Assisted-living administrator training is available online from community colleges, vocational schools and four-year universities. Most sources provide either a single training program or a few core courses that lead to an undergraduate or graduate certificate, but there are relevant distance learning undergraduate and graduate degree programs available as well. Some of these programs may be offered fully online, while others are available in blended formats. Continuing education training courses and for-credit degree or certificate programs are offered in assisted living administration, long-term care administration, gerontology and human services. In some programs, students may be required to complete internships and clinicals.
Admission to an online undergraduate program in this field requires students to have a high school diploma or GED. Applicants wishing to enter a graduate-level program must have a bachelor's degree to be eligible for enrollment. Information about relevant professional or volunteer experience might be a factor in admission decisions as well.
A.L.F. Administrator Training
Distance learners can find undergraduate and graduate certificate options as well as associate's, bachelor's and master's degrees that are relevant to A.L.F. administration. In the event that a state has differing requirements for A.L.F. administrators and nursing home administrators, online degree programs may sufficiently prepare students for either option, whereas a certificate program is more focused and would provide training for one career course or the other.
The National Association of Long Term Care Administrator Boards approves some of these baccalaureate and graduate degree programs. Programs might also function as continuing education resources for those whose employers or licensing agencies require them.
Although a degree program offers much more thorough coverage of the skills and knowledge needed to work with the ill, elderly and disabled, it covers similar topics to those addressed within a certificate program. Distance learning classes might discuss the following areas:
- Healthy aging
- Patient care strategies
- Family services
- Psychology of aging
- Health care administration
Online assisted living administration training programs use course management systems to organize and deliver class materials to distance learners. This software allows schools to create a virtual classroom setting that contains lectures, assignments and other learning aids. Students can interact with peers and instructors through discussion boards, chat rooms, e-mail and perhaps web conferencing.
It's not uncommon for programs in this field to contain fully-online coursework but require internships or clinical work. These practical requirements tend to correlate with a state's mandates for licensure. Online students usually can organize such on-site components at a facility in their local area, although their school must provide approval.
Because every state officiates licensing or training programs for this specific field, it's vital that potential students ensure that their A.L.F. administrator training is approved by the state in which they hope to work. A program must supply sufficient credentials for operating an assisted-living facility or otherwise prepare students for a state licensing examination. States that differentiate between assisted living facility administration and nursing home administration may allow those with a license or degree in one area to work in the other.
Overall, students who want to become A.L.F. administrators can get relevant training in gerontology through career-focused certificate programs or broader degrees in relevant fields that are available fully or partially online. Students can enroll in courses that discuss aging, patient care and health care administration, and they'll be able to talk to their teachers and other students via virtual classroom software.