Contact: Dr. Diane Martin, Center for the Study of Aging
Teaching/research interests: aging in place, ageism, intergenerational relationships, psychology of aging and optimal aging.
McDaniel College is an institutional member of the Academy for Gerontology in Higher Education - the international leader in advancing education on aging and is the only institutional membership organization devoted primarily to gerontology and geriatrics education since 1974.
In 2011 the Gerontology minor offered through the Center for the Study of Aging at McDaniel College was the first in the country to be designated as a Program of Merit by the Academy for Gerontology in Higher Education (AGHE). This designation was reaffirmed in March 2017 and is valid through March 2022. Program of Merit status indicates the program has voluntarily undergone a review by AGHE and found to adhere to or exceed national guidelines, expectations, and practices in gerontology education. To learn more about POM, visit the AGHE website.
Gerontology is an important field of study and one that couples well with nearly every major at McDaniel College. Choosing to minor in Gerontology will prepare students to meet the challenges of our aging world. There will be unprecedented opportunities for qualified professionals who can work effectively with and for our aging population. In fact, the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics has targeted the field of Gerontology as one of the highest growth areas for jobs in the future. The reason for this is two-fold. First, people born between 1946 and 1964, known as the baby-boom generation, are turning age 65 at the rate of one person every 8 seconds, a trend which will continue for the next two decades. Secondly, people are living longer than ever, resulting in the 85+ age group being the fastest growing demographic in our country. Because of these demographic changes, the U.S. Census Bureau projects that by the year 2030 the number of individuals age 65 and older will make up over one-fifth of the American population and by 2050 the 65+ age group will outnumber the 15 and younger age group. We are not unique in this trend. Most of the developed world is aging at a pace equivalent to or greater than United States.
Courses in the minor allow students to explore adulthood and aging processes and development and change that occur biologically, psychologically, and socially. The minor also provides exposure to ethical thinking, spirituality, policy and social support considerations, cross-cultural factors, and health care issues. Students examine current theories and research, analyze program, policy, and research issues, and complete an internship designed to expose them to gerontology work within their chosen major.
Key features of the program include:
- Enables students to gain an interdisciplinary understanding of aging processes.
- Knowledge to pursue a career in the growing field of Gerontology related to chosen undergraduate major.
- Opportunities to see connection between classroom learning and real-world applicability.
Declaration of minor and advising:
Students interested in declaring the minor are encouraged to meet with the coordinator of the Gerontology program to discuss the requirements, course sequencing, career interests, etc. Students declare the minor in Gerontology by submitting the major/minor declaration form to the registrar’s office. Although not required, all students declaring the minor in Gerontology are encouraged to have an advisor from the CSA to assist with planning a course of study to complete the minor, choosing classes, determining an internship placement site, discuss career opportunities, etc. The Gerontology program coordinator serves as the student advisor for the Gerontology minor. The declaration of Major/Minor/Advisor form is available in the Registrar’s Office.