ERIC Number: EJ841020
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 21
Enticing Students to Careers in Gerontology: Faculty and Student Perspectives
Wesley, Susan C.
Gerontology & Geriatrics Education, v25 n3 p13-29 2005
Recognition of the increasing demand for gerontologically trained social work professionals prompted an investigation of the factors that attract undergraduate students to a career of working with older adults. Faculty (n = 10) and students (n = 10) from the disciplines of social work, nursing, consumer and family sciences, psychology, recreation, and business participated in focus groups addressing such topics as the inclusion of content on aging, influences on choice of major, perceptions of aging, and personal experience with older adults. Respondents perceived (a) limited course content on older adulthood, (b) existing course content focused on frailty and aging, (c) a pervasive lack of awareness of the aging of the population, and (d) the essential contribution of positive intergenerational contact from early childhood through the college years. The results suggest the need for increasing efforts to enhance awareness and to integrate comprehensive content on aging throughout the curriculum in higher education. The essential role of intergenerational contact identifies a role for higher education in supporting current programs, such as the Foster Grandparent Program, while developing additional innovative means of promoting and nurturing intergenerational relationships.
Descriptors: Majors (Students), Undergraduate Students, Higher Education, Gerontology, Focus Groups, Older Adults, Course Content, Social Work, Experience, Aging (Individuals), Course Selection (Students), Interviews, Student Surveys, Caseworkers
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A