Course List

Core Courses for Gerontology Certificate

SOWK/GERO/SOCI 5310–Social Gerontology

This course explores the social aspects of aging – how do older adults effect society and how does society effect older adults.  The interaction of older adults with society is examined along with many of our social institutions such as family, healthcare, government, and the economy.  Also examined are the issues associated with our aging population and how those issues effect people of all ages.  A number of current controversies associated with our changing population structure will be discussed in class.

SOWK/GERO 7320–Health and Biology of Aging

Prerequisite: Graduate Standing.  Understanding the consequences of aging and the extension of life expectancy requires the concurrent understanding of the interrelationship of biology and behavior.  Research on “normal” aging over the lifespan offers the potential of understanding the changes that occur with age so that we can use this understanding to anticipate and cope with those physiological and behavioral functions altered by aging in ourselves and as caregivers.  The course will examine physiological and epidemiological studies of disease and aging as well as the alteration in sensory perception, muscle function, etc.  Finally, the issues of interventions, realistic expectations, and ethics will also be examined.

SOWK/GERO 7321–Aging and Social Policy

Prerequisite: Graduate Standing.  This course offers an overview of aging and social policy issues, especially at the state and federal levels of government.  Non-governmental agencies and organizations are also included.  The aging network, healthcare including Medicare and Medicaid, as well as Social Security and retirement financing are highlighted.  The course begins with a historical perspective on how we have gotten to our present health care policies.  It then, describes the aging network as well as the programs and services for the older adult that comprise this network.

SOWK/GERO 7322–Assessment and Care Management of the Older Adult

Prerequisite: Graduate Standing.  Assessment and Care Management with the Older Adult will offer students a comprehensive review of the emerging professional practice of Geriatric Care Management (GCM).  Throughout this course students will review a variety of geriatric assessments as well as study case management tools such as engaging, assessing, planning, intervening, evaluating and terminating client cases.  Critical thinking as an ethical professional will be emphasized as well as beginning interviewing skills.

Elective Courses

GERO 5315–Interdisciplinary Health Care of the Elderly

Healthcare components, team-taught, with segments presented by faculty from numerous fields; includes clinical considerations, social gerontology, processes of aging, communication disorders, dental problems, medication, psychology, nutrition, preventive health care, and radiography.

SOWK/GERO 5336–Social Aspects of Death and Dying

Gerontology and social work seek to apply knowledge from the social sciences, medicine, and the humanities with the skills and values of the helping professions.  The multidisciplinary study of death (thanatology) itself comes out of studying these different disciplines.  There are many social, psychological, philosophical, and religious theories concerning the passage of death — for both ourselves and those around us.  We will study many diverse contributions in the social aspects of death and dying.

SOWK/GERO 5337–Adult Development and Aging

This course emphasizes the life course perspective as it looks at adult development and aging within the context of the social environment.  Aspects of “successful aging” that will be examined cover growth and development from emerging adulthood to old age, and the impact that culture, gender, ethnicity, and individual differences have on these processes.  Human development and aging is examined during early adulthood, middle adulthood, and late adulthood.  We will study aspects of development that are common to persons at all ages across the life course, individual differences in development, and differences that characterize the separate age cohorts.

SOWK/GERO 7323–Social and Emotional Implications of Illness and Disabilities

Prerequisite: Graduate Standing.  Health care has become increasingly complex in the early 21st century. Those with a variety of developmental as well as acquired impairments and disabilities challenge the ability of society to mainstream a large minority of our citizens.  An aging population with more chronic rather than acute health care needs is also a central concern.  Finally, in the age of AIDS and other life threatening diseases, professional expertise in the psychological and social implications of illness and disability is a necessary skill.  Professionals also have an increased responsibility to better understand the ethical as well as the bio-psycho-social-spiritual aspects of illness and disability in the individual, the family and the wider community.

SOWK 5330–Animal Assisted Therapy

Course provides an overview of the interdisciplinary field of animal-assisted therapy and the human-animal bond.  Course will include observations of AAT visits to human service settings and web-enhanced classes.  Three credit hours.

Gerontology Courses (Undergraduate)

GERO 2330–Introduction to Aging and the Elderly

Prerequisites: RHET 1311 and 1312 or equivalents.  SOCI 2300 or PSYC 2300 recommended.  An overview of the aged as they relate to their social environment, with emphasis on the biological, psychological, and sociological aspects of aging.  Three credit hours.

SOWK/GERO 4310–Social Gerontology

This course explores the social aspects of aging – how do older adults effect society and how does society effect older adults?  The interaction of older adults with society is examined along with many of our social institutions such as family, healthcare, government, and the economy.  Also examined are the issues associated with our aging population and how those issues affect people of all ages.  A number of current controversies associated with our changing population structure will be discussed in class.  Three credit hours.

GERO 4315–Interdisciplinary Health Care of the Elderly

Designed to increase clinical knowledge, skills, and attitudes of students in the health professions and other fields related to health promotion and maintenance for the elderly.  In-depth exploration of the multiple factors associated with the physiological process of aging, psychological developmental tasks, and typical environments of aged persons.  Dual-listed in the UALR Graduate Catalog as GERO 5315.  Three credit hours.

GERO/SOWK 4336–Social Aspects Death & Dying

Gerontology and social work seek to apply knowledge from the social sciences, medicine, and the humanities with the skills and values of the helping professions.  The multidisciplinary study of death (thanatology) itself comes out of studying these different disciplines.  There are many social, psychological, philosophical, and religious theories concerning the passage of death – for both ourselves and those around us.  We will study many diverse contributions in the social aspects of death and dying.  Three credit hours.

SOWK/GERO 4337–Adult Development and Aging

This course emphasizes the life course perspective as it looks at adult development and aging within the context of the social environment.  Aspects of “successful aging” that will be examined cover growth and development from emerging adulthood to old age, and the impact that culture, gender, ethnicity, and individual differences have on those processes.  Human development and aging is examined during early adulthood, middle adulthood, and late adulthood.  We will study aspects of development that are common to persons at all ages across the life course, individual differences in development, and differences that characterize the separate age cohorts.  Three credit hours.

SOWK 4330–Animal Assisted Therapy

Prerequisite: Junior status.  Course provides an overview of the interdisciplinary field of animal-assisted therapy and the human-animal bond.  Course will include observations of AAT visits to human service settings and web-enhanced classes.  Three credit hours.