Welcome to the Gerontology Program at Sacramento State

Student Jen Silmaro and her Great Aunt

The Gerontology Program at Sacramento State provides students with a unique interdisciplinary perspective of the process of aging. Courses focus on both "ill" and "well" aspects encountered ALONG THE LIFE SPAN, emphasizing intergenerational active aging for all populations. Bachelor and Minor students enroll in interdisciplinary core courses spanning many different disciplines and have the opportunity to enroll in a broad variety of elective courses designed to meet individual career aspirations. Graduate Certificate students complete 18 units of core gerontology classes which may also be used when constructing a Special Master's degree in gerontology and another discipline. The Gerontology Program is proud of its past and present and looks forward to an active future as the world plans for and meets the global aging demographic imperative.

Degree and certificate options in the Gerontology Program include:

  • a Minor option (since the 1970s).
  • the only baccalaureate (Bachelor of Science) in northern California (since 1990).
  • the Graduate Certificate in Gerontology since Fall 2000 - first through the College of Continuing Education (CCE) and then through the on-campus program beginning Fall 2008. (The Graduate Certificate Program is currently in suspension - contact the office for further details.)
  • an individualized Special Master's Program concentrating in Gerontology and one other area of study (since the 1980s). Special Master's students develop and title their degree according to their specific goals.

Community Programs:

In addition to students participating in community engagement in a variety of service learning program sites, the Gerontology Program continues to be very dynamic in other community engagement through its Longevity Center. As in previous years, the Center offered and sponsored community programs about longevity and other issues related to aging, for elders and their families, and for professionals.

Plans for the 21st Century are numerous but examples include:

  • Enhancing and updating current courses for Gerontology students as well as for students from other disciplines throughout the University.
  • Enhancing and presenting educational programs for community members that address the demographic imperatives of the new millennium.
  • Continuing to add service learning components in courses to facilitate application of theory to practice.
  • Providing more opportunities for student involvement in community projects and partnerships.

National Recognition/Program Basis:

The Gerontology Program curriculum was conceived and has evolved based on the Association for Gerontology in Higher Education (AGHE) nationally recognized gerontological program criteria and professional practice competencies. During the past three years, the Program Director participated on a national committee, analyzing, updating and implementing these competencies for both gerontology and nursing. Using this organization's vision, national evidence based view, and competency criteria, has strengthened the program, assisted career definition in the field, and positioned the Sacramento State Program to be ready for program accreditation when it is mandated by the profession.