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CCOG for SOC 230 archive revision 201904

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Effective Term:
Fall 2019 through Summer 2021
Course Number:
SOC 230
Course Title:
Introduction to Gerontology
Credit Hours:
Lecture Hours:
Lecture/Lab Hours:
Lab Hours:

Course Description

Introduces current practices, programs, and policies in the field of gerontology. Addresses professional standards of practice and service delivery. Covers advocacy and policy directions, from a person-directed perspective and responsive to social inequalities and cultural diversity. Recommended: Introductory sociology course. Audit available.

Addendum to Course Description

While the course is essential for those who want to work professionally in the field, the information about aging services and policies is valuable for all of us as we and our families age. Only the standard prerequisites apply, but it is highly recommended that students take an introductory sociology course. This is a core course of the Gerontology Certificate/Degree Program.

Intended Outcomes for the course

Upon completion of the course students should be able to:

  1. Use social theories and multidisciplinary, multicultural perspectives on aging persons and societies to evaluate institutional practices, programs, and policies, and to make recommendations to improve services and promote best practices in the field of gerontology.
  2. Complete an applied research project demonstrating the ability to plan and implement appropriate and effective programs, policies, and social change strategies for and with older persons of diverse ages, abilities, nationalities, races/ethnicities, social classes, gender identities, sexual orientations, and religious or spiritual communities.

Social Inquiry and Analysis

Students completing an associate degree at Portland Community College will be able to apply methods of inquiry and analysis to examine social contexts and the diversity of human thought and experience.

Aspirational Goals

Successful students will age well and advocate for older persons and intergenerational interdependence.

Gerontology majors will demonstrate the Gerontology Education Competencies in their professional lives.

Course Activities and Design

Course is organized around the Outcomes Assessment tasks, with weekly collaborative discussions and assignments, and a final self-assessment of how well they met the Course Learning Outcomes, which integrate the 2014 Gerontology Education Competencies.

Outcome Assessment Strategies

Students will demonstrate the learning outcomes by these tasks conducted individually and in cooperation with other students:
1. Complete reflections, concept clarification, and critical thinking assignments and discussions on various professional, aging services, and policy issues.
2. Engage in a community-based learning project with older persons, that incorporates a reflection component.
3. Conduct an applied research project on a major gerontological issue that includes research analysis and program, policy, legal, or social change strategies and assessment. The Project should include a presentation, a professional review, and a self-assessment.
4. Students enrolled in the Gerontology Certificate/Degree Program should complete portfolio entries related to knowledge, attitudes, and skills gained through the course.

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)

Concepts, themes, and issues
The course focuses on concepts, themes, and issues related to health, longevity, and healthcare; care of older persons; dying, death, and bereavement, the economics of aging; inequalities and aging; welfare state policies related to the older persons; and the politics of aging, including social policy issues and social movements. These issues are approached from a multicultural perspective with sensitivity and attention to diverse groups and societies. Other concepts, themes, and issues in the field of gerontology are examined according to student interest.
Competencies and Skills
Some of the skills students will develop include:

1. Interpretation and application of gerontological research on the aging and older persons.
2. Critical analysis of gerontological issues, programs, and policies, with attention and sensitivities to social structural and cultural factors.
3. Appropriate application of gerontological theories, practices, programs, and policies to diverse aging populations.
4. Program and social change strategy planning and implementation.
5. Clear and effective communication on these issues, in written and oral form.
6. Effective group work.
7. Reflection on community-based learning experiences.