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College of Business & Social Sciences
Gerontology

Welcome to ULM's Gerontology Program

 

WHAT IS GERONTOLOGY?

Gerontology is the study of the biological, psychological, cognitive, and social aspects of aging.  It is a multidisciplinary study of the aging process. “Gerontologists include researchers and practitioners in such diverse fields as biology, medicine, nursing, dentistry, social work, physical and occupational therapy, psychology, psychiatry, sociology, economics, political science, leisure studies, architecture, pharmacy, and anthropology” (Hooyman and Kiyak, 2018).  A graduate degree in Gerontology prepares individuals to work with the elderly in a variety of settings using a variety of practice and administrative methods.

 

 

Old Age Quote

 

 

     

 "Old age is not a disease - it is strength and

  survivorship, triumph over all kinds of vicissitudes and

  disappointments, trials and illnesses."

  Maggie Kuhn

              

CURRENT NEED FOR WORKFORCE IN GERONTOLOGY

There is an urgent need for well-trained professionals in the field of Gerontology and, consequently, the projected growth rate of jobs in Gerontology is quite high. The U.S. Census Bureau projects that by 2020, the life expectancy will grow to 77.1 years for men and 81.9 years for women. According to the US Census Bureau, the total US population, between 2000 and 2010, increased by 9.7% (going from 281.4 million to 308.7 million).  However, the population aged 65 years and older increased by 15.1% during the same period. The estimated growth of the elderly population in the U.S. over the next 50 years will have an unprecedented impact on the services available to the elderly.  An increase in the number of older adults with longer life expectancies will seriously affect elder care services such as, long-term care, community-based care, health care, and other supportive services. The current gerontological workforce is not adequate to meet the unique demands of an aging society.  Moreover, the current workforce will retire (or reduce their work hours) within the next 10 to 15 years creating more gaps in service-delivery for the elderly recipients of services.  Consequently, there is an acute need for more well qualified professionals in the field of Gerontology.

MASTER’S DEGREE (M.A.) IN GERONTOLGY AT ULM

In 1987, the National Institute on Aging recognized ULM's excellence in aging by awarding the university funds to develop the first Center on Aging in Louisiana.

Since that time, ULM has led the state in offering and developing coursework in Gerontology, with the distinction of being the only university in Louisiana to offer the Master of Arts in Gerontology, the first to offer the Certificate in Gerontology, as well as being continuously recognized by the Louisiana Board of Regents for Higher Education as a "Unique Area of Excellence."

Master’s degree in Gerontology at ULM is a 36-hour degree program consisting of 21 hours of core courses and 15 hours of “concentration” courses.  Students can choose any one of the following six concentrations:

1.         Long-term Care Administration

2.         Program Administration

3.         Small Business Management

4.         Mental Health

5.         Grief Care Management

6.         Aging Studies

Descriptions of courses included in each concentration can be looked up at: http://catalog.ulm.edu/preview_program.php?catoid=26&poid=3127&returnto=3172

Each of the six concentrations prepares students for a successful career in Gerontology.  The courses offered in these concentrations also prepare students to qualify for various national certifications such as, geriatric care manager, case manager, and Grief and Bereavement Coordinator.  Additionally, students receive education and training in launching small businesses relating to elder care services.

WHAT DO OUR GRADUATES SAY

“Gerontology is such a growing field in our world today.  Earning a degree from ULM is rewarding for myself as well as my future. I feel like the program ULM offers is one of the best because of the information I learned from our aging society.  With the program being online it allowed me to work my full-time job and still pursue my dreams of earning my Master’s degree.  I will be able to have more job opportunities because of the education I received at ULM. “ 

Miranda Weed, Fall 2017

 

CAREERS IN GERONTOLGY

 

Career Resources


Association of Gerontology in Higher Education
information page about careers & more (www.aghe.org)

ULM's Career Connections


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