Gerontology Minor - Undergraduate - 2011 University Catalog

You are viewing the 2011 University Catalog. Please see the newest version of the University Catalog for the most current version of this program's requirements.

Coordinator and Advisor: Mary E. Henry

The minor in gerontology provides a program of study for undergraduate students who want to learn about the complex health, social, economic, environmental, psychological, transportation, housing, spiritual, intergenerational, recreational and aesthetic needs of older adults, their families and caregivers. At a time when close to one out of seven Americans is 65 or older, there is an increasing need for professionals in family studies, sociology, biology, psychology, health, adult fitness and recreation, anthropology, ethics, philosophy, business, tourism, legal studies, financial planning, accounting, music therapy and the arts to be trained to work in multiple contexts with a diverse population of senior citizens and their families.

This multidisciplinary minor in gerontology is appropriate for students from most majors and challenges students to think critically about various aspects of healthy adult development and elderhood. The minor is distinctive in that it includes several service-learning courses which integrate academic coursework with "hands on" learning opportunities in a variety of community-based organizations. Many of these organizations have had long-term partnerships with Montclair State University, its students, faculty and staff who have collaborated to increase the quality and quantity of assets and services for older adults in the surrounding community. The minor also requires a part time, supervised internship in an organization that works with older adults. These service-learning and internship experiences enable students to clarify career goals and/or provide background knowledge for working with elders in a variety of community-based service, public, private and non-profit settings. The employment outlook for students with some background in gerontology, whether their career interests are in business, finance, law, health, entertainment, recreation, travel, housing, family studies, counseling, etc., will only increase for the foreseeable future. One course in the minor meets a general education requirement and other courses may also meet a major requirement, a fact important to students who want to have a minor and still graduate on time.


GERONTOLOGY MINOR

Complete 4 requirement(s) for 18 semester hours:

  1. Complete 3 courses:

    FCST 201 Introduction to Social Gerontology 3
    FCST 305 Death and Bereavement in the Family 3
    PSYC 101 Introduction to Psychology 3
  2. Complete 1 course from the following list.

    ANTH 350 Anthropology of Aging and the Aged 3
    FCST 360 Families in Later Life 3
  3. Complete 1 course from the following list.

    PSYC 268 Psychological Aspects of Aging 3
    PSYC 302 Health Psychology 3
  4. Complete 1 course from the following list.

    HLTH 440 Health Aspects of Aging 3
    PEMJ 340 Fitness and the Aging Process 3

Course Descriptions:

ANTH350: Anthropology of Aging and the Aged

An analysis of the influences of cultural systems on the processes of aging. Special emphasis is placed on the behaviors and meanings attached to the stages of growing older in a variety of cultural systems. (3 hours lecture.) 3 sh.

Prerequisites: ANTH 201 or ANTH 125 or ANTH 155 or ANTH 135 or ANTH 145 or ANTH 270 or departmental approval.

FCST201: Introduction to Social Gerontology

This course provides a comprehensive overview of social gerontology using a variety of perspectives including biological, psychological, and social aspects of aging and how a person's values, attitudes, beliefs, race, ethnicity, sexuality, health, socioeconomic status and gender affect their experience as they age. This course is open to students in all majors who have personal or professional interests in learning more about aging, career paths in gerontology, and services for older adults and their families. It will also provide a basis for more advanced course work. Field visits are integrated into the course. Starting Summer 2012: In this course students examine issues related to aging in America from an individual and family perspective. They gain an understanding of biological, physiological, and cognitive changes related to aging and their impact upon families and daily life. Students also develop knowledge of the field of gerontology, utilizing a variety of perspectives including biological, psychological, and social aspects of aging and how personal values, attitudes, beliefs, race, ethnicity, and rituals affect the aging experience. (3 hours lecture.) 3 sh.

Prerequisites: PSYC 101.

FCST305: Death and Bereavement in the Family

This course offers a multidisciplinary approach to the study of dying and death within the context of the family. This course will examine human responses to the dying process across the life span as well as the social functions of grief and mourning. Perceptions of death in various social, cultural, and religious contexts will be explored as will substantive and controversial topics related to the end of life. Starting Summer 2012: Students examine human responses to the dying process across the lifespan as well as the social functions of grief and mourning. Students also explore perceptions of death in various social, cultural, and religious contexts as well as substantive and controversial topics related to the end of life. (3 hours lecture.) 3 sh.

Prerequisites: FCST 200 or PSYC 101. Restricted to majors within the Family and Child Studies department or departmental approval.

FCST360: Families in Later Life

Combining the fields of family science and gerontology, this course will introduce students to family relationships, roles, and responsibilities in the second half of life. Later life families and the sociological and demographic implications of these families will be discussed. Culturally and ethnically diverse populations will be considered as well as issues of social justice. Multiple substantive topics related to aging families will be examined (i.e., caregiving, grandparenting, marriage and sibling relationships later life, housing, retirement, widowhood, aging parent-adult child relations, etc.). Finally, students will consider gerontological theory and its influence on the study of aging and aging family relationships. Starting Summer 2012: Applying the fields of family science and gerontology, students learn about family relationships, roles, and responsibilities in the second half of life. Students engage in discussion about later life families and the sociological and demographic implications of these families. Culturally and ethnically diverse populations are considered as well as issues of social justice. Multiple substantive topics related to aging families are examined (i.e., care giving, grandparenting, marriage and sibling relationships later life, housing, retirement, widowhood, aging parent-adult child relations, etc.). (3 hours lecture.) 3 sh.

Prerequisites: FCST 200 or PSYC 101. Restricted to majors within the Family and Child Studies department or departmental approval.

HLTH440: Health Aspects of Aging

This course focuses upon changes in aspects of health during the middle and later years of life. Includes anatomy and physiology, nutritional requirements, sensoria and those phenomena associated with aging and sexuality. Common causes of morbidity and mortality explored as they relate to the aged. Attention given to the psychosocial and economic needs of the elderly as well as to those aspects of gerontology which deal with legislation and community organization. (3 hours lecture.) 3 sh.

Prerequisites: Health Education major or departmental approval.

PEMJ340: Fitness and the Aging Process

The anatomic, physiologic and social changes experienced by the older adult as he/she ages. The students will learn the bases for selection of appropriate activities and techniques for communicating with this specialized population. Field experiences involving older adults in fitness settings will be included in this course. (3 hours lecture.) 3 sh.

Prerequisites: PEMJ 320.

PSYC101: Introduction to Psychology

This course is an introduction to the study of human behavior and surveys major topics within the diverse discipline of psychology. Topics covered will come from each of four core areas offered by the psychology department: Social/Applied (e.g., Social, Industrial-Organizational, Health), Biological Basis of Behavior (e.g., Physiology, Perception, Motivation/Emotion, Comparative Animal Behavior), Cognition (e.g., Learning and Memory, Conditioning and Learning, Cognition, Language) and Personality (e.g., Personality, Abnormal, Development). Meets Gen Ed 2002 - Social Science for non-psychology majors only. (3 hours lecture.) 3 sh.

PSYC268: Psychological Aspects of Aging

Overview of later maturity and aging. Emphasis on psychological, physiological and sociological aspects. Aging and the cognitive process. Mental health, death, adjustment problems, needs, issues. (3 hours lecture.) 3 sh.

Prerequisites: PSYC 101.

PSYC302: Health Psychology

The theoretical, empirical and clinical aspects of health psychology will be presented. The relation of health psychology with other areas of psychology and other scientific disciplines will be discussed. The historical developments of the field, its research methodologies, theoretical models and exemplary interventions will be described. (3 hours lecture.) 3 sh.

Prerequisites: PSYC 301.