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Gerontology

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Interdepartmental Minor and Interinstitutional Program

The gerontology program is designed for students desiring careers in aging-related fields and for students interested in improving their understanding of aging persons in American society. Students are expected to take courses to develop the necessary interdisciplinary breadth which, in combination with other disciplinary training, can prepare them to work with older adults.

Graduates understand the ways in which individual and societal aging influence, and are impacted by, developments in their major field of study. They have an appreciation and understanding of the cross-disciplinary aspects of human aging.

Gerontology courses are offered in the interdepartmental gerontology program in the following participating departments and programs: Architecture; Biochemistry, Biophysics, and Molecular Biology; Economics; Apparel, Educational Studies, and Hospitality Management, Food Science and Human Nutrition; Kinesiology; Human Development and Family Studies; Political Science; Psychology; and Sociology.

Undergraduate Study

Undergraduate study in this program provides the student with an opportunity to develop a minor in gerontology. A balanced grouping of courses assists the student in developing both a sensitivity to the issues and the ability to synthesize ideas from the variety of disciplines important to the study of the aging process.

Minor

Undergraduate students may minor in gerontology by taking 16 semester hours of gerontology related courses. Nine of these credits must come from the following courses:

GERON 373Death as a Part of Living3
GERON 377Aging and the Family3
GERON 378Retirement Planning and Employee Benefits3
GERON 463Environments for the Aging3

Students will participate in a prepracticum seminar, GERON 466 Gerontology Prepracticum Seminar, and will complete a supervised field practicum after all gerontology coursework is completed (GERON 467 Gerontology Practicum). A minimum of 3 semester credits must be selected from a list of supportive gerontology related courses. Supportive courses include units or topics related to aging and can be used to complement the student’s major interests. The student’s minor program must be approved by the undergraduate gerontology coordinator.

Graduate Study

A declared graduate minor in gerontology consists of a minimum of 12 credits taken from a list of acceptable courses, and from at least two departments. Nine of the 12 credits must be in courses that are focused specifically on aging. One 590 course (3 credits maximum) can be taken as part of the 12 credits. GERON 510 Survey of Gerontology is required for all minor students. At least one member of the gerontology faculty will be on a student’s advisory committee; this person must be a member of the Graduate Faculty. Contact the coordinator to determine whether courses other than those listed below are available.

Interinstitutional Program

Iowa State University offers a Master’s degree in Family and Consumer Sciences with specialization in gerontology. This is an interinstitutional distance education program offered through the Web. The student selects the home institution, which grants the degree. After admission at the home institution, the student takes courses from each of the seven institutions: Iowa State University, Kansas State University, North Dakota State University, Oklahoma State University, Texas Tech University, the University of Arkansas, and the University of Missouri.

The master’s degree consists of 36 semester hours, 24 of these hours are from the following courses:

GERON 530Perspectives in Gerontology3
GERON 534Adult Development3
GERON 540Nutrition and Physical Activity in Aging3
GERON 545Economics, Public Policy, and Aging3
GERON 563Environments for the Aging3
GERON 577Aging in the Family Setting3
GERON 584Program Evaluation and Research Methods in Gerontology3
GERON 594Professional Seminar in Gerontology3

The remaining 12 credits will include electives and specific courses needed to meet the requirements of the institution awarding the degree. Neither a thesis nor a creative component is required.

Gerontology Graduate Certificate Program

The 21-credit Graduate Certificate Program in Gerontology includes the following courses from the list of core courses:

GERON 530Perspectives in Gerontology3
GERON 534Adult Development3
GERON 540Nutrition and Physical Activity in Aging3
GERON 594Professional Seminar in Gerontology3

The additional six credits required for the certificate can be chosen from the remaining core courses or from other approved elective courses. A maximum of three credits of practicum also can be included in the elective credits.

Admission Procedures: Admission to the Gerontology Certificate Program requires exactly the same procedures as admission to the Graduate College. See Graduate College section of the catalog.

Registration: Students choosing to receive their degree from Iowa State University complete all the admissions, registration, and fee payment processes through ISU.

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Courses

Courses primarily for undergraduates:

(Cross-listed with HD FS). (3-0) Cr. 3. S.

Prereq: HD FS 102
Introductory exploration of the health, individual and social factors associated with adult development including young adulthood, middle age and older adulthood. Information is presented from a life-span developmental framework.

(Cross-listed with HD FS). (3-0) Cr. 3. F.S.Alt. SS., offered even-numbered years.

