Gerontology Course Descriptions

GER Courses GER Courses GER Courses GER Courses GER Courses GER Courses GER Courses GER Courses GER Courses GER Courses GER Courses GER Courses GER Courses GER Courses

GER 2203 - U.S. Healthcare System - 4 cr.
History and development of the healthcare system in the U.S.; health in society today; types of healthcare institutions and services; organizational structure, roles of health care professionals and functions of hospitals and other health facilities; accountability in healthcare and the role of government in healthcare; introduction to current models of healthcare financing.


GER 3310 - Religious Perspectives on Living, Dying, and Grieving ( WI ) - 4 cr.
Consideration of questions related to suffering, dying, prolonging and manipulating life. Study examines topics related to the meaning and end of human life according to various religious and cultural viewpoints. Topics include the quality and sacredness of life, end of life moral issues, funeral rites, grief and mourning, suicide, and perspectives on life after death.


GER 3315 - Psychosocial Aspects of Aging - 4 cr.
Overview of the aging individual within a social context. The focus is on characteristics of today's older adult cohort, psychological processes in late life, the social context in which older adults live and society's response to older adults. Topics include: demographics, stereotypes and attitudes, research methods, theories of development, sensing and responding to the environment, cognitive processes, mental disorders and treatment, death and dying, sexuality, intimate relationships, family relationships, caregiving, employment and retirement, finances, Social Security, Medicare, living environments, ethnicity, gender, crimes against and by older adults, social programs, and political power of the older cohort.


GER 3316 - Health and Functioning in Late Life - 4 cr.
Overview of the basic principles and concepts of the normal aging process, including the realities of physical aging and common health deviations. Theories of aging, physiological changes in the older adult, and common chronic diseases are explored. Health promotion, preventive action and the healthcare system for the older adult are components of the course content.


GER 3318 - Spirituality and Aging ( X ) - 4 cr.
Examination of the ongoing, dynamic, creative process of spiritual growth and physical development in the older adult. Focus includes: the normal aging process as it deals with meaning in life; ageism; death and dying issues; various forms of ministry for and with the aging population; and transitions of life which can facilitate the continued search for spiritual fulfillment.


GER 3325 - Group Dynamics - 2 cr.
Study of psychological principles and development of personal skills in working with groups. Topics include group facilitation, ways in which groups are studied, stages of group development, leadership, communication, norms and roles, power, conflict and ethics. Opportunity is given to experience these dynamics in small groups. Prerequisite: one course in general or developmental psychology, or junior status in the communication department, or consent of the instructor.

Prerequisite Courses: PSY 1105, PSY 2208


GER 3341 - Introduction to Counseling - 2 cr.
Identification of communication and counseling skills for working with all age groups. Topics include active listening skills, counseling process, empathic responding, barriers to communication, assets and limitations of paraprofessional helpers and counseling ethics. Prerequisite: one course in general or developmental psychology or consent of the instructor.

Prerequisite Courses: PSY 1105, PSY 2208


GER 3424 - Mental Health and Aging - 2 cr.
Examination of the mental and emotional health of adults over 65 years of age. Factors that contribute to good mental health are discussed; however, a major emphasis is on the manifestation and treatment of mental disorders in late life. Topics include: diagnosing and treating mental disorders, psychosocial factors that affect mental health, stress, grief, depression, suicide, schizophrenia, paranoia, anxiety disorders, delirium, dementia, Alzheimer's disease, and alcoholism. Prerequisite: PSY 2208 or PSY/GER/SOC 3315 (or equivalent) or consent of instructor.

Prerequisite Courses: GER 3315, PSY 2208, PSY 3315


GER 3777 - Topics in Gerontology - 1-4 cr.
Courses not a part of the regular gerontology curriculum but taught at upper-division level because of special need, interest or opportunity.


GER 4125 - Biology of Aging - 2 cr.
Study of aging changes evident in humans as the result of time interacting with molecular mechanisms of the biological systems. Current knowledge of these mechanisms will be examined, followed by an application of the basic principles of biological aging to the systems of the body. Prerequisite: completed course in anatomy/physiology or instructor permission.

Prerequisite Courses: BIO 2110, BIO 2120


GER 4444 - Research in Gerontology - 1-2 cr.
Students either (a) initiate and implement empirical research in an area of special interest or (b) participate in an ongoing empirical research project developed by a faculty member. For student-initiated projects, the student develops the research proposal, conducts the research and reports the research in standard APA format. For faculty-initiated research, students work one on- one with the faculty member or as part of his/her research team of students. Activities may include doing library research, developing measures, collecting data, analyzing data and writing portions of research reports using APA style. Prerequisite: consent of supervising faculty member and gerontology program director.


GER 4555 - Gerontology Directed Applied Project - 1-6 cr.
Provides first-hand experience in the field of aging services. Students engage in fieldwork with or advocating for older adults in a community setting. Students must work with a faculty advisor, typically the gerontology program director, to: (a) write the GERODAP proposal including objectives and how the objectives will be met, (b) write the GERO-DAP final paper, and (c) participate in the oral exam. Evaluation is by the faculty advisor, a faculty reader, and the on-site supervisor. Prerequisites: 3 gerontology courses and consent of gerontology program director.


GER 4556 - Professional Application of Gerontology - 0-1 cr.
Intended for gerontology minor/certificate students who opt to do their Gerontology Directed Applied Project (GERO-DAP) fieldwork as part of supervised field experiences required by their majors. In addition to the fieldwork requirements for the majors, students must work with a faculty advisor, typically the gerontology program director, to: (a) write the GERO-DAP proposal including objectives and how the objectives will be met, (b)write the GERO-DAP final paper ,and (c) participate in the oral exam. Evaluation is by the faculty advisor, a faculty reader, and the on-site supervisor. Prerequisites: 3 gerontology courses and consent of gerontology program director


GER 4999 - Independent Study - 0-4 cr.
Description coming soon.