Program in Aging Studies

Todd Thorsteinson, Coordinator (206 Student Health Center, 83844-3043). Faculty: Ginna M. Babcock, Annette L. Folwell, Jamie C. Nekich, Cynthia J. Schmiege.

The Aging Studies Minor connects different knowledge bases across many disciplines. The program offers an interdisciplinary approach that uses the concept of development in later life to examine such cultural variables as class, ethnicity, nationality, gender, and developmental processes and such behavioral concerns as relationship dynamics, health and lifestyle maintenance, work-retirement transitions and changes in family structures. The courses encourage students to develop critical thinking skills that will empower them as active learners and that will lead them to better understanding of what it means to grow old in a new age. Field and applied experiences enable students to demonstrate new knowledge and to refine their competence in working with real life community and family problems. Fields such as communication, recreation, criminology, economics, health services, social work, law, psychology, education, and family and consumer studies are increasingly offering special career opportunities to students with a background in aging studies.

Academic units that cooperate to offer this minor include the School of Family and Consumer Sciences, the Department of Movement Sciences, and the Departments of Art and Architecture, Psychology and Communication Studies, and Sociology and Anthropology.