M.S. in Gerontology and Aging Studies

 

As a society, we’re living longer. The elderly population is rapidly increasing, and professionals in the aging-services network are in high demand.

If you want to combine a dedication to serving older adults with an exciting and expanding career field, Concordia University, Nebraska’s Master of Science in Gerontology and Aging Studies online degree program is the answer.

Our experienced instructors and quality coursework emphasizes practical skills as you also study relevant topics in lifespan development, later life and even your own place in an aging society. Take what you learn in class and apply it to your current job, without taking time away from your career.

Our two concentrations give you the ability to focus on specific areas within the gerontology field:

  • The Administration Concentration starts with the shared 24 credit-hour Gerontology and Aging Studies coursework requirements, with additional required courses dealing with long-term care, elder-care events and activities management, and issues related to aging in place
  • The Mental Health Concentration starts with the shared 24 credit-hour Gerontology and Aging Studies coursework requirements, with additional required courses dealing with mental health issues in the elderly, biological issues relevant to aging and the brain, and geriatric counseling
The Next Cohort Start Date is January 5th

M.S. in Gerontology and Aging Studies Program Goals

In addition to meeting all the objectives and requirements for the Master of Science in Gerontology and Aging Studies degree program, successful candidates in both the Administration and Mental Health concentrations will be able to:

  • Understand and discuss lifespan development and individual aging issues and topics
  • Conduct training, research, programming, service, and curricular development in the field of aging
  • Offer servant-leadership based professional services to mature adults
  • Interact with an aging society while also comprehending the implications that our aging institutions have for ministry, services, and policies
 

Course Descriptions

M.S. in Gerontology and Aging Studies Program Course Descriptions

Concordia University, Nebraska’s Master of Science in Gerontology and Aging Studies is a 36 credit-hour online degree program offered with either Administration or Mental Health concentration options. In addition, each student is required to complete a practicum and a practicum project in which they will assess the need for an aging service or program and propose, implement, and prepare for the long-term maintenance of this aging program or service.

Gerontology and Aging Studies - Core Courses
24 credits
GERO 500 (3)
Issues in Gerontology & Aging Studies
This course provides students with an overview of the field of gerontology, current issues in aging, government policy on aging, the economics of aging, as well as an introduction to careers in aging. Course includes basics of reading and using gerontological research.
GERO 502 (3)
Social Gerontology
The process of aging covers multiple academic and psychosocial disciplines. This course integrates social policy and professional practice into a broad knowledge base of science and research. Principles of gerontology research are reviewed.
GERO 501 (3)
Aspects of Health & Aging
This course is designed to develop and expand knowledge and skill to understand and address contemporary health issues in aging. The course reviews productive and healthy aging programs, normal aging, age correlated disease and lifespan health.
GERO 514 (3)
Aging Policy, Programs, and Services
This course surveys contemporary policies, programs and services for an aging population.
GERO 516 (3)
Ethics and Aging
This course will be an overview of philosophical understandings of old age, topics of professional ethics, and specific case evaluations of daily urgent ethical issues related to aging.
GERO 599 (3)
Gerontology Practicum
The practicum requires students to conduct programmatic research and implement an aging services project in their area of professional interest. Students must interview with and gain permission from the course instructor before beginning their practicum. This practicum requires 125 contact hours.
GERO 518 (3)
Nutrition and the Older Adult
This course examines in depth, the importance of nutrition across the lifespan with specific attention to the particular nutritional needs of older adults.
GERO 519 (3)
Death, Dying and Bereavement
This course examines the processes, theories and responses to individual and collective trauma, the processes and tasks of dying and the issues of death and bereavement.

Gerontology and Aging Studies - Administration concentration
12 credits
GERO 520 (3)
Long-Term Care Administration
This course surveys issues and best practices related to Long-Term Care Administration.
GERO 521 (3)
Activity Planning & Leadership
This course reviews strategies and philosophies in event planning and activity management for organizations and businesses. A special emphasis is given to creating educational, intergenerational and elder family programming and services.
GERO 524 (3)
Aging In Place: 21st Century Issues
This course examines the concept of "aging in place," strategies that provide options for living in a community environment, policy trends & emerging issues affecting aging in place. Students will also have the opportunity to put on their entrepreneur's hat and develop programs and services that might be needed for those who choose to "age in place."
GERO 594 (3)
Research Evaluation and Design
(This course will have a Capstone project) The evaluation of various forms of existing information, with emphasis on the ability to relate this information to personal professional growth. Development of skills in qualitative and quantitative research methods.

Gerontology and Aging Studies - Mental Health Concentration
12 credits
GERO 503 (3)
Mental Health and Aging
This course will provide students with a comprehensive study of mental health issues associated with aging.
GERO 517 (3)
Aging and the Brain
This course explores the biological development of the human brain throughout the lifespan and examines the biological changes underlying common age-related neuropathies.
GERO 523 (3)
Introduction to Geriatric Counseling
This course is an introduction to the treatment modalities and approaches to counseling older adults.
GERO 594 (3)
Research Evaluation and Design
(This course will have a Capstone project) The evaluation of various forms of existing information, with emphasis on the ability to relate this information to personal professional growth. Development of skills in qualitative and quantitative research methods.
 

Career Opportunities

The following are just a few of the unique career opportunities possible with an M.S. in Gerontology and Aging Studies online degree with either the Administration or Mental Health concentrations available through Concordia University, Nebraska:

  • Case Manager
  • Director of Nursing
  • Assisted Living Manager
  • Nursing Home Administrator
  • Wellness Director or Mental Health Counselor specializing in aging issues

Potential workplaces include but aren’t limited to:

  • Adult day care program
  • Community, human service, or religious organization
  • Health care organization or long-term care facility
  • Nursing home or retirement community/assisted living facility

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