An aging population creates a demand for educated health professionals who are able to address complicated life and family challenges with compassion. These health-related courses, the core components of Ashford University’s Bachelor of Arts in Gerontology, explore the life cycle and how aging impacts society. Your classes will cover all facets of gerontology, including cognitive research, social policy, ethics, mental health, and end of life decisions.
Gerontology Class Descriptions and Credit Information
GRO 200 Introduction to Gerontology
This course will provide an introduction to aging and an overview of the field of gerontology. The major concepts, theories and principles of gerontology will be introduced. Students will explore ageism in the United States, current demographic trends in our society, old age as a stage of lifespan development, health and healthcare concerns of older persons, issues of work, retirement, housing and economics, family relationships and social support, quality of life, and political issues of an aging society. Concepts, practices and other issues of aging will be explored.
GRO 202 Psychology of Aging
This course covers normal aging from a cognitive perspective as well as various forms of dementia, including signs and symptoms, risk factors, and neuropathology. Students learn about cognitive changes that occur with normal aging as well as risk factors for transient cognitive impairments. Alzheimer’s disease is discussed in detail as well as non-Alzheimer’s forms of dementia, including frontotemporal dementia syndromes, Parkinson’s disease dementia, Lewy body dementia, vascular dementia, and Creutzfeld Jakob disease. The course also includes a section on evidence-based factors related to successful aging and the future of aging research.
GRO 320 Adult Development & Aging
This multi-disciplinary course presents views, perspectives, and research on aging and the aging process with emphasis on the life-span perspective. Current research and theory covering psychological, sociological, anatomical, physiological, and biological aspects of aging are explored.
GRO 325 Aging & Health
This course examines the interface between health and aging. A broad range of health concerns and issues of older persons are explored from physical, mental, and emotional perspectives.
GRO 330 Social Policy & Aging
This course explores the context and process for policy making impacting older adults in the United States. Topics covered include elder advocacy, retirement, inequities in access and procurement of services, employment, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, delivery and regulation of health care, elder abuse, and social/community services.
GRO 338 Mental Well-Being & Aging
This course explores models of mental health for older adults. The content examines mental well- being in older adults from both the individual (micro level) and societal perspectives (macro level.)
GRO 410 Death & Dying
This multi-disciplinary course offers an overview of psychosocial aspects of death and dying. Topics include attitudes toward death, preparation for death, care of terminally ill patients, funeral issues, mourning, grief practices, suicide, and euthanasia.
GRO 440 Ethics & Legal Aspects of Aging
This course explores major ethical and legal issues impacting older adults and the provision of services to this population. Case studies and court decisions are incorporated throughout the course to address legal and ethical considerations/issues from social, cultural, and individual perspectives.
GRO 497 Gerontology Capstone
This course is a synthesis of the major ideas, perspectives, and concepts gained from the study of gerontology. A substantive paper is developed which requires students to critically analyze their experiences and integrate knowledge gained throughout the program.