GSWEC: Geriatric Social Work Education Consortium

The Southern California Geriatric Social Work Education Consortium (GSWEC)

The Southern California Geriatric Social Work Education Consortium (GSWEC) is the nation’s first integrated regional network aimed at improving geriatric social work education and field training. This inter-organizational collaboration currently involves eight Southern California Schools of Social Work and twelve non-profit agencies comprising our Centers of Excellence where internship field placements occur.

Goals of the Consortium

The overarching goal of GSWEC’s internship program is to increase the number of students who specialize in working with older adults by developing “aging- rich” field internships in the graduate social work education programs within both Los Angeles and Orange County. Ultimately the goal is also to increase the number of social workers who are prepared to be leaders in the field of aging. The program is available to MSW students who are entering their second internship as required for their degree.

  • The University-Community Partnership
  • Expanded Role for the Field Instructor
  • Competency Based Education
  • Field Rotations
  • Student Recruitment

These five components provide an integrated, coordinated, and comprehensive program designed to attract students to geriatric social work practice, and to educate them to demonstrate expertise in working with older adults.

It Starts at the Schools of Social Work

  • Azusa Pacific University
  • California State University, Dominguez Hills
  • California State University, Fullerton
  • California State University, Long Beach
  • California State University, Los Angeles
  • California State University, Northridge
  • University of California, Los Angeles
  • University of Southern California

Class of 2020
Watch Our Graduation Videos

On Wednesday, May 20, 2020, GSWEC graduated it’s 20th class of interns. While it seems like the program “started just yesterday,” it has been an exciting process of building support over time with sponsoring agencies, students, and academic institutions. Together, we have collectively built this dream!

This year due to COVID-19, large gatherings were put on hold, and it looked as if we would be unable to hold a GSWEC Graduation. Fortunately, technology came to the rescue, and we were able to hold the event on-line.

We’re pleased to share the event with you in it’s entirety:

And here is a focused look at just the graduates:

Twelve Centers of Excellence

As one of twelve Centers of Excellence/field placement opportunities, Partners in Care is the lead-founding partner in this collaboration of universities and agencies facilitating the GSWEC program. During GSWEC’s inception, Partners in Care administered the grants funded by The John A. Hartford and Archstone Foundations to implement and coordinate the program, strengthen geriatric social work education and increase social workers’ competency in the field of aging.


For field instructors and preceptors – download the GSWEC Operational Manual. This manual is a field education model for aging specialization in MSW programs.

For students – For detailed information about the program, including the diverse opportunities offered by GSWEC partner agencies, please see our 2021 Student Guide.

Although funding from The John A. Hartford and Archstone Foundations ended in 2003, Partners in Care in collaboration with agencies and universities has continued their commitment to GSWEC by providing comprehensive field instruction for students.

Maira Robles, who recently interned for Partners Multipurpose Senior Services Program(MSSP) spoke about her field training experiences commenting, “I’m excited about being able to provide concrete services working alongside experienced social workers. Partners is a great place to learn and grow professionally.”

If you are interested in meeting the growing demand for geriatric social workers and learning more about field training positions available for GSWEC students, please contact Heather Brungardt at