GERO 5200 - Concepts and Controversies in Aging (3 credits)
This course will provide a focus on the major concepts and controversies currently being debated in the field of gerontology. Students will explore concepts of aging, health care, and society; some of the social and economic outlooks for our aging society; and the life course perspective. Topics will include health care rationing, elder abuse and neglect, the right to die, changing notions of retirement, creativity and aging, old age and the quest for meaning.
GERO 5300 - Humanities and Aging (3 credits)
The study of the humanities reflects a fundamental question, what does it mean to be human? Studying the humanities provides the student of gerontology with a framework in which to think and learn about aspects of being and becoming an older human that are less accessible through a biological, psychological, or social lens. The humanistic approach in the study of aging includes a variety of subjects, for example: life review, identity (especially as it pertains to people with Alzheimer's Disease and other cognitive limitations), and spirituality, to name a few.
GERO 5400 - Sociology of Aging for Future Leaders (3 credits)
This course will provide a sociological perspective on the aging process and tools to effect change. Students will examine the impact of social policies, and the social and cultural conditions that shape the life course of older adults as individuals and as groups. As future leaders in the field, this class will seek to provide the student with an ability to critically analyze the policies and institutions that provide care and services to older adults, i.e. long term care facilities, hospitals, senior centers, etc., and the tools, i.e. needs assessment; evidence-based policy development; use of media, advocacy, and coalition-building strategies, and an introduction to program evaluation, in order to offer meaningful change to improve the quality of older lives.
GERO 5500 - Psychology of Aging (3 credits)
This course will focus on the human development theories that provide the underpinning for a humanistic approach to aging. The humanistic approach is closely associated with the term 'conscious aging', which implies that in addition to the nature of aging as a biological and sociological phenomenon, there is a developmental path that includes the psychological and the transpersonal or spiritual. Students will engage in exploring this holistic perspective that includes applying the theoretical frameworks associated with Abraham Maslow, Carl Rogers, Ken Wilber, and others, as well as life-span theory to the process of aging.
GERO 5600 - Biology of Human Aging (3 credits)
While aging is a fact present in all human lives, there are common misconceptions as to what aging is, how we age, and why we age. There are also controversial and ethical issues associated with scientific explorations into extending our life spans. We will therefore be examining the impact of the science of aging on human life; the use of medical technology and its impact on mitigating aging. We will learn about the many theories of aging; examine healthy aging, and the diseases that most commonly affect us as we grow older. We will also look at the effects of aging on several body systems, and the effect of environment on aging within the context of how purpose and meaning are formed and challenged as human beings grow older.
GERO 5700 - Aging and Diversity (3 credits)
While all human beings age, human beings age differently. Reducing racial and ethnic disparities in health has been identified as a national goal. Using the lens of health care is a primary way in which to understand the impact of culture on aging in the United States. Cultural beliefs and values impact how older adults learn and have access to and/or process information. The quality of service may be greatly influenced by understanding or misunderstanding the ethnic beliefs and values of older adults. This course will teach students how aging and ethnicity affect how we serve older adults. The course will also help students become better acquainted with their own cultural beliefs and values, as they learn about the cultural beliefs and values of a wide variety of ethnicities.