Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon Portland Community College

End of Life Care and Support, Career Pathway certificate

Gerontology program students posing together in a classroom

This certificate is designed to advance the knowledge and develop the skills of caregivers, aging services professionals, and family members in supporting persons approaching the end of life.

Why choose the End of Life Career Pathway certificate at PCC?

  • Easy access (open start) and exit program.
  • Online (asynchronous) format, with some optional in-person, live-streamed, and video-recorded class meetings.
  • Applied, interactive learning format.
  • Faculty expertise both inside the classroom and within the community.
  • Healthcare Aids: $16.54 per hour or $34,421 per year
  • Bereavement or Mental Health Counselors: $29.06 per hour or $60,435 per year
  • Social Workers: $34.64 per hour or $72,067 per year
  • Funeral Directors: $41.66 per hour or $86,657 per year
  • Medical and Health Service Managers (Hospice Administrator): $58.19 per hour or $121,027 per year

Award information

Awards with a icon can be earned completely online, or you can choose a mix of online and on-campus classes.

Degrees and certificates by number of terms to complete
Award Length Financial aid eligible Currently accepting students?
Career Pathway Certificate: End of Life Care and SupportLess than 1 year

Learn more about Gerontology and all 6 awards available »


What will you learn?

The courses in the End of Life Care and Support certificate train students to:

  • Guide family members and dying persons through the end of life process, including social, psychological, medical, financial, legal, and spiritual issues related to care and support.
  • Assess and document the care and support needs and assets of the dying person, their family, and social support network; communicate and collaborate with all related parties; and facilitate access to appropriate resources, while working with other professionals and with diverse stakeholders in a coordinated care and support plan, in hospice, long term care, and home environments.
  • Apply best practices of person-centered and directed care and support, and adhere to professional and ethical standards in supporting the dying person and working effectively with all stakeholders, including legal, medical, financial, insurance, relevant government programs, and other professionals, as well as family and the dying person’s social support network.


Course listing for the 2020-2021 catalog year.

GRN 181Exploring the Field of Aging2
GRN 233Supporting End of Life4
GRN 237End of Life Therapies1
or GRN 239 End of Life Practices
GRN 240Care and Service Coordination3
GRN 245Introduction to Guardianship in Oregon1
GRN 247Applied Legal and Policy Issues in Aging2
GRN 280ACE: Gerontology Internship 14
GRN 280BGerontology Internship Seminar1
GRN 282Gerontology Professional Seminar2
PHL 207Ethics and Aging4
SOC 223Sociology of Aging4
SOC 231Sociology of Health & Aging4
SOC 232Death and Dying: Culture and Issues4
or SOC 234 Death: Crosscultural Perspectives
Total Credits36

What will you do?

End of Life certificate graduates qualify for professions and roles relating to the end of life either in entry-level positions, or in more advanced positions, depending on their prior professional training and experience, and/or academic degrees:

  • Chaplains and spiritual counselors
  • Funeral directors
  • Insurance agents specializing in life and long-term care insurance
  • Financial advisors
  • Guardians and conservators
  • Paralegals and lawyers providing elder law services
  • Nurses
  • Physicians
  • Healthcare aides
  • Resident assistants in care facilities
  • Personal home care assistants
  • Social workers
  • Bereavement counselors
  • Therapists working with massage, touch, art, music, pet, horticultural, environmental, and other modalities
  • Hospice volunteer coordinators
  • Hospice administrators
  • End of life instructors
  • End of life researchers
  • Death doula (or midwife)

Next steps

Applying to PCC is free and only takes a few minutes.Apply now

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