n4a University Certificate in Person-Centered Counseling

Knowing that a well-trained workforce is essential to the mission of ADRCs, the Center for Aging and Disability Education and Research (CADER) at Boston University developed an ADRC Person-Centered Counseling Certificate available to n4a members through n4a University, an online training partnership between n4a and CADER.

As we look at the demographic changes facing the country, a major challenge for older adults and their families is understanding the often confusing matrix of services. With federal leadership, states and local aging and disability organizations have addressed this challenge through the creation of ADRCs, which serve as single points of entry into the long-term services and supports system for older adults, people with disabilities, caregivers, veterans and families.

CADER worked closely with State Units on Aging, Independent Living Centers and AAAs in states such as Pennsylvania, Massachusetts and Connecticut to define the competencies and training needed to increase the skills necessary for ADRC staff. CADER used this research to ensure that each course in this certificate program is person-centered and places an emphasis on the knowledge and attitudes that are most beneficial to those seeking assistance.

For professionals working in the Aging and Disability Networks, having a recognized skill set is important. Courses in the 21-hour online certificate program have been carefully selected to address the skills most relevant to the work of ADRCs. They include:
  1. Core Issues in Aging and Disability
  2. Assessment with Older Adults and Persons with Disabilities
  3. A Guide to the Aging and Disability Networks
  4. Mental Health Training in Options Counseling
  5. Understanding Consumer Control, Person-Centered Planning, and Self-Direction
Learners have remarked:
  • “Great educational tool and unique learning experience. Should be taken by all AAA staff. Did really help me to understand the purpose of the ADRC. Thank you.”
    Course: Core Issues in Aging and Disabilities

  • “I think the information in this course really hit home on the importance of "consumer controland how it applies to Options Counseling; I think this section will be invaluable to people working in the Aging network.”
    Course: Understanding Consumer Control, Person-Centered Planning and Self-Direction

  • “This course helps me to better understand what my role is as a counselor. It also helps me to understand better the consumers that I am trying to help. I am very excited to have this information available to me.”
    Course: Mental Health Training in Options Counseling
Click here for more information on the certificate program. Register today!



USAging Fact: Learn about your peers’ work—and how it can fit into your agency’s goals! The AIA Awards recognizes successful and innovative programs that USAging members have developed to serve older adults. Get inspiration from our 2023 winners!