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Western Carolina University Offers Innovative Gerontology Courses

April 4, 2005

Western Carolina University is expanding its learning opportunities in the field of gerontology for spring/summer and fall semesters. Two new courses have been added to Western?s graduate level Gerontology Certificate program with Master?s Option for May and July, and the University will teach a course entitled ?Healthy and Integrative Aging? in the Fall of 2005.
In May, Steve Henson, PhD will teach ?Marketing to Mature Consumers,? MKT 693. Offered at graduate level, the course is designed to familiarize students, who hold at least a Bachelor?s degree, with key issues associated with mature consumers. It will focus on developing an awareness of the impact of the aging demographic.

Since potential students will come from diverse backgrounds, the subject matter will be broad. According to Henson, ?The aging of the American population will lead to some of the most dramatic changes in our history.? He will expose students to implications of the aging phenomenon on fields of business, healthcare and gerontology research while meeting individual needs for information.

The University will also teach ?Aging and Health Care in the Netherlands,? Gerontology 495/695. This course offers undergraduate and graduate credit and will provide an in-depth academic, professional, and cultural experience from an international perspective. Students will study various components of aging and health care through assigned readings, self-directed study and online activities. A field trip to the Netherlands is included as a part of the course syllabus and is scheduled from July 15 through July 23. Space is limited with seats being assigned on a first come, first served basis.

In fall semester 2005 Western faculty member Davia Krings, PhD will teach Gerontology 510, ?Healthy and Integrative Aging.? This seminar course will provide a broad overview of trends and issues in the field of gerontology with emphasis on the various aspects of healthful and integrated living during the aging years.

As head of the Gerontology Certification program at Western, Krings says, ?in addition to gaining information on developmental issues of aging, students will explore the impact of nutrition, leisure, exercise, social engagement and other lifestyle behaviors on quality of life, longevity and fitness. They will be asked to apply the information to their own lives as well as those they serve.?

Individuals interested in pursuing graduate and undergraduate study in the field of gerontology may obtain certification at both levels by taking five to six courses or take individual courses. Adults over the age of 65 who are North Carolina residents may enroll in Western courses tuition free. A Master?s Option in Health Sciences is also offered. Traditional class meetings are held two to four times per semester with follow-up course work online.

For further information or to obtain an application, contact Marcia Caserio, Western?s regional director of education outreach at 828-693-8375 or e-mail

Marcia B. Caserio, M.A. Ed.
Marcia Caserio