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Master of Human Services: Gerontology Track
Become the Bridge Between the Aging Population and Vital Resources
Gerontology is the study of the natural process of aging. Specialists in the field study the social, psychological and economic impacts of aging and provide seniors and their families with resources to support them throughout the aging process, from home assistance to social activities.
What is the Gerontology Track Curriculum? (9 credit hours)
Concordia University, Nebraska's Gerontology degree track will prepare you with the training, knowledge and skill sets to ensure that members of this aging population maintain or improve their quality of life through access to community resources. Concordia's online gerontology program will prepare students to aid the elderly to keep them healthy, active and involved in the community.
Courses within the Gerontology Track include:
GERO 500 Issues in Gerontology & Aging Studies (3 credit hours)
Identify racial, ethnic, gender and different cultural characteristics of the older adult population and analyze and interpret the issues facing aging adults and their families.
Course Outcomes +
- Identify demographic characteristics of the older adult population.
- Interpret the issues facing older adults and their families.
- Examine racial, ethnic, gender and cultural differences among aging populations.
- Assess research trends and findings in the field of gerontology.
- Formulate careers in the field of gerontology.
- Develop a healthy perspective on one’s own aging and one’s role in aging families and societies
GERO 502 Social Gerontology (3 credit hours)
Explain and discuss the psychological, biological, sociological and spiritual perspectives of older adults today and identify health organizations designed to assist with their challenges.
Course Outcomes +
- Define gerontology and discuss its origins.
- Discuss the many facets of the aging process, including psychological, biological, sociological and spiritual perspectives.
- Explain the reasons for and predicted consequences of the current demographic shift in the U.S. toward an older population.
- Explain the cognitive changes that are linked with aging as well as the theories that explain such changes and adaptations.
- Assess the social context of the elderly in our society such as their living arrangements, employment, family supports, portrayal in media and discrimination.
- Explain and communicate what our responsibility should be as a society from an ethical, moral and spiritual perspective.
- Explain and discuss the social policies and social problems that affect older adults today and organizations designed to assist with challenges facing the older adult.
GERO 503 Mental Health and Aging (3 credit hours)
Become competent at identifying behavioral and mental health issues in older adults and the effects of caring for an older adult on family members, friends, clients and others in order to provide or recommend necessary services to ensure a better life for the elderly.
Course Outcomes +
- Gain an understanding of normal and abnormal process of aging as related to mental health.
- Develop fundamental knowledge of psychopathology and how it presents in the aging population.
- Develop familiarity with current research related to mental health issues of the aging.
- Become competent at identifying mental health issues in older adults and the effects of caring for an older adult on family members, friends, clients and others in order to provide or recommend necessary services.
- Become familiar with behavioral interventions and treatments for older populations.
- Identify the impact and stress of caregiving on family and caregivers.
- Identify ethical concerns for the geriatric population.
Gerontology Careers in Human Services
The Gerontology Career Track is ideal for individuals who are passionate about improving the quality of life for aging individuals and their families. Career titles include:
- Case Manager
- Community Care Specialist
- Housing Specialist
- Home Health Aid
- Long-Term Care Administrator
- Occupational Therapist
- Patient Transition Specialist
- Senior Patient Advocate
- Social Worker
- Nursing Home Administrator
- Case Management Supervisor
- Hospice Manager
- LVN/LPN Supervisor
Click here to learn more about a career in human services.
Employment Opportunities in the Field of Gerontology
Between 2000 and 2010 the number of people ages 45 to 64 grew 31.5 percent to 81.5 million, and now makes up 26.4 percent of the total U.S. population. According to the Census Bureau, the senior population will increase nearly 20 million over the next 10 years. By the year 2030, nearly 20% of the United States population will be 65 years or older, which is an increase from 15% in 2015.
As this group continues to age, the need for trained professionals in the human services field with a master's degree in gerontology is imperative to ensure the quality of life for those individuals and their families. Opportunities exist in a variety of employment settings:
- Community services
- Government agencies
- Nonprofit programs
- Public health departments
- Residential care facilities
- Social work
Click here to learn more about the career resources available for human services professionals.
Improve the Quality of Life for the Aging Population
To learn more about how you can improve the care of the aging population through the Master of Human Services program, request information or call (877) 497-5848 to speak with a program manager.