Gerontology concerns itself with the study and application of knowledge about the physical, social, and economic conditions of older people. Since the process of aging touches all aspects of human activity, gerontology is multidisciplinary in nature. Gerontology is becoming a major area of research in the biological, behavioral, and social sciences.
Gerontological training and research is an important link in meeting the social, physical, and psychological needs of the elderly. Students of gerontology benefit through the personal understanding of their own aging process. Those wishing to pursue careers in aging will find many exciting opportunities for serving the elderly in a variety of settings.
One of the primary goals of the gerontology program is to provide students with a broad base for comprehensive understanding of the impact of society’s changing demographics on every aspect of their social and work lives. It is through research, teaching, and community involvement that faculty members from numerous disciplines provide for the intellectual development of students, the enhancement of community programs, and the assurance of a better quality of life for older people in the community, the state, and the nation.
Overall Educational Goals for the Gerontology Undergraduate Program at SDSU:
- Provide academic programs and experiences through courses and field experiences, leading to an undergraduate degree in a Major and Minor in Gerontology.
- Provide interdisciplinary education and training that meet the diverse needs of older people in California and in the U.S.
- Prepare students as the generalist gerontologist for careers in a variety of gerontological settings such as senior centers, senior service organizations, area and state agencies on aging, supportive senior housing, public, non-profit and corporate settings, and health & long term care facilities.
- Provide students with knowledge of aging network and programs on the local, state, and federal level.
- Provide students with knowledge and skills to identify and understand stereotypes and attitude toward older adults, and emphasize their places and contributions in society.
- Prepare students with knowledge needed in describing, assessing and critiquing various programs, intervention and services designed for older adult.
- Prepare students to meet the needs of older adults with cultural competence regarding age, gender, race and ethnicity, and/or diverse abilities.
- Prepare students for evidence-based practice with older adults with appropriate research methods to develop, implement, and evaluate the aging programs and services.
Learning Outcomes of Gerontology Undergraduate Program
- Describe aging processes
- Describe and understand the need for cultural competence and diversity
- Demonstrate knowledge of aging network
- Describe and understand attitudes and beliefs about old age
- Understand and demonstrate basic understanding of research methods applicable to the field of aging
- Understand and demonstrate communication skills
- Understand and demonstrate case management skills
- Develop and apply a basic understanding of program assessment and evaluation
- Describe and understand policy for older adults
- Describe and understand ethical issues on working with older adults