• During a luncheon Aug. 15, Civuttas and Southwestern Adventist University announced a new leadership training program of senior citizens. Shown are, from left, Johnson County Judge Roger Harmon, Civitas CEO Wayne Powell and his wife Misty Powell, Southwestern Adventist University President Dr. Ken Shaw and District 58 State Representative DeWayne Burns. BURLESON STAR/COURTESY PHOTO

Civitas Senior Living, SWAU announce new leadership program

There’s no place like home.

The familiar adege has new meaning today among the growing population of Americans who are getting older and living longer.

These aging and active Baby Boomers prefer to “age in place,” meaning they want to live at home or in 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.

Now, Civitas Senior Living and Southwestern Adventist University are introducing a program to provide the leadership for these centers of senior living.

Wayne Powell, CEO of Civitas, and Dr. Ken Shaw, president of SWAU, announced a new accredited certificate program focused on senior living during a luncheon Aug. 15 at the Petroleum Club in Fort Worth.

The program was started to answer the need for senior living administrators who have real-world experience but may lack specific formal education. The program curriculum consists of 12 semester hours of college credit and is taught in an interactive and collaborative online environment, allowing for potential students to enroll even from out-of-state.

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 online environment.  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.

Course Descriptions

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.

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.


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