and Aging at Rutgers University, New Brunswick.