Graduate Coordinator: Dr. Eleanor Krassen Covan
The Master of Science in applied gerontology will train professionals to face the challenges of a nationally and regionally aging population. The program is built on theoretical foundations, supported by the practical application of service-learning, integrating teaching, research and service. Graduates will use their knowledge of applied gerontology to affect the quality of life for older adults in retirement communities, health care settings, and other public and private organizations which provide services and goods needed by an aging population. Through course work that is both multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary, the MS in applied gerontology will prepare graduates to be aware of all aspects of aging. Graduates will be able to realistically consider careers involving work with older adults through synthesizing coursework in biology, health sciences, psychology, and sociology of aging, as well as hands-on experience with older populations. This is a 36 credit hours program and prospective students will include biology, psychology, sociology, social work and nursing majors, as well as allied health professionals. The primary goal of the program is to improve the quality of life for the region‘s older adults through the workforce. UNCW is a regional university, with a mission statement that indicates a dedication to serve the population of southeastern North Carolina.
The Gerontology Practicum requires 250 clock hours and will be under the combined supervision of UNCW faculty and persons in business, government or non-profit organizations who deliver products or services to older adults. The goals of the practicum are twofold: 1) to gain hands-on experience in the field under the supervision of practicing gerontologists, and 2) to gather research data that may be incorporated in and shape each student‘s applied final master‘s project.
The final master‘s degree project will be designed in consultation with a committee that includes two members of the gerontology program faculty and one professional drawn from the world of business, government, and/or non-profit organizations that serve older adult clients. In many instances, the professional will have been involved with the student‘s practicum experience.