Document Type

Research Report

Publication Date



The Certificate Program in Gerontology at the University of Massachusetts Boston, a large urban university, was established in 1979 as part of an Administration on Aging (AoA) grant to develop and expand services to the elderly citizens of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. In 1984, a line item was added to the state budget by the legislature and governor establishing the Gerontology Institute at the University of Massachusetts Boston and ensuring the continuation of training, research, and policy and advocacy work on behalf of and with Massachusetts’ elders (O’Brien, 1996). Upon Frank J. Manning’s death in 1986, the program was renamed the “Manning Certificate Program” in honor of Manning, a retired labor leader and an enthusiastic advocate of senior rights who was a charismatic and powerful leader of Massachusetts elders in the 1960s and 1970s. This report describes the measurable outcomes of that well-established program. Specifically, alumni representing classes since 1980 were surveyed to learn the extent of their involvement in employment, advocacy, and volunteer experiences in working with elders since completion of the Manning Certificate. Insights were also gained from other outcomes of their learning experiences in terms of their own aging and assistance with the aging of family members and friends. This study will help document the value of certificate-level training in Gerontology for its students and for the communities they serve.



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