Gerontology (GER) courses
GER 300 Service Learning Curricular ComponentPrerequisite: 30 hours and concurrent registration in a gerontology course designated as service learning offering.
An integrative learning experience which addresses the practice of citizenship and promotes an awareness of and participation in public affairs by incorporating community service with classroom instruction. Includes 40 hours on-task service to a community organization, agency or public service provider. The community service placement agency and service assignment will vary, dependent on the course topic and learning objectives. May be repeated.
GER 301 The Elderly and the Media: Confronting Popular StereotypesPrerequisite: 30 hours.
Students will be introduced to common stereotypes held about the elderly within our society and statistics and information which prove these stereotypes to be false. Public perceptions of the elderly will be studied through the use of five commercial motion pictures and a review of four articles covering topics related to the theme of each of the films. The class will focus on how stereotypes about the elderly are both reinforced and challenged in commercial motion pictures, how stereotypes affect an older person's self-concept, and how popular ageist stereotypes shape our own views on growing older.
GER 309 Identity and Aging in Literature and FilmPrerequisite: PSY 121 or SOC 150; and ENG 110.
Emphasizes the experience of aging as perceived from the older person's point of view and that of society. Situations in later life will be explored through the use of short stories, selected articles, and videos. The topics covered will include health, friendship and relationships, widowhood, family and intergenerational relationships, perceptions of death and dying, and finding purpose and meaning in life. Students will acquire a basic understanding of identity issues and factors that contribute to well-being in later life. Identical with PSY 309. Cannot receive credit for both GER 309 and PSY 309.
GER 351 Psychology of Adulthood and AgingPrerequisite: PSY 121 or GER 375.
Principles and practical applications in development of the adult. Includes psychological effects of personality and intellect. Both normal and abnormal phenomena are considered. Identical with PSY 350. Cannot receive credit for both GER 351 and PSY 350.
GER 354 Gender and Sexuality in Later LifePrerequisite: PSY 121 or SOC 150; and GST 170 or 45 hours.
A comparison of the aging experiences of men and women in later life. The relevance of gender, gender roles and sexuality to the aging process will be considered. Specific topics of analysis will include the gender gap in longevity, psychological and physical health, LGBTQ status, minority status, socioeconomic status, family relationships, and public policy issues. Identical with PSY 354. Cannot receive credit for both GER 354 and PSY 354.
GER 363 Death and Human BehaviorPrerequisite: PSY 121 or SOC 150.
An introduction to the varied aspects of death and dying. The course will focus on attitudes toward death, fears of death and dying, special needs of those who have a life threatening illness, means of helping the survivors and techniques for prolonging life. Identical with PSY 363. Cannot receive credit for both GER 363 and PSY 363.
GER 366 Families in Later LifePrerequisite: PSY 121 or SOC 150; and CFD 155 or CFD 163 or 30 hours.
Examination of the structure and function of families in later life. Topics of interest include demographic trends impacting the structure of the family, marriage, sibling relations, parent-adult child relations, grandparenthood, widowhood, and retirement. The application of family theories and their relevance to later life families will be discussed. Identical with CFD 365, SWK 365, and PSY 366. Can only receive credit for one of following: CFD 365, GER 366, PSY 366 or SWK 365.
GER 370 Mental Health and AgingPrerequisite: PSY 121 or SOC 150.
Personality adjustment in old age, with emphasis both on adequate and maladjusted development. Factors influencing adjustment are considered. Both functional and organic sources of maladjustment are surveyed. Identical with PSY 370. Cannot receive credit for both GER 370 and PSY 370.
GER 375 Social Forces and AgingPrerequisite: PSY 121 or SOC 150; and 30 hours.
Examines the aging process, demographic trends, and the social, economic, and social-psychological aspects of aging in the United States. Students will be introduced to current theories on aging in social gerontology and their application to the everyday lives of older people. Topics of interest include social attitudes toward aging, family and social bonds, work and retirement, gender issues, ethnicity and aging, living environments, and approaches to aging well. Students will learn about the role of federal, state and local agencies in meeting the needs of the elderly. Identical with SOC 375. Cannot receive credit for both GER 375 and SOC 375.
GER 396 Directed Readings in GerontologyPrerequisite: 6 hours of gerontology and permission.
Readings designed to supplement material introduced in previous Gerontology courses. Includes a wide selection of literature in the field. May be repeated to a total of 6 hours.
GER 397 Special Topics in GerontologyPrerequisite: 6 hours of designated courses in the gerontology major.
In-depth inquiry into selected interdisciplinary topics of contemporary interest in gerontology. May be repeated to a total of 6 hours when topic changes. Variable content course.
GER 470 Community Resources for Older AdultsPrerequisite: GER 375.
Covers the services, programs and institutions involved in providing services to older adults in the United States, with a focus on community-based services. Typical needs, issues, concerns and desires of older persons are identified and corresponding community-based services to address these needs are discussed. Emerging issues and developments in the field of gerontology will also be discussed as they relate to community services and resources. Site visits to agencies and organizations serving older adults will enhance students' familiarity with resources to improve the quality of life and well-being of aging members in our society. Identical with SWK 470. Cannot receive credit for both GER 470 and SWK 470.
GER 480 Policies and Older AdultsPrerequisite: GER 375.
Students will be introduced to the development and practice of social policy, on the state and federal level, and how it affects services to the older adult population. Political organizations that influence the lives of the elderly (e.g., the American Association of Retired Persons, Gray Panthers, Older Women's League) will be examined as well as government and social welfare programs (i.e., Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare). What constitutes "citizenship" and the role of a "senior citizen" will also be explored.
GER 492 Directed ResearchPrerequisite: GER 375 and permission of sponsoring faculty member and department head.
Allows students to gain research experience by working with an individual faculty member either as a research assistant or as a primary researcher working under faculty supervision. May be repeated for a maximum of 6 hours.
GER 597 Special Topics in GerontologyPrerequisite: 90 hours; and 12 hours of gerontology.
In-depth inquiry into selected interdisciplinary topics of contemporary interest in gerontology. May be repeated to a total of 6 hours when topic changes. Variable content course. May be taught concurrently with GER 697. Cannot receive credit for both GER 697 and GER 597.
GER 598 Supervised Practicum in GerontologyPrerequisite: concurrent enrollment in GER 599; completion of gerontology core courses with a grade of "C" or better in each; and permission of the program coordinator.
Onsite contacts with elderly individuals through an internship at a residential or community placement approved by the coordinator. Direct supervision will be provided by qualified professionals in the field of gerontology. Students will serve 45 clock hours for each credit hour awarded. May be repeated to a total of 12 hours. Public Affairs Capstone Experience course.
GER 599 Seminar in GerontologyPrerequisite: concurrent enrollment in GER 598; completion of the gerontology core courses with a grade of "C" or better in each; and permission of the program coordinator.
Weekly meetings to allow students to correlate experiences in GER 598 with academic knowledge, share experiences, and broaden contacts in the field of aging. Survey of current literature in gerontology from various disciplines will be included. Public Affairs Capstone Experience course.
GER 697 Special Topics in Gerontology
Recommended Prerequisite: 12 hours of Gerontology. In-depth inquiry into selected interdisciplinary topics of contemporary interest in gerontology. Variable content course. May be repeated to a total of 6 hours when topic changes. May be taught concurrently with GER 597. Cannot receive credit for both GER 597 and GER 697.