Gerontology

Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science

Mary Ann Erickson, Associate Professor and Chair

The Ithaca College Gerontology Institute administers the aging studies major and minor for Ithaca College undergraduates.

Aging studies is an interdisciplinary major and draws on Ithaca College’s unique combination of liberal arts and professional programs to provide students with a liberal arts foundation, a broad-based understanding of individual and social aspects of aging, and professional skills relevant to their career goals.

Students have the option of enrolling in either the B.A. or the B.S. program in aging studies, depending on their educational and career interests. The majors prepare students for positions with an aging focus or for graduate education in gerontology or a related discipline. The aging studies major has been designated a program of merit by the Association for Gerontology in Higher Education.

The interdisciplinary minor in aging studies involves coursework in gerontology and several other departments and is available to students in any major. The minor addresses biological and psychological aspects of individual aging, as well as the societal implications of the rapidly increasing older population. Fieldwork in an approved aging organization provides an important experiential learning opportunity for aging studies minors. The requirements for the minor are designed to complement or supplement a student’s major.

Facilitating student growth and learning is a priority for gerontology faculty and staff. All majors are assigned an adviser to assist with progress toward completing their major requirements and to serve as a resource for exploring interests and career goals. It is strongly recommended that aging studies majors meet with their adviser at least twice each semester, once at the beginning of the semester and again during the required advising period before online registration.

GERO 10100 Introduction to Aging Studies (LA)

Introduction to the broad spectrum of issues involved in the study of aging. Biological, psychological, and sociological concerns, in addition to services for the elderly, are presented in survey fashion. Field trips, lectures, discussions, and demonstrations comprise the instructional methods. (F-S,Y)
Attributes: 1, SS
3 Credits

GERO 19501 Age Matters: Discovering the Possibilities beyond Midlife (LA)

Explores the intersections of age and identity in a variety of contexts, including the treatment of elders in modern culture. Examines the demographic and cultural forces shaping the period between retirement and disability. We examine our own beliefs and values as they relate to age and engage in service learning with elders in the community. (Y)
Attributes: 1, SL, SO, SS, TIDE
3 Credits

GERO 21000 Health and Aging (LA)

Examines the health status of older adults in the U.S. and the impact it has on longevity and quality of life in the later years. Includes factors that affect the health and longevity of older Americans, health challenges in later life, prevention and health promotion, the need for culturally competent health care for older adults, and end of life choices and issues. Explores how U.S. health policy and the health care system affect the lives of older adults. Prerequisites: One 10000-level GERO course or HLTH 11300. (S,O)
Attributes: SS
3 Credits

GERO 22000 Sociology of Aging (LA)

Examination of the prominent sociological theories and research about aging and the ways in which the experience of aging is socially constructed. Cross-listed with SOCI 22000. Students may not receive credit for both GERO 22000 and SOCI 22000. Prerequisites: One 100-level sociology course or one 100-level GERO course. (F-Y)
Attributes: DV, SS
3 Credits

GERO 23000 Memory Loss and Aging: Myths and Realities (LA)

Memory loss has become one of the most feared stereotypes of aging. This course contrasts normal age-related changes in the brain with the effects of diseases that cause cognitive impairment. Prevalence, incidence, symptoms, causes, treatment, and caregiving issues are discussed, with emphasis on the history and personal, social, cultural, political, and economic impacts of Alzheimer's disease, which affects millions of older adults in the United States. Prerequisites: One 10000-level GERO course. (S,E)
3 Credits

GERO 25000 Lifespan Creativity (LA)

Examines the meanings and uses of creativity across the lifespan utilizing a variety of perspectives. Combines reading and discussion of academic literatures on creativity with hands-on activities designing and implementing programs in the community. Prerequisite: Sophomore standing. (F,E)
Attributes: SO, SS, TIII
3 Credits

GERO 29010 Fieldwork in Gerontology (NLA)

Fieldwork gives students firsthand experience working and socializing with the elderly. Under the supervision of a trained professional within an organization in the Ithaca area, students engage in work activities, including direct service to the aged, as well as service to the host agency. An integrated series of seminars provides students with the context to better understand the needs of the community-based elderly, as well as the local, state, and national resources available and not available to meet those needs. Prerequisites: One 10000-level GERO course. (F-S,Y)
3 Credits

GERO 31900 Aging and Social Policy (LA)

Examination of contemporary public health and social policies and programs that affect the well-being of older adults. The scope of these programs and policies, their historical development, and likely changes are explored. Prerequisites: One 20000-level GERO course. (S,Y)
Attributes: DV
3 Credits

GERO 32500 The Long-Term Care System (LA)

Exploration of the continuum of long-term care services available in the United States. Examination of issues of access and financing; the combination of housing and services for disabled older adults; and challenges to the provision of a range of quality long-term care options. Prerequisites: One 20000-level GERO course. (F,O)
Attributes: SS
3 Credits

GERO 37000 Counseling the Older Adult (LA)

Combines theory about and practice of basic counseling skills with information about issues faced by older adults and their families. Analyzes the lives of today's older adults within the frameworks of social institutions and race, class, and gender. Prerequisites: One 10000-level sociology course or one 10000-level GERO course; at least one of the following: GERO 22000, SOCI 30800, SOCI 30900, PSYC 36600, ANTH 34000, RLS 23800, HLTH 24000. (S,E)
Attributes: SS
3 Credits

GERO 38000 End-of-Life Issues (LA)

Broad overview of basic concepts and psychosocial issues related to the meaning of loss and death, the process of death, and the experience of grieving. Consideration of health care practices along with community resources. Real-world topics and controversial issues explored through combination of lectures, hands-on activities, and field trips. Prerequisites: One 10000-level GERO course; junior standing. (S, E)
Attributes: SS
3 Credits

GERO 38900 Selected Topics in Applied Gerontology (NLA)

Exploration, in a lecture or seminar format, of a professional or practical aspect of gerontology. Topics vary based on current trends and student and faculty interests. May be repeated for credit for different selected topics. Offered for depending upon the issue and the time required to adequately address the topic. Prerequisites: One 20000-level GERO course. (IRR)
1-3 Credits

GERO 39900-39905 Selected Topics in Social Gerontology (LA)

Exploration, in lecture or seminar format, of a specific area of social gerontology. Topics are based on current trends and student and faculty interests. May be repeated for credit for different selected topics. Offered for depending upon the issue and time required to adequately address the topic. Prerequisites: One 20000-level GERO course. (IRR)
1-3 Credits

GERO 40100 Gerontology Internship (NLA)

This six-week (240 clock-hour) internship, ordinarily taken during the summer, provides a structured, intensive learning experience in an organization dedicated to research, planning, policymaking, or service provision for older adults. Supervision is provided by an on-site professional preceptor. Students are required to submit periodic written field reports, as well as a final internship experience report. Prerequisites: GERO 29010; GERO 31900; Aging Studies major; permission of instructor. Pass/fail only. (Y)
2 Credits

GERO 48000 Gerontology Senior Seminar (LA)

This capstone experience provides a structured opportunity for gerontology majors to integrate knowledge and experience from coursework and internships as they explore a variety of theoretical and professional issues in gerontology. Prerequisites: GERO 31900; GERO 40100; senior standing; WRTG10600 or ICSM108XX or ICSM118XX. (S,Y)
Attributes: CP, SS, WI
3 Credits

GERO 49900 Independent Study (LA)

Individual research and writing on a particular area in gerontology, supervised by a faculty member in the gerontology program. Prerequisites: Permission of instructor. (F-S,Y)
1-4 Credits