This Ontario College Diploma program is unique in Ontario.

Recreation Management in Gerontology is a two-year diploma program that will provide you with specialized knowledge in the field of aging. Graduates design and deliver meaningful therapeutic programs to enhance the quality of life of older adults. This Ontario College Diploma program is unique in Ontario.

Recreation Management in Gerontology student in a senior residence


Program name
Recreation Management in Gerontology
Experiential learning
Required field education in all four semesters
2 years (4 semesters)
Starting month
Ontario College Diploma
Method of study

Year of Study

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Program Availability

Domestic students
Sept. 2020 Open
Jan. 2021 N/A
May 2021 N/A
International students
Sept. 2020 Open
Jan. 2021 N/A
May 2021 N/A

Full Description

Recreation Management in Gerontology is a unique diploma program that will teach you the specialized skills required to work with older adults. Over the course of two years, you’ll learn how to design therapeutic programs for older adults that consider the physical, mental and spiritual perspectives of the aging process.

You’ll start by developing strong communication skills – both from a management and interpersonal perspective. This work requires the ability to work with people across different life stages so effective communication skills are essential to the job. You will go on to develop coordinator skills that will prepare you to manage physical, financial and human resources.

You’ll also study the science and theory behind aging. This in-depth look at the biological changes of aging includes an understanding of diseases often related to aging like Alzheimer’s and dementia.

Hands-on learning is a major component of this program. To help you gain confidence as you learn to create specialized therapeutic programs, you’ll get lots of practice both on-site at our 21,000+ square foot Simulation Centre facility and off-site with one of our field placement partners. You’ll also learn proper documentation and Resident Assessment Instrument – Minimum Data Set (RAI-MDS) training.

This academically challenging program will equip you with the skills required to provide therapeutic recreation in a variety of settings that include long-term care facilities, retirement homes, community based service agencies and adult day programs.

If you are someone who is energetic, organized, creative and enjoys working with older adults, consider this profession.

Experiential Learning

Required field education in all four semesters

Your Field Study options

Field education, also known as work integrated learning, plays an important role in this program by integrating theoretical learning with practical experience in a workplace setting. Each semester of this program offers a field education component, with each semester’s experience building on the previous one.

You can expect to complete your field placements in a variety of settings and with older adults of differing needs and abilities.

Program Standards and Learning Outcomes

The graduate has reliably demonstrated the ability to:

  1. Function effectively as a member of an inter-professional team in the development and provision of health promoting and life enhancing services and programs for older adults.
  2. Accurately and comprehensively assess and record the ongoing needs of the older adult using a variety of widely used electronic systems.
  3. Develop, coordinate, deliver and evaluate a variety of services/programs that enhance clients’ level of functioning and quality of life by applying relevant research and theory to practice.
  4. Apply appropriate health and safety protocols in order to protect the health, safety and well-being of their clients, their co-workers and themselves.
  5. Communicate effectively using a variety of therapeutic techniques and in adherence with privacy and freedom of information legislation.
  6. Identify, select and use appropriate professional and community resources to meet the needs of the older adult.
  7. Ensure programs operate in compliance with relevant policy, legislation and standards of practice for services to older adults in a variety of settings.
  8. Establish and maintain professional and ethical standards in the field of activation gerontology as set out by relevant professional bodies.
  9. Promote accessible, inclusive and responsive programs and services by recognizing the diverse needs and experiences of individuals, groups, families and communities.
  10. Manage physical, financial and human resources in order to effectively coordinate services for older adults.

Required Courses


semester courses
CodeCourse Name
COMM1081Interpersonal Communication Skills
GERT1004Recreation I: Therapeutic Interventions
GERT 1038Pre-Placement Seminar
GERT1018Field Practice I
GERT1035Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders
GERT1033Introduction to Gerontology
GERT1010Aging in Place
GERT1025Integrated Seminar I
COMM1003English Skills


semester courses
CodeCourse Name
GERT1002Fitness and Wellness
GERT1015Recreation II: Therapeutic Programming
GERT1020Field Practice II
GERT1027Integrated Seminar II
GERT1012Assessment Skills and Inter-RAI Methodology
GERT1036Management I: Foundation Skills
GERT1160Introduction to the Biology of Aging
COMM1007College English


semester courses
CodeCourse Name
GERT2004Management II: Professional Development
GERT2009Field Practice III
GERT2016Integrated Seminar III
GERT2028Recreation III: Alternative Therapeutic Programming
GERT2031Ethical and Professional Leadership
SWRK2001Group Processes
GNEDGeneral Education Elective
GNEDGeneral Education Elective


semester courses
CodeCourse Name
GERT2006Activation Industry Resources
GERT2023Governance of Services for Older Adults
GHUM1043Living with Dying
GERT2011Field Practice IV
GERT2018Integrated Seminar IV
SWRK2000Management III: Human Resources
GNEDGeneral Education Elective

Your Career

The increase in the number of older adults has created a growing demand for workers with knowledge and skills specific to the needs of later life.

