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GERO - Program Details

The School of Social and Behavioral Sciences

Introduction

Gerontology is the scientific study of biological, psychological and social aspects of aging. At Stockton, the Gerontology Program (GERO) is an interdisciplinary minor program housed in the School of Social and Behavioral Sciences. Our program involves faculty from across the College and the minor is open to all undergraduate students.

Matriculated students may earn a Gerontology Minor in conjunction with any major. Nonmatriculated students who come to Stockton just to complete the program to enhance their job performance and/or credentials will receive a Certificate of Completion in Gerontology.

While Stockton does not offer a major in Gerontology, it is possible for students to design their own Liberal Studies curriculum with a gerontology focus. (Interested students should see the Liberal Studies program description and speak to the GERO coordinator.)

The Stockton Center on Successful Aging (SCOSA) provides additional opportunities for our students. 

Program Organization

The minor requirements and curriculum are consistent with standards set by the Association for Gerontology in Higher Education and are designed to provide students with a well-rounded understanding of the multidisciplinary study of aging through basic and applied course work. Stockton’s Gerontology Minor has been designated as a Program of Merit, one of only 15 in the nation, by the Association for Gerontology in Higher Education. The gerontology minor is awarded to students who have completed 20 credits (five courses) including GERO 1100 Introduction to Gerontology or GSS 1090 Aging & Society, GERO 2107 Aging and Health or GERO 2109 Biology of Aging, two electives, and GERO 3900 Gerontology Internship.

Students with previous extensive experience working with older adults may request from the GERO coordinator the substitution of another elective course in place of the Internship. Also, practicum experiences from other majors that primarily involve work with the aged may also be substituted for the GERO internship if they receive prior approval from the GERO coordinator.

Advanced students may take advantage of independent studies or tutorials and become involved in various faculty-sponsored research and community service projects. Students are also encouraged to consider the Washington Internship Program, which can include placement at federal agencies that serve the older population.

Students who successfully complete minor requirements with at least a 2.33 average in their Gerontology course work taken at Stockton or a B or better in their internship will have “Minor in Gerontology” indicated on their official academic transcript.

Admission to the Program

The program is open to all majors as well as to nonmatriculated students. Matriculated students should inform their preceptor and register their interest in pursuing the minor by contacting the GERO coordinator. GERO courses may fit into students’ overall graduation requirements in several ways, depending on the student’s major. For example, GERO is generally a cognate to SOCY/ANTH, SOWK, PSYC, POLS, CRIM, ECON and some programs in Health Sciences or Business. For majors in the Arts and Humanities or Natural Sciences, most GERO courses would be considered at-some-distance courses; students from these areas could use GERO as a “career cluster.” GERO is also a suitable minor for majors in Health Sciences and Natural Sciences and Mathematics and these students should consult with their preceptor and the GERO Coordinator. The decision about where GERO courses fit into a student’s academic plan is usually made by the student’s preceptor on behalf of the student’s major program. Planning early, particularly in programs with highly structured requirements, can help students complete the minor without taking additional courses beyond the basic 128 credit hours needed for graduation.

Nonmatriculated students should contact the Gerontology Coordinator about opportunities to complete the Certificate of Completion in Gerontology, which has the same course requirements as the minor.

Graduation Requirements

REQUIRED COURSES

GERO 1100 Introduction to Gerontology
or
GSS 1090 Aging & Society

GERO 2107 Aging and Health
or
GERO 2109 Biology of Aging

GERO 3900 Gerontology Internship
(or approved substitute for students with substantial applied experience)

Elective Courses — (Students must select at least two of the following courses, tutorials or independent studies. Some of these courses are cross-listed with various majors and completion of the cross-listed section also counts toward the minor. Additional elective courses are occasionally offered.)

GERO 2160 Aging, Crime, and Criminal Justice
GERO 2282 Economics of Aging
GERO 2292 Aging and the Family
GERO 2381 Adult Development and Aging
GERO 2410 Communication and Aging
GERO 2620 Therapeutic Arts with Older Adults
GERO 3220 Spirituality and Aging
GERO 3616 Aging and Mental Health
GERO 3754 Research on Aging (tutorial)
GERO 3760 Funding in Aging (tutorial)
GSS 2194 Death and Dying
GSS 2256 Exploring the Dying Process
GSS 2344 Mindfulness and End of Life Care
GSS 2403 Aging and Diversity
GSS 2404 Aging and the Law
GSS 3645 Aging and Technology

Career Opportunities

U.S. Labor Department statistics consistently show that jobs in fields related to aging will be particularly abundant for the foreseeable future as baby boomers age during the next three decades. This will be true especially in New Jersey because of the State’s older-than-average population and more so in southern New Jersey because of its growing popularity as a retirement area.

Thus, the study of gerontology can enhance one’s performance and marketability as a professional in many disciplines. For example, social workers, physical and occupational therapists, psychologists, nurses, financial managers and health care administrators all require knowledge of aging. Gerontologists usually work in one of two general areas: direct services to the elderly or administration of service, research and education. Undergraduate course work in gerontology coupled with the appropriate major prepares students for various entry-level positions in both areas.

Information about the Program:

Gerontology Program Coordinator
The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey
101 Vera King Farris Drive
Galloway, NJ 08205
Phone: (609) 652-4512

Dean of Enrollment Management
The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey
101 Vera King Farris Drive
Galloway, NJ 08205
Phone: (609) 652-4261