Preparing for a rapidly aging population is a local, national, and global challenge.  For Alaska, this challenge is even greater.  Our multicultural population, remote bush villages frequently underserved by health care professionals, and a lack of trained service providers in the field of gerontology leave the elderly population vulnerable.  In response to the challenge, UAA has developed a Gerontology Minor program for health care providers, social workers, counselors, and other social service professionals.

Gerontology is the study of the aging process as individuals mature from middle age through later life.  It includes the study of physical, mental, emotional, and social changes in adults as they age.  Gerontology investigates changes in society that result from an aging population and applies this knowledge to policies and programs.  This field is multidisciplinary and the study of aging combines and/or integrates information from academic and applied areas of study.

The field of gerontology is diverse and offers many different job opportunities.  Employment may be found in:

  • Community, social service, and faith-based organizations
  • Health care and long-term care
  • Federal, state, and local government
  • Retirement communities
  • Academic and other educational and research settings
  • Professional organizations
  • Business organizations

The Gerontology Minor is comprised of a selection of courses that specifically relate to issues concerning the aging process.  Because of its multidisciplinary emphasis, there is no single preferred major necessary for working toward this minor. 

The Gerontology Minor program is housed within the College of Health.  The Program Chair is Dr. Kathi Trawver, who can be reached at 786-6915 or krtrawver@uaa.alaska.edu.