Missouri State University

Gerontology

Gerontology Program

901South National Avenue
Springfield, Missouri 65897

Office:                                                              (417) 836-5284
Fax:                                                                 (417) 836-6905
Email:                                                              Gerontology@missouristate.edu
World Wide Web:                                        www.missouristate.edu/ger
Program Coordinator:                                Dr. Bradley Fisher

Major

Gerontology as a field of study is growing as the number of older people within our society grows. This trend has been called the "graying of America." Currently, one out of six people are over the age of 60. By the year 2030 this will increase to one out of every four people. This suggests an increasing demand for individuals with gerontological training and experience. Students who enjoy interacting with older people may find a satisfying career through the Gerontology program.

Opportunities for Education

The Gerontology program at Missouri State offers a Bachelor of Science degree and is one of only 40 such programs nationwide. In 1999, it was recognized as a Program of Merit by the Association for Gerontology in Higher Education. Majors in Gerontology are exposed to an interdisciplinary curriculum offering a broad base of knowledge as it is applied to the aging process and issues of concern to the elderly.

The emphasis on career placement is one of the strengths of the programs. In the senior semester, Gerontology majors complete an internship at an approved facility or agency within the community.

Advisement is stressed in the program to help students maximize the benefits of their course work at Missouri State. Advisors in gerontology have an open door policy and meet regularly with students to guide them through their academic careers to enhance their job placement potential upon graduation.

Opportunities for Involvement

Students in the Gerontology program are required to complete a practicum placement prior to graduation. This provides students with opportunities to apply their academic knowledge by working directly with older people and other professionals within the field of aging. Upon completion of the program, one student shared," Older people are so appreciative and have so much to offer. I enjoy interacting with older people, and this is why I want to go into this field of study."

Career Opportunities

Society will continue to need people in the field of aging in all areas, especially trained professionals in the health and applied sciences, long-term care management, policy and planning, social services and recreation. Demand for personnel with gerontological training will continue to exceed supply well into this century. The jobs of the future are here today.