Advanced Policy in Gerontology
This advanced concentration course examines social problems from the perspective of their impact on the older adults. The course builds on the policy content offered in the Professional Foundation Year and links policy to practice and research skills that have been developed. Emphasis is placed on the link between social and economic justice and issues relating to diversity. The roles that social issues, values, power, politics, the economy, systemic discrimination, and advocacy play in the dynamic policy making and implementation environment will be discussed. The course will provide students with the basic policy related competencies and practice skills for conducting research-informed policy analysis and advocating for policy change.
Service Learning through Visits with Holocaust Survivors
This course complements a volunteer experience with Holocaust survivors. Students will conduct weekly visits with a Survivor and will have the opportunity to learn about the Holocaust and its impact on public life today and reflect on the experience of working with survivors. The weekly hour-long class will explore the social, psychological and historical effects of the Holocaust on the lives of survivors as well as the impact of the Holocaust on life in the United States.
A trailer for the up-coming documentary by the Oscar-winning filmmaker, Aviva Slesin, about the relationships developed in this service learning course. Cinematography by Chris Moore.
Service Learning: Alzheimer's Disease: Sharing the Lived Experience
In this Service Learning course, students will gain an understanding of Alzheimer’s disease through a semester-long, one on one relationship with a person in the early stages of the disease. Students will meet with the person they are matched with once a week in their home for a couple of hours of conversation, or a walk, a trip to a museum or any other activity that is planned together. A one hour weekly classroom component will augment the volunteer experience by providing the content to inform the students about issues of aging and dementia from a medical, psychosocial and public policy standpoint.
Theories and Issues of Aging
This course examines a broad range of theories and contemporary issues in aging that relate to social work practice with older adults and their families. Domains of inquiry include biological, psychological, and sociological perspectives of aging and older adults. There is a critical examination of the social constructions of old age, social work values and ethics, and social work practice within an aging society at the individual, community, and institutional level. Specific consideration is given to heterogeneity of the older adult and aging population in the areas of age, gender, race and ethnicity, class, sexual orientation, religious, physical or mental disability, and national origin. Additionally, the diversity of experiences, activities, roles, and responsibilities of older adults are evaluated as they relate to aging theories and issues such as productive aging, intergenerational relationships, and cultural norms. Social and economic justice, evidence-based practice, and capacity building are highlighted throughout the course.
Substance Abuse by Women through the Lifespan
Recent studies show that women’s use of alcohol and other drugs not only differs from that of men, but also
varies over the life cycle. In order to provide appropriate treatment, it is critical that the nature of substances used
by women be examined in light of women’s lifespan – from adolescence to late life. Using lectures and exercises,
this mini course will provide an overview of the theoretical, contextual and clinical issues related to substance
abuse among young, middle aged and elderly women.
Ageism is alive and well. A growing and consistent body of research has documented how ageism, as well as age discrimination and other forms of prejudice and oppression, undermine health, educational and employment opportunities, as well as compromises health care delivery across systems of care. Only until recently has evidence begun to support theories for interventions at key developmental life stages and across the ecological framework. The objectives of this course are to
a) incorporate theories and supporting evidence on prejudice and discrimination broadly, with an emphasis on ageism and how it intersects with other forms of oppression (e.g., sexism, racism, ethnocentrism)
b) identify psychological, social, organizational, legal, cultural, and developmental perspectives on how to overcome ageism, inclusive of Critical Race Theory and Social Justice perspectives
c) propose real-world interventions to overcome ageism and/or other forms of discrimination.