Graduates are employed to provide person-centered care through the management and delivery of recreational and social activities in a variety of settings such as:

  • adult day centres
  • active living centres
  • community centres
  • long-term care homes
  • retirement homes
  • community-based service agencies

As Canada's population continues to age, employment opportunities are growing rapidly.

Future Study Options

Students who successfully complete this program may be considered for exemptions in other programs at George Brown College.

For further information, see

Educational/Degree Pathway

Graduates of the Recreation Management in Gerontology program with a grade point average of 2.8 or higher can apply to complete a three-year B.A. in Gerontology at Laurentian University in a reduced timeframe (approximately 12-18 months). Exact time of completion will depend on existing post-secondary credentials. This degree is offered through distance education or at the Laurentian campus in Sudbury. For more information contact

Graduates with a B.A. in Gerontology from Laurentian University can apply to complete the Recreation Management in Gerontology diploma in one year. For more information email Program Coordinator and Professor, Molly Marrack at


$3,796.00 *

Additional Cost

* Amounts listed are the total of tuition, materials, student service and ancillary fees for the first two semesters of programs starting in Fall 2019. Fees are subject to change for programs starting in Fall 2020 and at later dates.

International students: Visit the International Fees and Related Costs page for more information.

Financial Assistance

This program is approved for OSAP funding, provided the applicant meets OSAP eligibility criteria.

Admission Requirements

Applicants are selected on the basis of their academic achievement, including the required courses, and the selection criteria outlined below.

  • Ontario Secondary School Diploma or equivalent**
  • Grade 12 English (C ) or (U) with a minimum grade of 65%
  • Attending an information session is highly recommended.

Admissions decisions are based on academic credit; however, it is recommended that applicants accumulate at least 40 volunteer hours, working with older adults, prior to applying.

** Mature Student status (19 years of age or older and no OSSD)

Mature Students may take the Admissions Assessment for English, OR may consider upgrading to achieve the credit(s) needed in English.

Please note that George Brown is committed to ensuring that applicants will succeed in their program of choice, and meeting the minimum requirements does not guarantee admission to the program. Applicants may be required to have grades higher than the minimum requirements stated.

Course Exemptions

College or university credits may qualify you for course exemptions. Please visit for more information.

International Students

Visit the International Admissions page for more information.

Apply to

Domestic students should apply through Ontario Colleges

Special Requirements

Additional Mandatory Requirements

Pre-placement Health Form

  • Upon acceptance and confirmation into the program, students must meet all the mandatory pre-placement health requirements for this program. This may take up to four months to complete all the requirements.
  • All costs, service fees and fines associated with the overall health requirements are the responsibility of the student.
  • For further details and to download the mandatory pre-placement health form, go to the Pre-placement website at

Police Vulnerable Sector Check (must be valid annually)

  • In compliance with requests from our placement partners, all students in this program are required to have a police vulnerable sector check completed, and this check must be renewed annually before entering into field or clinical placement.
  • The police vulnerable sector check process typically takes two to three months, but under some circumstances can take four to eight months. This is required to protect the clientele of our placement partner agencies, who are considered “vulnerable persons” under the law.
  • Students are responsible for ensuring that the police record check covers appropriateness for “individuals being employed and/or volunteering who will be working with vulnerable person(s)”.
  • Students are required to keep the original copy of their police vulnerable sector check.
  • Students who are unable to provide a “clear” police reference check may not be able to start their field or clinical placement and therefore may be unable to complete the program. Students who are not eligible to attend their practice placement due to a “not clear” status will jeopardize their progress in the program.
  • Failure to meet the requirements for field placement will prevent students from completing the program and/or securing employment.
  • The fees for the police record check vary and must be paid by the student. For more information, please visit the Pre-placement website at

Success Stories

"The most satisfying thing of working with seniors is that I feel that every day when I come in to work, I am doing something good for society."

Hong Thi Khanh Nguyen (Graduate 2017, Activation Co-ordinator/Gerontology)

"The Activation Co-ordinator/Gerontology program at George Brown College provided me with the proper qualifications to work in my chosen field, while the placement experience provided me with two permanent job opportunities. I would highly recommend this program to anyone looking at working with our senior population."

Andrea Linton (Graduate 2012, Activation Co-ordinator/Gerontology)

Contact Us

To book an information session, call the School of Health and Wellness at 416-415-5000, ext. 4542 between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m., or email

For more information about George Brown College, call the Contact Centre at 416-415-2000 (TTY 1-877-515-5559) or long distance 1-800-265-2002.

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    George Brown College is continually striving to improve its programs and their delivery. The information contained in this calendar is subject to change without notice. It should not be viewed as a representation, offer or warranty. Students are responsible for verifying George Brown College admission, graduation, and fee requirements as well as any requirements of outside institutions, industry associations, or other bodies that may award additional designations concurrently with, or after completion of, a George Brown College program.