According to the Administration on Aging, there are approximately 39 million people aged 65 years and older in the United States, and by 2020 that number will be 55 million. An August 2009 article on CareerBuilder.com lists gerontology as an "uncommon major" that can lead to a job in an emerging field. Our interdisciplinary program in aging studies is designed for those who want to gain knowledge about and pursue careers with America's fastest-growing population.
The aging studies program offers numerous opportunities for experiential learning in field placements, internships, service learning projects, and at Longview, a residential facility for older adults near campus. In addition to completing courses in at least a dozen departments at Ithaca College, aging studies majors collaborate on research, attend professional meetings, and receive mentoring from gerontology faculty and Gerontology Institute staff members.
In our Gerontology Institute you'll find opportunities that engage faculty and students from all areas of the College. You may be interested in our workshops series and distinguished speakers to learn more about important topics such as lifelong fitness, care giving, or spirituality and aging. The institute also sponsors research, facilitates projects on creativity and aging, provides training to professionals, and provides resources to faculty and students in any department or academic program.
Aging studies majors combine the advantages of a small program with mentorship opportunities and resources available through the Gerontology Institute to explore multiple interests and take advantage of exciting opportunities. For example:
- A student majoring in aging studies and journalism produced a documentary film on long-term care in the United States.
- An aging studies major spent a semester taking courses on aging at Jonkoping University in Sweden as part of an exchange program.
- A student passionate about art and aging and taught art classes at the Longview residential facility for older adults.
- An aging studies major created his own concentration in health policy and management, and completed an internship as a health policy associate at the Congressional Budget Office in Washington, D.C.
- Another student organized an art show at the Gerontology Institute featuring work of local artists over the age of 50.