A new bachelor's degree program at Niagara University will train students to serve society's elderly population.
A B.A. degree program in gerontology, offered through the university's College of Arts and Sciences, will introduce students to the study of aging and the aged, and also provide opportunities for experiential learning, including research training, internships and community service placements working with the elderly.
Applications are now being accepted for the spring of 2014.
"As the senior citizen population in the United States continues to grow, there is a corresponding increase in the need to prepare a workforce with the appropriate knowledge, skills and values," stated Susan E. Mason, Ph.D., the program's coordinator.
Along with the 120-credit undergraduate program, a minor in gerontology is also available to students.
"Some students are interested in careers that will bring them in direct contact with older adults in health and human services, government, business or education," Mason added. "Others may have less direct contact, but because older adults represent a large and growing segment of the population, students in every major will benefit from an understanding of the interests, abilities and needs of older adults."
Upon completion of this degree, graduates will be qualified to pursue employment in a variety of settings, including health care facilities, retirement communities, senior centers and community agencies.
The flexibility of the B.A. program in gerontology allows students to complete a second major or prepare for graduate study in gerontology, psychology, social work, rehabilitative therapies, or health and human service disciplines.
Niagara University previously established a Gerontology Center, located on the main floor of DePaul Hall, which consists of a large conference room/research laboratory and the gerontology office. The center's mission is to develop and administer educational programs, conduct basic and applied research, and promote service activities that benefit older adults.
For more information, call 716-286-8358 or visit www.niagara.edu/gerontology.