GRACE Program

Logo for The GRACE Program

Gerontology Resources and the Aging Community in Education (GRACE) Program

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the GRACE Program?

The GRACE program  is a field-based program designed to increase master’s level social work students’ knowledge of and experience with older adults. Field instructors at community agencies in Austin that provide services to older adults collaborate closely with the Steve Hicks School of Social Work to create field internships for students. The students’ experience in these field placements is complemented by GRACE program educational enrichment events, which are held six times each academic year. These events provide specialized knowledge in areas relevant to social work practice in gerontology. Read about GRACE students’ experiences here.

What is a GRACE placement?

A field agency earns  designation as a GRACE placement if the agency serves primarily older adults and the field instructor serves on the GRACE Committee and/or supports the educational goals of the GRACE Program through working with Steve Hicks School of Social Work students.

How do I become a GRACE candidate?

GRACE candidates are master’s level students who, through their actions, have expressed an interest and/or commitment to working with older adults.If you are currently in a GRACE placement, or have completed a GRACE placement, then you are considered a GRACE candidate.

How do I become a GRACE Scholar?

A GRACE Scholar designation identifies you to potential employers as a student who received additional training and preparation for working with older adults. In order to earn the GRACE Scholar designation, students must: 1) successfully complete at least one internship at a GRACE placement and, 2) attend at least five scheduled GRACE educational events during the course of their graduate studies.

Are there scholarship opportunities?

The GRACE program awards fellowships through a generous grant from the St. David’s Foundation. GRACE Fellowships are awarded through a competitive process to first field and final field students who are at GRACE placements and fulfill additional educational criteria.

Are there other benefits to being a GRACE candidate? 

Yes!  You will get to know other students and faculty, as well as social workers in the older adult practice community. Depending on available funding, you might also have the opportunity to attend a national conference on aging; this exposure to national issues on aging can open up important opportunities for learning and networking for your future in the field.

Who do I contact to know more?

For more information, contact GRACE Program Coordinator Sarah Swords,