Project Goals and Objectives

  • Engage stakeholders (faculty, students, Advisory Board, field supervisors, practicum representatives and community representatives) in planning and development of curricular and program changes
  • Develop faculty interest and expertise in teaching content on aging through participation in faculty development institutes sponsored by CSWE/SAGE-SW and other faculty enrichment opportunities
  • Engage faculty and students in examination of current content on aging in the core social work courses, develop and implement recommendations for enhancement
  • Sponsor annual half-day community retreats with all stakeholders to discuss course content, brainstorm enhanced practicum opportunities for students and stimulate interest and support for the project
  • Develop a student award for juniors in the social work major for practice-based research in aging (practicum opportunity) that will lead to a new annual Social Work with Older People student award
  • Disseminate findings and share resources through scholarly publications, presentations and participation at conferences, student presentations and development of online resource-sharing

Gerontological Pervasiveness

The curriculum will expose all students in the major to aging-rich content by infusing geriatric content throughout the core social work curriculum (11 courses and practicum). This will also enhance the Department’s Aging Services Option in the Social Work major and the Aging and Society course taught by Dr. Gorin, which is also part of the University’s interdisciplinary Gerontology Minor.

Sustainability

Our biggest challenge is to involve undergraduate-level students in gerontology. Better infusion and coordination of content on aging should help to increase student interest, particularly off-campus learning experiences, such as the oral histories, and luncheon and “senior prom” at the senior center, which expose students to the lives of older adults. The annual student award should help to sustain this interest. The project staff hopes to increase the number of students who elect the Aging Services Option in the major.