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NSU to offer Gerontology Certificate program

(Tahlequah, Okla.)-- Starting in September 2015, Northeastern State University will offer a new, online Gerontology Certificate program.

It is the only certificate-based program for gerontology offered by a university in Oklahoma, and will consist of 10 classes spanning 24 weeks of study.

“The certificate will provide the knowledge needed for people wanting to have a career serving older adults and their families,” Dr. Penny Sommers said, NSU professor of human and family sciences.

Available to anyone with a high school diploma or equivalent, or a higher education degree, the program is designed for those who are currently employed in or new to the field of gerontology.

According to the Association for Gerontology in Higher Education (AGHE), gerontology is the study of the aging process and individuals, as they grow from middle age through later life. 

It looks at the physical, mental and social changes in people as they age, how society changes due to an aging population, and applies suitable policies and programs based on these findings.

Because population growth trends indicate people are living longer, accompanied by growing numbers for older age groups, there is a demand for professionals with knowledge and expertise in aging.

Potential job placement is broad for professionals in this field.

Gerontologists are able to work in hospitals, nursing and retirement homes, senior centers, assisted and independent living facilities, hospices, home healthcare agencies, and community agencies serving the elderly.

Sommers said NSU’s new certificate program gives students an edge to students, providing rewarding careers within the field of gerontology, along with the opportunity for advancement.

The 10-course curriculum will provide instruction on a range of topics.

There will be an overview of the issues with aging, including cultural implications, healthy aging, economics and aging, the impact of legislative mandates, transgenerational families, living environments and wellness, estate planning, and elderly abuse.

“Each class will have learning activities, reading supplements and an assessment at the end of the class. There are no exams,” Sommers explained.

The fall session begins Sept. 14, 2015 and ends March 14, 2016. The spring session will run from March 28, 2016 to Sept. 12, 2016.

The program costs $325 per class and $3,250 to complete the all courses and receive the NSU certificate. An individual class can be completed for CEU credit.

To register or get more information, call 918-444-4610.

Published: 6/15/2015 4:01:53 PM

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