The senior living industry (e.g., assisted living, independent living, and memory care) employs administrators who have real-world experiences, but may lack specific formal education in business and in the senior living industry. Southwestern Adventist University’s Senior Living Management Certificate meets the educational needs of current administrators of senior living facilities or professionals who are interested in transitioning into the senior living industry. Students gain a foundational understanding of the key areas of business administration as well as how to apply these principles in the successful operation of a senior living facility. Additionally, students become knowledgeable on topics specifically related to the industry such as federal and state regulations, senior wellness and the long-term care continuum.
The program curriculum consists of 4 courses, totaling 12-semester hours of college credit and is taught in an interactive and collaborative environment on the university’s campus. However, the department recognizes the need for broad access to such a unique program and plans to make the program available online as early as Fall 2018. The certificate does not constitute a college degree, though credits may be transferred to any other accredited college or university and may be applied toward a degree at Southwestern Adventist University. Each course meets the Texas Licensing Standards for Assisted Living Facilities 8-hour continuing education requirement.
Due to the “baby boom” around the 1950s as well as current advances in medicine, the American population is getting older and living longer. This older and more active population prefers to “age in place”, or live at home or a home-like setting as long as possible. The senior living industry seeks to meet this older population’s needs through independent living, assisted living, and memory care facilities. Each option provides varying levels of assistance and services to meet the specific needs of the individual. Demand for senior living housing options is increasing and the trend is expected to continue.
The increased demand for senior living facilities means an increase in demand for qualified administrators to operate those facilities. Argentum (2016), the leading Senior Living Community trade association in the US, predicts that there will be a 40% increase in the number of jobs within the Senior Living industry from 2015 to 2025. The trade association also acknowledges that workforce development is key to industry success; Argentum listed this as one of the top initiatives in its 2016 executive member report “Getting to 2025: A Senior Living Roadmap”. Texas, like most other states, has regulations regarding the training and education required to become an administrator of an assisted living or memory care facility. However, industry experts such as Argentum do not believe that these requirements are sufficient.
The certificate program is unique and is not currently offered by any other academic institution in the United States.
Applicants to the Senior Living Management Certificate must have an associate’s degree OR at least 3 years of experience within the senior living industry. Applicants must:
1. Complete an application for admission into the certificate program
2. Pay a non-refundable application fee of $25
3. Provide proof of eligibility by one of the following methods:
a. Submit official transcripts
b. Submit a current professional resume AND a signed letter from current or previous employer confirming work experience
BSLM 301 – Legal and Ethical Framework of Senior Living
This course will examine the federal and state laws and regulations applicable to the classification, construction and operation of senior living facilities. It will also discuss how to evaluate and minimize risk of legal action as well as explore ethical issues related to the operation and management of senior living facilities.
BSLM 302 – Quality in Resident Care and Services
This course will discuss how to provide excellent quality of care and customer service to all senior living facility stakeholders. Topics covered will include facility design, customer service, family care services, senior healthcare, nutrition, and memory care training.
BSLM 303 – Financial and Human Resource Management of Senior Living Facilities
Best practices for financial and human resource management will be the focus of this course. Topics will include budgeting, interpretation of financial statements, basic accounting principles, recruiting, hiring, scheduling, performance reviews, personnel laws and employee retention strategies.
BSLM 304 – Senior Living Marketing, Management and Leadership
This course will focus on how to successfully manage and grow a senior living facility. Established marketing principles will be explored along with industry-specific sales strategies. Other topics discussed will include management principles, management versus leadership, leadership styles, motivation, and leading high-performing teams.