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Graduate School

Preparing Students in the Study of Aging

Department of Health Promotion, Education, and Behavior offers Certificate of Graduate Study in Aging

Approved in 1979 as the Certificate of Graduate Study in Gerontology and overseen initially by the university’s multidisciplinary Academic Committee on Gerontology and later by the College of Social Work, the Certificate of Graduate Study in Aging recently found a new name and a new home in the Arnold School’s Department of Health Promotion, Education, and Behavior (HPEB). Courses for the 18 credit-hour program of graduate-level courses begin in the spring semester of 2020.

“With the Arnold School’s Office for the Study of Aging, the Gerry Sue and Norman J. Arnold Institute on Aging, and the growing number of faculty and students engaged in aging-focused research and practice, we are thrilled that we are relaunching the certificate within the Arnold School in collaboration with our health sciences partners across campus,” says HPEB chair Daniela Friedman, who is co-director of the Office for the Study of Aging and a principal investigator (with social work professor Sue Levkoff) of the National Institute on Aging-funded Carolina Center on Alzheimer’s Disease and Minority Research. 

While housing the program in the Arnold School provides students with access to numerous initiatives and researchers, the certificate has maintained its interdisciplinary approach. The core curriculum includes courses in health promotion; aging network policies, programs and services (social work); and long-term care administration (health services policy and management), as well as elective options across disciplines, such as social determinants of health, motivational interviewing, social and health policy, behavioral economics, and health communication – all with a focus on older adults.  

“As a geriatrician and now a caregiver for elderly parents, issues of aging and aging well are very near to my heart, and the Certificate of Graduate Study in Aging is one important way that we support workforce development for the care of this special population,” says clinical assistant professor of internal medicine Donna Ray, who served as an instructor for the certificate program while a geriatric fellow. “Having the chance to engage with learners from various backgrounds and disciplines is an important part of fellowship training and provides the opportunity for us to develop our skills in teaching and in the interprofessional engagement that is critical to geriatric care.” Read more here.


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