Prereq: HD FS 102
Consideration of death in the life span of the individual and the family with opportunity for exploration of personal and societal attitudes.

(Cross-listed with HD FS). (3-0) Cr. 3. F.Alt. SS., offered odd-numbered years.

Prereq: HD FS 102
Interchanges of the aged and their families. Emphasis on role changes, social interaction, and independence as influenced by health, finances, life styles, and community development.
Meets U.S. Diversity Requirement

(Cross-listed with ECON, HD FS). (3-0) Cr. 3. S.

Prereq: 3 credits in Principles of Economics and 3 credits in Human Development and Family Studies
Economic well-being in the context of demographic change, the present and future of Social Security, family retirement needs analysis, investment strategies and characteristics of retirement plans, helping others to work towards financial security, family economic issues for retired persons. Overview of employee and retirement benefits.
Meets U.S. Diversity Requirement

(3-0) Cr. 3. F.

Prereq: COM S 227 or (COM S 207 or GERON 377 or ARTGR 271) or equivalent.
An interdisciplinary course designed for students who are interested in assistive technology, pervasive computing, mobile computing and principles of universal and inclusive design for end users, in particular, the elderly population. Students will work in semester-long projects as interdisciplinary teams to apply knowledge obtained from lectures and mutual presentations. For graduate credit students are required to submit a research report and give an oral presentation.

(3-0) Cr. 3. F.

Prereq: COM S 227 or (COM S 207 or GERON 377)
An interdisciplinary course designed for students who are interested in assistive technology, pervasive computing, mobile computing and principles of universal software design for end users, in particular the elderly population. Students will have the chance to learn both about the theories and principles about aging and assistive technology, as well as to engage in the practical semester-long project while working with students from other disciplines.

(Dual-listed with GERON 563). (Cross-listed with ARTID, HD FS). (3-0) Cr. 3. S.

Prereq: HD FS 360 or 3 credits in housing, architecture, interior design, rehabilitation, psychology, or human development and family studies or permission of instructor
Emphasis on independent living within residential settings including specialized shelter, supportive services and housing management. Application of criteria appropriate for accessibility and functional performance of activities; universal design principles. Creative project provides service learning opportunities. (on-line course offering via Distance Education).
Meets U.S. Diversity Requirement

(1-0) Cr. 1. F.S.SS.

Prereq: 9 credits in core courses for the gerontology minor and approval of the gerontology undergraduate coordinator
Prepracticum training for students planning a gerontology practicum. Exploration of possible agencies for the practicum, in-depth study of a selected agency, and development of goals and objectives for the practicum.

Cr. 3-6. Repeatable. F.S.SS.

Prereq: GERON 466, advance reservation
Supervised field experience related to aging. Offered on a satisfactory-fail basis only.

Cr. arr.


Consult program coordinator for procedure.

Courses primarily for graduate students, open to qualified undergraduates:

Cr. arr. Repeatable. F.S.SS.


Cr. 1-3. Repeatable. S.


Provides an overview of important gerontological issues.

(3-0) Cr. 3. F.

Prereq: COM S 227 or (COM S 207 or GERON 377 or ARTGR 271) or equivalent.
An interdisciplinary course designed for students who are interested in assistive technology, pervasive computing, mobile computing and principles of universal and inclusive design for end users, in particular, the elderly population. Students will work in semester-long projects as interdisciplinary teams to apply knowledge obtained from lectures and mutual presentations. For graduate credit students are required to submit a research report and give an oral presentation.

(3-0) Cr. 3. SS.


Women and Aging is the study of theory, research and application of issues related to women and the aging experience. This course will examine gender differences in areas such as health, mental health, income security, crime, and public policy. Attention will be given to ways in which younger women can prepare to meet the challenges and opportunities awaiting them as they age.

(3-0) Cr. 3. SS.


Basic biological principles of aging. Course modules include an introduction to the aging process, body systems and normal aging, and environment and the biology of aging. In addition, disorders and diseases of aging, prevention and treatment and exercise and aging topics will be covered.

(3-0) Cr. 3. F.


Administration principles involved in the planning, organizing and directing of long-term care agencies. Includes an in-depth exposure to federal and state standards and regulations governing long-term care.

(3-0) Cr. 3. S.


Introduction to the range of issues involved in aging and mental health. From a systems framework the major emotional and psychiatric problems encountered in old age will be examined including mood, anxiety, adjustment and personality disorders, dementia, cognitive problems, substance abuse, and suicide. Barriers to treatment and cohort and cultural issues will be explored.

