As the population grows, so does the number of people who need aging services. The U.S. Census Bureau reported that 13 percent of the population in 2010 was 65 or older. Looking ahead, the estimates rise: By 2050, this group is expected to increase to 20 percent of the US population. Baby boomers will continue to place added demands on aging services and programs, increasing the demand for workers seeking gerontology careers.
With Southern New Hampshire University’s BA degree in human services with a concentration in gerontology, you’ll be well qualified for service positions in community-based organizations, healthcare and public health programs, senior centers, assisted living facilities, hospitals, home healthcare systems, nursing homes and other agencies that assist the elderly.
SNHU’s gerontology degree has been designed to meet the challenge of caring for the nation’s aging population over the upcoming decades. You’ll develop strategies to enhance programs for the elderly and learn to improve care to effect positive change. Graduates of the program are ready to enter human services professions and advocate for a growing group that continually needs services and assistance.
As a private, nonprofit university, SNHU has one mission – to help you see yourself succeed. The benefits of earning your human services degree online at SNHU include:
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects the need for social and community service managers will increase by 10 percent through 2024, faster than the average for all occupations. As baby boomers age, more employers will feel the demands on their programs and services and seek out those qualified to enhance them. A gerontology degree gives you the edge you need in the job market.
You may be interested in providing services to individuals, families, groups or communities. A few positions related to gerontology careers include:
With a specialized gerontology degree, you’ll develop new perspectives that will allow you to improve the quality of life for an increasingly important segment of our population. You’ll take courses that offer a firsthand look into wellness and disease, issues and policies affecting the elderly, long-term care, and the biological, psychosocial and cognitive aspects of aging. Best of all, you’ll learn from instructors with real-world human services experience .
The purpose of this course is to engage students in meaningful exploration of theories, basic concepts, and research methodologies in psychological development. Students will gain an understanding of patterns of human development from conception through death, including the biological, cognitive, and social-emotional development and the interplay between these areas. This course will also explore the roles of environmental and genetic factors, culture and history, continuity and change in development. Offered every semester.
This course offers students an opportunity to better understand human behavior. It also studies the similarities and differences between normal and abnormal reactions to environmental stimuli. Offered every year.
Students in this course analyze contemporary social problems in America and other societies. Issues include economic limitations, class and poverty, race and ethnic relations, sexism, ageism, and environmental and population concerns. Offered every year.
This course provides an overview of the historical development of human services and an introduction to the many settings, roles, and functions of the human services professional. Students will gain an understanding of the knowledge and skills needed to help support others toward living a more fulfilling life with particular attention given to behavioral and social theories, common social problems, service delivery systems, ethical behavior, and personal values.
This course provides students with the knowledge and skills to effectively, efficiently, and compassionately communicate both orally and in writing. Emphasis will be given to the tools of communication as well as how to clearly articulate the issues, deal with conflict, and establish rapport. Human services professionals function in many settings requiring the ability to communicate the needs and issues of their clients, programs, and organizations to a broad variety of people.
This course prepares students to function effectively within organizations, as most human services work involves interactions with multiple private and public organizations. Students develop an understanding of organizational structure and functions through an overview of common organizational structures and management systems and the principles of organizational behavior that influence the work environment. An introduction to the strategic planning and budgeting cycle is provided including the process of grant funding. Basic concepts of personnel management and common techniques and procedures for outcome measurement and program evaluation will also be presented.
Students in this course will become acquainted with human services policies and the legislative and private sector processes of policy development. Students will further discover the role of advocacy in influencing social welfare programs for a variety of populations. Students learn the skills needed to act effectively in developing policies and for planning an advocacy campaign.
Students in this course will learn about the laws and regulations that govern human services practice. Specific topics will include confidentiality, parity, involuntary commitment, mandated reporting, duty to warn, minor and parental rights, guardianship, and advanced directives. The course will also discuss the ethical principles that guide human services practice as well as the conflicts that arise between the ethical principles and the law.
Students will learn fundamental theories, concepts, and practices related to the delivery of human services. Topics covered in this course will include client engagement, interviewing, models of service delivery, ethics and professional responsibility, group dynamics and facilitation, boundaries, and formal/informal client-centered support systems. Students will apply course work to real life situations by assessing the needs of clients and designing goal-based care plans. Additionally, students will plan and design interventions, utilize community resources, and assess client outcomes.
This capstone course is the culminating experience for the B.A. in Human Services program. The aim of the capstone is to assess students' ability to synthesize and integrate the knowledge and skills they have developed throughout their coursework, rather than introducing new concepts. This course is structured to support student success in fulfilling program requirements.
This course offers a broad introduction to research methods in the social sciences, including surveys, case studies, experiments, and quasi-experiments. Students learn to spot design flaws in research intended to generate scientifically sound conclusions about social phenomena, and to evaluate critically the interpretations of social science research results by third-party observers, such as reporters. Students also learn how to draft a research proposal that would satisfy the requirements of peer review within the community of professional social scientists.
Examine the growing field of gerontology, the scientific study of aging, with a multidisciplinary and developmental perspective that sees aging in a positive light with an emphasis on wellness, rather than disability and disease. Explore concepts of ageism, its history, and its impact on individuals, families, and communities.
Investigate the health characteristics of aging populations and issues impacting quality of life. Examine the changes in various body systems and lifestyle factors, such as nutrition, sexuality, stress, and exercise, along with current trends in wellness.
This interdisciplinary course provides an overview of demography and methodology related to aging, and explores the specific health conditions common to older persons. The course covers methodological issues relevant to the study of aging, the biology of aging and the etiology and epidemiology of common geriatric syndromes and diseases.
This course examines the critical issues and current policies impacting the aging U.S. population including Medicare and family caregiving, and introduces current trends in public health. The course covers public policies on retirement, employer pensions, workplace conditions, and entitlement programs, Social Security and health care reform, and the rise of the elderly as a powerful political force.
Free Elective credits: 30
Total Credits: 120
Tuition rates for SNHU's online degree programs are among the lowest in the nation. We offer financial aid packages to those who qualify, plus a 30 percent tuition discount for active-duty service members and their spouses.
*Tuition rates are subject to change. Changes are generally implemented in June each year.
Additional Costs Books (course by course).
Students are responsible for providing their own internet access.
Southern New Hampshire University is a private, nonprofit institution accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges as well as several other accrediting bodies. More...