Aging Studies and Gerontology Minor


Bloomsburg University's Aging Studies and Gerontology (ASG) minor is designed to allow you to blend your major and career goals with the growing population of older adults.

The steadily increasing number of adults over 60 years old is staggering, and industries ranging from health care to robotics are responding to the needs of this large and special group. The Occupational Outlook Handbook, found online at the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, shows that among the fastest growing occupations are many that work directly or indirectly with older adults.

The 18-credit interdisciplinary ASG minor pulls courses from many areas on campus, illustrating the versatility of the program. Even though students in the ASG minor have majors from all over campus, you'll have many opportunities to meet others in the program through the monthly meetings of the Aging Special Interest Group.

This group participates in many campus functions, such as the Relay for Life and the Alzheimer’s Walk, and also volunteers with elders in the community, such as organizing game nights and dances for residents at local retirement communities.

Also each spring, the faculty directors organize Careers in Aging Week, bringing to campus many representatives from area agencies and organizations to discuss potential internship and employment opportunities with students. The week also features various speakers, film reviews, and other activities.

Program Coordinator

Mary Jo Larcom, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Psychology Department
2141 McCormick Center
570-389-4479

Program Advisors

Consult with any of these advisors on the minor and careers in gerontology:

Shiloh Erdley, Ph.D., professor of social work, MCHS 2127
Amarilis Hidalgo-DeJesus, Ph.D., professor of languages and cultures, OSH 0231
Mary Jo Larcom, Ph.D., assistant professor of psychology, MCHS 2141
Pam Smith, Ph.D., professor of audiology and speech-language pathology, CEH 0224

Depending on your major, the addition of the ASG minor may lead to:

  • Administrative positions, such as with federal, state, or local agencies (perhaps related to housing, Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security), private insurance companies, or with retirement communities
  • Computer programming and app design, such developing brain-training apps or methods of engaging in physical or cognitive therapy from remote locations
  • Counseling and social work services, such as working with clients with depression or those in need of suitable housing or personal assistance
  • Educational and volunteer organizations, such as leadership positions with Road Scholars or other Senior College organizations, or Senior Corps, Experience Corps, or similar volunteer placement groups
  • Engineering and human factors, ranging from designing computerized appliances and robots, to home and vehicle modifications
  • Financial and legal services, working with clients in areas of retirement planning, legal or medical advocacy, abuse, or fraud cases
  • Fitness and wellness coaches and directors, perhaps in recreational settings, vacation and resort centers, or retirement communities
  • Health care in a wide range of areas, from long-term care to nutritional counseling to personal care
  • Neuroscience and brain research, ranging from exploring methods of improving memory to ways to slow or prevent dementia
  • Rehabilitation and therapeutic services, involving physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, and mental health counseling

ASIG opens doors to technology for senior community

It may have been just the basics, but it was a whole new world.

Bloomsburg University’s Aging Special Interest Group (ASIG) — one of the newest student organizations on campus — spent part of the fall teaching computer skills to residents of The Meadows Community Center at Maria Joseph Manor in Danville. The student volunteers created a three-session course that they implemented this semester. Meadows residents learned how to navigate and search Google, create and use a personal Gmail account and all the features of Microsoft Word.

“This was our first time ever doing computer instruction,” said Coleen Schlager, a senior psychology major and ASIG member. “It was such a success I hope we can continue to do this with The Meadows, as well as other assisted living communities.”

ASIG is an inter-professional organization that engages with the aging communities of Bloomsburg and surrounding areas through volunteer activities and fundraising. Members host creative and educational activities with local assisted living communities and long-term care facilities. In addition, ASIG can provide volunteer experiences for students who may be interested in working with the aging population.

ASIG opens doors to technology for senior community

“The aging population is increasing rapidly,” Schlager said. “This club opens the doors to more job opportunities in fields like nursing, social work, and psychology.”