(3-0) Cr. 3. SS.


Cognitive skills form the foundation for functioning in everyday life and these skills take on added importance in older adulthood. This course focuses on selected theoretical approaches and current research related to cognitive aging. We will review normative and non-normative cognitive changes, assessment techniques, and prevention/intervention efforts. Throughout the course we will keep the role of environment and life-span implications in the forefront of our discussion.

(Cross-listed with HD FS). (3-0) Cr. 3. F.


Overview of current aging issues including theory and research, critical social and political issues in aging, the interdisciplinary focus of gerontology, career opportunities, and aging in the future. (on-line course offering via Distance Education).

(Cross-listed with HD FS). (3-0) Cr. 3. S.


Exploration of the biological, psychological and social factors associated with aging. Although the focus is on the later years, information is presented from a life-span developmental framework. Empirical studies are reviewed and their strengths, limitations and implications for normative and optimal functioning are discussed. (on-line course offering via Distance Education).

(Cross-listed with DIET). (3-0) Cr. 3. F.


WWW only. Basic physiologic changes during aging and their impacts in health and disease. The focus will be on successful aging with special emphasis on physical activity and nutrition. Practical application to community settings is addressed.

(Cross-listed with HD FS). (3-0) Cr. 3. F.


Policy development in the context of the economic status of the older adult population. Retirement planning and the retirement decisions; social security and public transfer programs; intra-family transfers to/from the aged; private pensions; financing medical care; prospects and issues for the future.

(Dual-listed with GERON 463). (Cross-listed with ARTID, HD FS). (3-0) Cr. 3. S.

Prereq: HD FS 360 or 3 credits in housing, architecture, interior design, rehabilitation, psychology, or human development and family studies or permission of instructor
Emphasis on independent living within residential settings including specialized shelter, supportive services and housing management. Application of criteria appropriate for accessibility and functional performance of activities; universal design principles. Creative project provides service learning opportunities. (on-line course offering via Distance Education).
Meets U.S. Diversity Requirement

(Cross-listed with ARCH). (3-0) Cr. 3. S.

Prereq: Graduate or Senior classification
Principles and procedures of universal design in response to the varying ability level of users. Assessment and analysis of existing buildings and sites with respect to standards and details of accessibility for all people, including visually impaired, mentally impaired, and mobility restricted users. Design is neither a prerequisite nor a required part of the course. Enrollment open to students majoring in related disciplines. Credit counts toward fulfillment of History, Theory, Culture requirements.
Meets U.S. Diversity Requirement

(Cross-listed with HD FS). (3-0) Cr. 3. S.

Prereq: 9 credits in social sciences or permission of instructor
Theories and research related to personal and family adjustments in later life affecting older persons and their intergenerational relationships. Related issues including demographics also are examined through the use of current literature. (on-line course offering via Distance Education).

(Cross-listed with HD FS). (3-0) Cr. 3. S.


Overview of program evaluation, research methods, and grant writing in gerontology. Includes application of quantitative and qualitative methods in professional settings. (on-line course offering via Distance Education).

Cr. arr. Repeatable.


Consult program coordinator for procedure.

Cr. 1-9. Repeatable, maximum of 9 credits. F.S.SS.


Supervised experience in an area of gerontology.

(Cross-listed with HD FS). (3-0) Cr. 3. SS.


An integrative experience for gerontology students designed to be taken near the end of the degree program. By applying knowledge gained in earlier coursework, students will strengthen skills in ethical decision-making behavior, applying these skills in gerontology-related areas such as advocacy, professionalism, family and workplace issues. Students from a variety of professions will bring their unique perspectives to bear on topics of common interest. (on-line course offering via Distance Education).

Cr. arr. Repeatable. F.S.SS.


Courses for graduate students:

(Cross-listed with HD FS). (3-0) Cr. 3. Alt. F., offered odd-numbered years.

Prereq: HD FS 510 or permission of instructor
Review of the impact of the growing older adult population as well as individual development and aging on individuals, families, and society. Exploration of theoretical perspectives applied to adult development and aging and distinction of normative and non-normative changes in adulthood. Discussion of methods to assess development across adulthood and consideration of the role of individual and environmental factors impacting efforts to optimize adult development.(on-line course offering via Distance Education).

Cr. arr. Repeatable. F.S.SS.